“Police are investigating whether Jack Thomas, the Melbourne man allegedly linked to al-Qa’ida, trained with a Jemaah Islamiah terrorist at a boot camp in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.” This from The Australian, with thanks to Jean-Luc.
“Sources have confirmed Mr Thomas, who is also known as Jihad Jack, has figured prominently in investigations.”
“However, national security sources said yesterday that the training conducted there was in low-level hand-to-hand combat and survival techniques, and did not involve weapons or breach anti-terrorism laws. ‘Karate training in the bush is a . . . long way short of a breach under the terror legislation,’ a source said.”
I can’t believe how short-sighted this is! If Jemaah Islamiyah has a training camp in Australia, it doesn’t matter if they’re just practicing karate. Whatever they’re doing is part of a much larger operation that murders civilians and is working to establish a Sharia state in South Asia. Australian authorities should view the camp in this light.
“Similar types of training are also understood to have taken place at two other undisclosed sites in NSW: one in Cooma, near the Snowy Mountains, and the other near Nelson Bay on the north coast. The sources say weapons have been known to be used at only one site – Braidwood in southern NSW, well before the Olympics. Authorities are still unsure about exactly what took place there, or whether the training posed an actual terror threat.”
Meanwhile, in France, “Islamic radicals held training camps for potential recruits across France through 2002, Le Parisien newspaper reported Wednesday, adding that French investigators believe they have successfully dismantled the network running the camps. Recruits were sent to seven sites – including one in the Normandy city of Dieppe, one in the southeastern Alps, and a site in the Fontainebleau forest outside Paris – for rugged, outdoor exercises and religious and political indoctrination, the daily said.
“The purpose of the sites was to take untested candidates and determine whether they were fit for jihad in battle zones like Afghanistan and Chechnya, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed intelligence officer.
“Most recruits came from Paris-region mosques where religious leaders preached a hardline brand of Islam, the newspaper said.”