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Al-Qaeda names Australians as top targets SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA) - Australians have been named in an Al-Qaeda terror manual as the main targets for terrorist attack in Indonesia, a newspaper report said. The Australian said the 11-page manual, "Targeting the Cities", specifies which foreign nationals to target in Muslim nations, such as Americans in Saudi Arabia, French in Algiers and Australians in Indonesia. It did not say where or how it had obtained the document.
The manual, purportedly written by senior Al-Qaeda member Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, ranks Australians fourth on a list of overall targets behind Americans, Britons and Spaniards, and followed by Canadians and Italians. Terrorism expert Clive Williams of Canberra's Australian National University described the document as significant because he said that for the first time it named Australians, rather than westerners in general, as the top target in Indonesia.
He said it appeared Australia was increasingly named in Al-Qaeda documents due to its role in the Iraq war. "The rhetoric and the emphasis has been more on Australians, certainly since we got involved in Iraq," Williams said. The manual reportedly gives instructions about establishing terror cells and communication without being detected. It also listed groups of people according to their importance as targets, placing businessmen, bankers and economists at the top, followed by diplomats, politicians, scholars, scientists and soldiers with tourists placed last.
Australia has already been named as a target in a number of communications by Al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, who said it was targeted over its decision to lead the UN force that intervened in East Timor to stop Indonesian-backed militia violence in 1999. Following the October, 2002, Bali bombings in which 88 Australians were among the 202 victims, the Australian government has significantly boosted its anti-terrorist measures, most recently in Tuesday's Federal Budget. Homeland security and defence received a boost of more than two billion dollars (US$1.4 billion).



Posted in Terrorism @ 12 May 2004 00:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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