A SENIOR member of parliament’s high-powered intelligence and security committee has warned a Bali-style terrorist attack is inevitable on Australian soil and the risk of an incident is “accelerating”.
Unless ASIO and other spy agencies were given the sweeping new powers they were asking for, but were being denied, security forces would be limited in trying to prevent it.
Labor MP Anthony Byrne raised the alarm in parliament on July 14, 2014 revealing the view of the intelligence community was that an attack on home soil of the magnitude of the 2002 Bali bombing — which claimed the lives of 202 people including 88 Australians — was not only possible but now probable.
In an extraordinary caution to the parliament, the senior MP and former chair of the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security said he had a “deep concern that eventually and inevitably in this country, an event will occur on this soil … on the magnitude of a Bali event or just a terrorist event.
“That event will be there to cause immense damage to the psyche of the Australian community. That will be its purpose, its intent.
“I don’t want to be part of a parliament that reacts to an event. I want to be part of a parliament that puts laws in place to prevent that event.”
Spy chiefs are concerned the government is moving too slowly at a time when there were heightened warnings about domestic terrorist events and links to Australians fighting with jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
It is interesting to note that in the Daily Telegraph's report of this story, not once did the words 'Islam', 'Muslim' or 'Jihad' appear.