Good thing they read the papers down at the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). From the Sydney Morning Herald, with thanks to Jean-Luc:
Australia’s intelligence agency first became aware of a Somalian man – who is alleged to have links to terrorist financing organisations, is being prosecuted in the US and had visited Australia five times since 2000 – only after reading a media report about him last month.
ASIO’s director-general, Dennis Richardson, told a Senate estimates hearing yesterday this was “not surprising” because the man, 41-year-old Omar Mohamed, was not on any terrorist database or movement alert list and his prosecution in the US was for immigration fraud.
Then where did the media get their info about him?
The fraud charges relate to Mohamed’s failure to reveal on his US citizenship application that the Western Somali Relief Agency, of which he is president, received funds from Global Relief Foundation, a group listed in the US as a terrorist organisation.
Mr Richardson told the hearing that Mohamed visited Australia between December 2000 and December 2003. Since the media report, Mohamed’s movements have been the subject of an ASIO investigation.
“They are of some interest, not in terms of fund-raising, but they are of some interest in terms of getting a better handle on the relationships he may or may not have had in Australia,” Mr Richardson said.