From the Sun-Herald, with thanks to Jean-Luc:
A week after a Pakistani-born man was named publicly as a terror suspect he is still free, walking the streets of Sydney.
And it is almost four months since anti-terror forces searched the man’s home in south-western Sydney, along with those of six others who were identified as key associates of terror suspect Willy Brigitte, who is in a French jail cell.
But despite accusations that the man, named as Abu Hamza, was part of a group allegedly planning a terror attack in Sydney, police are powerless to put him behind bars.
The Federal Government says it cannot detain him as he has not broken any law.
A spokesman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said that while there were “still concerns” about the Sydney group connected with Brigitte, their activities were restricted once they knew they were being watched.
The ABC’s Four Corners program filmed Hamza last weekend as he went about his business in Lakemba. The program said Australian authorities were confident Brigitte and Hamza were involved in a terrorist plot.
Hamza has cut off his phone and moved house several times since he came to the attention of ASIO.
His lawyer, Stephen Hopper, said Hamza denies being involved in any terrorist group.
He said Hamza has an explanation for the photos and chemical inquiries that would point to something other than preparing a terrorist strike.
“But I can’t discuss any of that as I am restricted in what I can say by the new ASIO laws,” Mr Hopper said.
Mr Hopper said Hamza does admit to helping Brigitte settle in Sydney when he arrived here in May 2003, but said he did it as he is obliged to do so under the Muslim custom of helping a traveller.