I was listening to Virginia Trioli this morning. She interviewed someone who was organising the Intelligence Professionals conference in Sydney this week (I think he was a former ONA analyst).
She asked him whether he had any further details of the specific terror threat that John Howard has been alluding to.
He stated that all he can say is that there has been a lot of chatter between within the intelligence community of a large counterterrorism operation being run in both Sydney and Melbourne. I believe that this is as far as Virginia went with her line of question.
Three unanswered questions for me:
- If there is a credible and specific terrorist threat, why hasn't the terrorism alert level been amended?
- Actually have an answer (so two unanswered questions): The National Security WebSite states that Australia is already on Medium level alert (ie. "terrorist attack could occur") and raising the level would take it to High which indicates that "terrorist attack is likely"). This probably means that the CT operations in Sydney and Melbourne have prevented an attack.
- If there is a credible and specific terrorist threat, why hasn't the National Anti-Terrorism Committee been notified and activated?
- Actually have an answer to this as well (so one unanswered question). The NATC is has a more non-active role in preventing terrorist acts. See the above link. It isn't supposed to be an active operational organisation. It develops plans and standards across various levels of government.
- Why didn't the Federal Government take up Labors offer of passing the amendments to the terror laws in a special late night sitting yesterday?
- This one puzzles me. Malcolm Turnbull's suggestion that it was due to logistics doesn't seem plausible.
"Liberal backbencher Malcolm Turnbull said he understood the decision was a logistical one and the view had been that all senators should have a chance to vote on the change."Go figure it out and you heard it here first.