Oz police struggling to spy on “innovative” Muslim extremists

November 14th, 2007 - 8:29 am ICT by admin  
New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas, who is one of Australia’s leading counter-terrorism experts, said that the line between terrorism and crime had blurred as terrorists tried new ideas in pursuing their ideological goals.

“They’re very innovative about working up new ways to communicate with each other,” news.com.au quoted Kaldas, as saying. “There’s obviously enormous difficulty in penetrating these groups, unlike organised crime groups where you still have a chance of getting an undercover operative.”

Advocating community programs, Kaldas said it were useful in reducing the likelihood of Muslims turning to extremism, and in improving their relations with the authorities.

He added that there might be a small percentage that would not engage in it, and “they’re the one’s we probably ought to be worried about.”

“The point of community contact is to build resilience within communities which are susceptible to that radicalising effect. And, it’s about not letting more people get sucked into the vortex of radicalisation,” he added.

Pointing out that terrorists, unlike criminal groups, often stepped up their efforts when they discovered they were under surveillance, Kaldas said, “When they feel they’re being watched, they don’t back away but pick up the pace… That’s something we’ve really got to grapple with.”

He further said that Internet was one of the main sources used by terrorists to obtain propaganda material.

Expressing concern about members of the Muslim and Arab communities relying too much on foreign news to shape their views of the world, Kaldas said the NSW police did not want to ban people from watching television networks such as al-Jazeera, but at the same time, they were interested in introducing community members to Australian views through grassroots programs.

“We need more effective community engagements… so, they’re aware of a broader picture and different points of view,” he said. (ANI)

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