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Saturday, 6 January 2007

Rockets to be fired in terror plot: Target Nuclear reactor and Office Tower

Australian Terrorism
I don't know whats going on in Australia right now but there seems to be a rather large increase in potential 'Home grown' terrorism or at least 'home based'.

  • Missile launchers being sold for $2.
  • An Australian being caught in Iraq suspected of active Jihadism. [Below]
  • Australian Muslims in Yemen suspected of smuggling weapons to Somalia. The brothers Abdullah and Mohammed Ayub had been arrested on October 17 with other foreign nationals. The two Australian brothers have close family ties with Abdul Rahman Ayub, an Indonesian,who is strongly suspected to be a member of terror group Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia.
  • A Breaking story of a serious terrorist threat regarding the actual targets of those Rocket launchers sold to suspected terrorists.[Below]
  • In a Series of Autralian Terrorism reports:
    Another report of a developing trend in Australia. There has been some remarkable activity lately in Australia and by some Australian citizens with regards to Terrorism and Jihad fighters.

    This report from The Australian details what could have been a calamitous terror strike

    THE nation's only nuclear reactor and the Australian headquarters of American Express were likely to be targeted by terrorist clients of an accused arms dealer arrested in Sydney yesterday over the theft of five shoulder-fired rocket launchers.

    The plot, which NSW police described as "blurring the lines" between criminality and terrorism, dramatically widens what is known about the alleged plan in 2005 to attack targets in Sydney.

    Taha Abdulrahman, 28, of the western Sydney suburb of Leumeah, was yesterday charged with 17 offences related to the five rocket launchers, allegedly among seven stolen from the Australian Defence Force.

    He was remanded in custody after a brief court hearing. He is accused of knowing several of the 23 men arrested in Sydney and Melbourne in late 2005 in the nation's biggest counter-terrorism operation. The men are accused of being members of a terrorist organisation.

    "The person who received five (weapons) is facing terrorism charges on another matter," Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Frank Prendergast said.

    Mr Prendergast said another man who received stolen weapons was also facing criminal charges, which were not related to terrorism.

    AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty said police would allege one of the 66mm portable rockets was destined to be fired at a Sydney building.

    Right: The American Express Tower

    The Weekend Australian understands that building to be the 28-storey American Express headquarters on Liverpool Street in the central business district.

    NSW counter-terrorism chief Nick Kaldas told Macquarie Radio yesterday that another target being considered was Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. Targets in Martin Place, in the business heart of Sydney, were also allegedly considered.

    Mr Kaldas said earlier it was unclear whether the men who received the weapons intended to use them for the purposes of terrorism. "The line between the pure criminality and the politically, religiously motivated violence is blurring worldwide and it's the same here," he said. "It's difficult for us to really pin it down to one side of the fence or the other, but we have to keep an open mind."

    Mr Kaldas said he believed Mr Abdulrahman was one link in a "chain of supply" but did not know where he fitted in. "We've had a snapshot into a small part of it (the network). There may be others ... but we haven't seen any evidence to suggest it's a massive problem," he said.

    Evidence of the existence of the stolen rocket launchers, of which one has been recovered, first came to light during a number of trials involving Sydney underworld figure Adnan Darwiche, who is serving a double life sentence for murder. The Darwiche family was at the centre of a series of shootings in western Sydney in 2002-03 resulting from a feud with the Razzak family.

    In 2003, The Australian revealed that police investigating the shootings knew that the gang had access to rocket launchers.

    The joint ASIO, AFP and NSW police operation began at dawn yesterday with the arrest of Mr Abdulrahman at his home.

    Mr Abdulrahman's neighbour, Kelly Jardine, said at 6.55am an unmarked van heralded the arrival of heavily armed police, who surrounded the house.

    Neighbours said police tranquilised a normally placid rottweiler owned by Mr Abdulrahman and, in scenes reminiscent of a police drama, yelled out: "Your house is surrounded, your house is surrounded."

    Ms Jardine said Mr Abdulrahman caused a moment of suspense when he emerged from the front door of the home he shares with his wife and two girls with a jacket draped over his arm. She said police yelled at him to drop it, which he did before going willingly with officers.

    Ms Jardine said Mr Abdulrahman - who was known on the quiet suburban street for wearing a white baseball cap - did not appear to have a job. She said he had a daughter the same age as her seven-year-old girl, and the two often played together.

    Right: Detail of The Lucas Heights Light Water Reactor

    The joint operation has been trying to recover seven of the military rockets, which can be used to stop a tank. One of the missing rockets was recovered last year.

    Mr Keelty said Mr Abdulrahman had no immediate connections to the ADF and no members of the ADF were said to be under investigation at this point.

    The focus of the AFP investigation was now shifting to how the weapon got from the ADF and into the hands of a potential terrorist organisation, the police commissioner said.

    "We still haven't satisfied ourselves that there were other missing weapons, and that's the reason why the Department of Defence have announced their audit that's already started (and) that's been joined by ASIO, and we think that's an appropriate step," he said.

    The Weekend Australian has been told by defence sources that the rocket launchers could have been taken from a special forces armoury in Sydney.

    Sydney is home to the Commando Regiment, part of the ADF's special forces task group.

    Mr Abdulrahman faces two charges of dishonestly receiving stolen property, seven counts of unauthorised possession of a prohibited weapon, seven counts of unauthorised supply of a prohibited weapon, and one count of possession of ammunition.

    No bail application was made, and bail was formally refused by magistrate Robyn Denes. The court was told that a bail application was likely on January 10.

    Labor defence spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the episode placed pressure on the federal Government to ensure ADF weapons and equipment were held securely.

    Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, said the Defence Department was investigating claims that former soldiers might have sold anti-tank rockets on the black market to criminals or even terrorists.

    He told reporters in Canberra that the department was conducting an audit of all such weapons in its armories around the country. "We've done a fair bit of work to do a stocktake of our own, and the defence force announced before Christmas that we are imposing extra restrictions on their use to make sure they are used only for operational purposes," he said.

    The Australian: Rockets to be fired in terror plot
    Pictures sourced by Bagelblogger

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