Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bioterror attack in Oz

I just saw the news on TV One - the Indonesian embassy in Canberra has been quarantined after someone mailed it an envelope full of white powder. The powder has tested positive as a biological agent, and is suspected to be anthrax. John Howard has stopped short of calling it "terrorism", but he's wrong. If the powder is in fact anthrax (or anything else dangerous), then this is nothing less than a terrorist attack on Indonesia, carried out from Australian soil. But there's possibly a reason for Howard's reluctance to call this what it so clearly is: he supports unilateral action against terrorism, and has repeatedly said that he would pre-emptively bomb terrorists in friendly neighbouring countries. I guess that sort of bluster doesn't look so good when the shoe is on the other foot.

As for who is responsible, fingers are pointing at those outraged over the Schapelle Corby verdict. But while there are plenty of dickheads in Australia with motive, I'm not sure how many of them would have access to biological weapons (and OTOH, I'd probably be shocked at how easy this stuff is to get...) But regardless of who is behind it, I hope they are quickly caught and subjected to the full penalty of law. Terrorism is a crime and its perpetrators need to be punished, regardless of who they are or what cause they espouse.


It's really reassuring when you live 50metres from the Indonesian Embassy in New Zealand.

Posted by Greg Stephens : 6/02/2005 10:04:00 AM

Yeah; I have a relative who lives down the road from them as well.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/02/2005 10:14:00 AM

Even if the powder turned out to be totally harmless, it would still count as an act of terrorism - i.e. spreading terror among the masses. Hope they catch the perpetrator in short order.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/02/2005 01:29:00 PM

OK, so:
- a short time back, the Australian AG calls for the extension of powers to allow suspects to be tortured in 'special cases'.
- shortly thereafter, a bio-terror attack occurs on Australian soil
Strike out the country name and does that bring on a certain sense of deja vu?

No doubt the coincidence-theorists will reject any link between the two. For me, if it turns out indeed to be anthrax, the prime suspects are intelligence agencies with both the means and the motive to do so.
The fact it is on the Indonesian embassy at this time is, of course, very convenient, b/c the majority won't care when the investigation quietly turns fades away without prosecution.

Posted by Huskynut : 6/02/2005 06:55:00 PM