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Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

Media Release  Friday, 30 January 2015

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
Email: cec@cecaust.com.au
Website: http://www.cecaust.com.au

Sydney siege inquest: What role did ASIO play?

The inquest now under way into the 15 December hostage siege at Sydney’s Martin Place, must focus on ASIO’s extensive dealings with Sydney hostage-taker Man Haron Monis over many years, and the role the agency itself played in the handling of the siege. And it must take testimony from former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib. Habib has of course had his own extensive history with ASIO and its methods over 20 years, including the fact that ASIO helped render him to Egypt in 2001 to be tortured. But he also personally knew Monis well since 2007; knew of Monis’s interactions with ASIO since then; and had high-level discussions with both Federal and State authorities during the siege itself in which he offered to help end the event without bloodshed. His offer was inexplicably turned down.

Therefore, if the inquest is not to be a shameless cover-up it must answer the question clearly posed by Habib’s experience, both generally and in this specific incident: Is ASIO, at the direction of British and Australian authorities, purposefully orchestrating such “terrorist” events in order to justify the establishment of a fascist police state?

Observed Citizens Electoral Council leader Craig Isherwood, “We in the CEC speak with some authority on this subject. After all, on 25 September 2014 we issued a press release entitled British SIS/ASIO Planning a Terrorist Attack on Australia?, in which we forecast precisely such an event. I recommend that everyone read or reread that release to understand the real motivation behind such incidents, and how they are orchestrated. And everything which Mamdouh Habib has said about this case bears out our charges 100 per cent.”

Habib and Haron

Habib first met Haron in 2007 when running for office. Haron offered to help him campaign, and Habib knew him well from that time until the siege.

As the 31 December Sydney Morning Herald reported, Habib was one of a number of prominent Muslims to offer to negotiate with the gunman, whom the police refused. This by itself already raises serious questions about the handling of the siege. For instance, Guy Rundle writing in Crikey on 13 January asked, among many other incisive questions, “Why were the offers from Muslim community leaders to speak to Monis rejected, when it is a common practice to use in that way figures whom a hostage-taker might respect?”

Habib reveals that when he first offered to help, in a call to the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s office, he didn’t know the gunman’s identity, only that he was, presumably, Muslim. But around 4pm he recognised “Sheikh Haron” from the TV coverage, and spoke to a source in Channel 7 who confirmed they knew it was Haron, but officials had asked them not to broadcast his identity.

Habib immediately called the Attorney-General’s office again, to insist they use him to help negotiate with Haron. He explained that he knew Haron well; that Haron might be disturbed but he was not violent and would not intend to kill anybody; and was adamant that if he were able to go to the cafe to talk to Haron he could get him to surrender.

The Attorney-General’s office transferred his call through to ASIO, to whom Habib repeated his offer; however, on this call Habib says he was more careful, because he feared ASIO was involved.

Habib then called the NSW police with the same offer. When it was rejected, and he realised that the siege was being handled as a full-blown terrorist attack, he warned the police about ASIO, declaring, “They intend to kill this man!” Habib told the police that the government would be responsible if any lives were lost.

The police decision to refuse the offer of Habib and other Muslim community leaders raises the question, was ASIO calling the shots?

Not only did the police refuse those offers to help negotiate, but, inexplicably, they were not in communication with Haron for hours at a time.

Yet it would have been known that Haron’s biggest grievance, which Habib thinks could have made him “snap”, had nothing to do with ISIS or government policy or even his recent court defeat, but was the fact that in October he had been cut off from having any telephone contact with his two young sons. Habib suspects this was the issue about which Haron was desperate to talk directly to Tony Abbott. This grievance was all too similar to many other emotionally-fraught family custody disputes, which should have made it imperative that the police maintain communication with Haron, using people he respected, to establish a rapport of trust, but they didn’t.

Instead, the siege was played up and handled as “Islamic terrorism” first and foremost, even after it was known they were dealing with the mentally disturbed Haron, who had a history of grandstanding and attention-seeking. And, according to Habib’s firsthand account from Haron, ASIO itself had played a role in driving him over the brink: “I’m sick and tired of this [ASIO harassment]” he had told Habib. The reality, as Habib has explained, is that there are many ASIO agents or informants within the Sydney Muslim community suggesting provocative actions, running sting operations, and putting pressure on people. And if you don’t go along with them they can get very nasty. “The top-down agenda,” Habib has charged, is that ASIO are constantly provoking the community into a rage, to trigger events which they can then react to.

Habib is adamant that he has additional crucial evidence about the event, but he won’t release it until he sees how the media report the stories of the hostages. Six weeks after the siege their stories still haven’t been heard—an unheard-of situation in this media-driven world. There are numerous unanswered questions, including whose bullets killed whom.

Commented CEC leader Isherwood, “If ASIO and the Australian government are so fired up to stop terrorism, then why, for instance, do they refuse to ban the pro-terrorist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in almost all Arab countries including even Saudi Arabia and many other nations, which held a demonstration in Sydney in September 2012 where young children held signs saying ‘Behead all those who insult the Prophet’? And which indoctrinates young Muslims to go fight in Syria, and to join ISIS, and which just held another public demonstration in Sydney on 17 January? Is it perhaps because they desire such provocative actions? Everything I have so far heard Mamdouh Habib say on this account is entirely credible. And in his own case, remember, it was Mr. Habib who was proven to have been telling the truth, while the intelligence agencies were lying.”

Who runs international terrorism?

The CEC’s 25 September 2014 release, British SIS/ASIO planning a terror attack on Australia? exposed ASIO as a branch office of the shadowy British spy agency MI5, which operates under the “Royal Prerogative” power of the Queen, as a secret police apparatus which produces “intelligence” and orchestrates events that serve Anglo-American strategic interests. At present, the Crown’s City of London and Wall Street-centred financial system is perhaps only weeks away from exploding, and the Crown-centred financial oligarchy’s power along with it. That’s why European Central Bank head Mario Draghi has just pledged an astonishing €1.1 trillion to bail out Europe’s major banks, while it is common knowledge that plunging oil prices have caused staggering losses to the City of London and Wall Street’s estimated $2 quadrillion in derivatives holdings. This could trigger a meltdown on any given day, and thus the Crown-led drive to establish police states under the pretext of “fighting terrorism”, and to even force a thermonuclear showdown with China and Russia, which are not part of the disintegrating Anglo-American system.

In that 25 September release, and in a follow-up release two days after the siege headlined, Craig Isherwood on the Sydney ‘Islamist’ siege: “Let’s ask Prince Charles what he knows about it”, the CEC documented the British Crown’s long history of using terrorism as a strategy, with Britain for decades being so notorious for harbouring the world’s worst terrorists from the governments wanting to bring them to justice, that it earned the moniker “Londonistan”. Typical of this Crown involvement in orchestrating terrorism is Prince Charles’s intimate personal relationship with the Saudi Royals such as Prince Bandar bin Sultan and his brother-in-law Prince Turki bin Faisal who are leading sponsors of Wahhabite “Islamic” terrorism, including their role in creating Al-Qaeda in the first place. This Saudi funding of terrorism is the subject of the 28 pages of the US Joint Congressional report into the 9/11 attack which first Bush, and now Obama, refuse to declassify, in order to cover up both the Saudi role in supporting terrorism (including that of Bandar personally in financing 9/11) and their ties to the Anglo-American elite such as Prince Charles and the Bush family.

There is a massive campaign in the US to end the cover-up of the Saudi role in 9/11 by having the 28 pages declassified. The people of Australia should fight to ensure that the real story of the Sydney siege isn’t similarly covered up, so that vested interests behind terrorism are exposed and terrorism can then be defeated once and for all.

Call your MP and demand to know what he or she is doing personally to ensure that the inquest into the Sydney siege is not just one more cover-up.

Join the CEC in this fight.

Click here for a free copy of the Nov./Dec 2014 New Citizen which includes the articles “British SIS/ASIO Planning a Terrorist Attack on Australia?” and “Charles of Arabia and the Al-Qaeda/ISIS Nexus”.

Click here to join the CEC as a member.

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