The significance of SBS â€œbreakingâ€ the story that Mohamed Haneef allegedly having an Indian police dossier that outlines links to Al Qaida should raise eyebrows, at the very least because it is SBS. The media, both public and private, be it the press, radio, TV or internet, have all spent the last week generally framing this story as a police bungle. Furthermore, they have portrayed the political leakage of information as a calculated electoral move that has backfired due to a lack of evidence. I would like to think that most free thinking Australianâ€™s realise that our Ministerial leadership is making clear decisions based on information that is put before them, in the interests of the security of this country. We would have to speculate that not all the information that has reached them has reached the media. Whether true or not, evidenced or not, substantiated or not, here is what we have been told:
- The SIM card in a cellphone linked to the Glasgow bombers was formerly owned by Mohamed Haneef, a relative;
- The address book of Haneef had notes and writings linking Haneef to the bombers;
- Haneef tried to leave the country in a hurry, on a one way ticket, without resigning his position at a hospital;
- Plans of Gold Coast buildings were found at his apartment;
- Webchat records show he was implicated and warned to leave shortly following the bombings;
- The Indian police dossier has identified links to Al-Qaida.
Irrespective of the policital vs operational management of the investigative activity associated with these assertions, I would far rather that our leaders followed a conservative approach. The truth is that our media would not hesitate to blame the politicians if there was, G-d forbid, a terrorist attack in Australia, probably on both the grounds of failed intelligence and for policy imperatives that have been followed. However now that the Government is taking protective action against potential perpetrators, they are criticised for putting national security ahead of a presumption of innocence. It is a no-win political situation. The clear direction taken by our Government sounds to me like pretty smart management based on the collective snippets of information and innuendo that has to date placed into the public domain.
The fact is that the Glasgow bombers were perpetrating a major attack. Any links relating to this have to be investigated, and the trial by media has no doubt contributed to a frustration of this.
If, g-d forbid, there was terrorism in Australia, the population here would not know what to do or how to act. We are psychologically unprepared on a national scale. In Israel, where bag checking and security is a necessary way of life, there are coping mechanisms for terrorism that are part of everyday life. But even in Israeli society there are those that blame themselves for terrorism and hold the false belief that appeasement would end attacks against them. This whole approach is akin to the beaten wife syndrome where a victim blames themselves for the very crime committed against them.
Terrorism is not the fault of Government policies. It is not a legitimate response of form of resistance to anything. It does not discriminate against its victims. It is a real threat. Perhaps this is the most important realisation in the Haneef story. It is that close to home and that real that Australianâ€™s canâ€™t bring themselves to believe it is true. They simply cannot morally rationalise that a professional doctor could be a potential mass murderer. Therefore, with the assistance of the media, they convince themselves that it could not be so and that we are being over-reactionary and drawing on the politic of fear.
I only hope that it does not take a successful terrorist attack on our shores to prove this attitude to be wrong. I only hope that we wake up to the reality of the Islamist threat to the Australian way of life and assertively eradicate it before it gets further out of control.does not take a successful terrorist attack on our shores to prove this attitude to be wrong. I only hope that we wake up to the reality of the Islamist threat to the Australian way of life and assertively eradicate it before it gets further out of control.