Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
Media Release Tuesday, 25 August 2015
Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
Is Sydney Siege inquest covering for ASIO?
The clear intention of the Coronial Inquest into the Sydney Siege is to exclude any testimony from Mamdouh Habib about his firsthand knowledge of gunman Man Haron Monis working for ASIO at the time of the siege.
This blatant suppression of evidence coincides with Habib’s statement that an ASIO officer on 21 August directly warned him against speaking to, or even attending, the inquest.
This treatment of Habib is a clear indication that powerful forces are determined to ensure the mandatory inquest is a cover-up, specifically of ASIO’s involvement with siege perpetrator Man Haron Monis in the lead-up to the siege.
For the record, if allowed, Mamdouh Habib would testify, under oath:
That around a month before the 15 December 2014 Lindt Café siege, Monis approached Mamdouh Habib to request his help. Monis, or Sheikh Haron as he was known to Habib, explained that ASIO had asked him to do a “job” for them, and that ASIO had directed him to ask Habib to help with the job. Monis did not explain what the job was, and Habib isn’t sure Monis even knew at the time. Monis explained that ASIO had promised they would help him win back custody of his two young sons, with whom the family court had cut him off from any contact the month before. Monis claimed that ASIO had also promised to reward Habib if he assisted, by helping him win his ongoing legal case in Egypt.
That Habib turned Monis down cold, because the request was from ASIO. Habib warned Monis, forcefully, to have nothing to do with ASIO, because, he said, ASIO can’t be trusted.
That a number of days after this approach from Monis, an ASIO officer called Habib directly, to convince him to agree to assist Monis, by confirming and reiterating ASIO’s offer to help his legal case in Egypt; again Habib refused.
That in the late afternoon on the day of the siege, when Habib confirmed that the gunman in the Lindt Café was “Sheikh Haron”, and that the police and media had known for hours it was Monis, he realised that the siege was a set-up, that it was most likely the “job” for ASIO that Monis and ASIO had sought to enlist him in. Habib’s first thought was, “Monis agreed to ASIO’s deal.”
That Habib, convinced it was a set-up, attempted to intervene to avert a disaster, by calling first the office of the Commonwealth Attorney-General in Canberra, and then the NSW Police, to insist he be allowed to help negotiate with Monis. Habib guaranteed them that he would convince Monis to surrender and release the hostages. On both calls Habib was turned down. The Attorney-General’s office transferred his call to ASIO, to whom Habib repeated his offer, but cautiously, because he knew ASIO was involved; ASIO also rejected the offer. On his final call, to the NSW Police, Habib warned that ASIO intended to kill Monis, and that if anyone died in the siege it would be the fault of the Australian government. Habib says that a FOI order would prove his calls to both the Attorney-General and NSW Police.
Habib’s evidence, of Monis working with ASIO just before the Sydney Siege, is explosive, and casts the siege in a completely different light. It is already patently clear that the siege had nothing to do with ISIS, as Prime Minister Abbott claims; instead, Habib’s evidence leads to other, more sinister, possibilities as to the cause of the siege, including: that it was an orchestrated terrorist attack, arranged by ASIO for political purposes; or, that it was an ASIO operation, gone wrong. The account of one hostage that Monis had said to her that “I have to kill one of us [you]”, and an early media report that he screamed at the storming police before he was killed, “Look what you’ve made me do”, points to the more likely possibility of the former.
The Sydney siege was part of a sequence of terrorist attacks that have occurred around the world in the last 1-2 years, in the context of the rise of ISIS, including the Canadian Parliament attack and the Charlie Hebdo massacre. In every case, the perpetrators of the attacks were “well known” to the relevant security agencies beforehand. This raises the question of how it is possible those agencies had no advance warning of the attacks. In the US, a July 2014 Human Rights Watch report entitled “Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions”, exposed how the FBI has actively orchestrated terrorist plots, claiming them to be “sting” operations, in which the FBI generated the idea, provided the equipment, and picked the target, but pinned the blame on some unsuspecting and often mentally-impaired dupe. The FBI has then publicised the arrest as another success in the War on Terror, which justifies its far-reaching police-state powers, and the US government’s continued operations in the Middle East, just as 9/11 was used to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq based on a lie. The UK’s security agencies MI5 and MI6 have their own extensive history of orchestrating terrorist attacks, as they did throughout the Irish “troubles” of the late 1960s into the 1990s, as well as through their intimate involvement with such notorious Islamic extremists as the self-admitted MI5 agent Abu Hamza. Their agents have been allowed to operate and proselytise freely in London while wanted for terrorist attacks overseas, and even to strike in Britain itself, all the better to justify police-state measures under the guise of “fighting terrorism”.
ASIO was set up at the behest of MI5 in 1949, and has functioned as merely the Australian branch of MI5 ever since. Mamdouh Habib forcefully warned Monis against working with ASIO, due to his own, firsthand experience with ASIO over many years, which included: years of harassment to pressure him to become an ASIO informer; ASIO’s involvement in his seizure in Pakistan in 2001; his rendition to Egypt to be tortured; his 2002-05 detention-without-charge in Guantanamo Bay; and ASIO’s active obstruction, under the cover of “national security”, of his legal proceedings to win redress for ASIO’s crimes against him.
The difficulties that the Sydney Siege inquest has experienced in getting a straight story out of the Director of Public Prosecutions, as to why Monis was out on bail at the time of the siege, already demonstrates active suppression of evidence. The Inquest will apparently allow ASIO to give testimony in closed session, which is seemingly routine for such an agency, but in the context of Habib’s evidence it provides enormous scope for ASIO to, as usual, use the fig leaf of national security to hide its true activities from the public.
If the NSW Coroner is to fulfil the responsibilities of his office to ascertain the truth of what caused the deaths in the Lindt Café, he must examine all of the evidence; therefore, he must take testimony from Mamdouh Habib, or else the public can only conclude his inquest is a cover-up.
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