Police “terror” raids in Australia mask unanswered questions about hostage incident
10 June 2017
In a show of force, more than 150 Victorian state and federal counter-terrorism police raided homes in Melbourne’s northern suburbs before dawn yesterday, and Victoria’s deputy police commissioner Shane Patton foreshadowed more raids in coming days.
The operation was said to relate to the supply of firearms used by Yacqub Khayre, a mentally-ill and drug-addicted young man, when he killed a man and took a hostage in the bayside suburb of Brighton on Monday.
Victoria Police’s para-military Special Operations Group and Australian Federal Police (AFP) counter-terrorism officers searched homes and detained occupants, reportedly seeking evidence for potential charges of aiding and abetting a terrorist offence, a crime that carries life imprisonment.
As intended, the raids generated fresh media headlines about the “terrorist threat,” seeking to drown out an examination of all the unanswered questions about Monday’s event, particularly the revelations that the police had targeted Khayre to become an undercover agent.
As with nearly every terrorist-linked attack internationally, including the latest atrocities in Manchester and London, the perpetrator was well known to the police and intelligence agencies, yet inexplicably “fell through the cracks” of their massive surveillance networks.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews rushed to take credit for yesterday’s police raids. “They are in connection with the terrible, tragic events of Monday in Brighton,” he told Sky News as the operation began.
Andrews also stepped up the bipartisan exploitation of the hostage-taking incident. Both his state Labor government and the federal Liberal-National…