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Transcript of morning doors interview : 05 June 2013: National security breach



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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling Morning Doors Interview June 05, 2013

Topic/s: National security breach

Michael Keenan

I want to make some comments about the Egyptian terrorist that the Government had been keeping in the Inverbrackie low security detention facility as further information about that has come to light. Firstly if I can remind everybody about what has occurred here, we had an Egyptian terrorist, the subject of an Interpol red notice, arrive in Australia in May last year. He was subsequently placed in Inverbrackie family detention accommodation facility in the Adelaide Hills. A facility that is surrounded by the equivalence of a pool fence. The AFP and ASIO conducted parallel investigations into this matter and they both independently came to the same conclusion, that he was member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. That is one of the most fearsome terrorist organisations that we have seen in the last forty years. An organisation that has furnished the current leadership of al-Qaeda and furnished the leadership of the September 11 attacks on the United States. That organisation formally merged with al-Qaeda in 2001 and now we find out that a member of that organisation, who has been convicted of the most serious crimes…

[Interrupted]

I would be offended if it was anybody else other than Kevin.

We had a convicted Egyptian terrorist being kept in Inverbrackie. A member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, one of the most fearsome terrorist organisations of the last forty years and what we found out last night was that the Immigration Minister was informed about this on the 17th April this year, after the media made inquiries about this case and the Home Affairs Minister was only briefed about this in May, weeks after it appeared in the media. The Australian people are entitled to ask who is in charge here. We have a Government who is not aware of the grave security risks within our own detention network and they have a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy about what should be a most serious national security issue. We also find that the Government continues to make excuses as to why they haven’t taken any action on this man. The Minister only got details on this after it appeared in the media and yet we still fail to have the full story about what is going on given this is a very grave security issue.

Journalist

Given the sensitivity of this issue have you sought a private briefing from the Government or from any of the agencies involved because if this person is applying for asylum, don’t you think there might be more to the story?

Michael Keenan

We have sought a private briefing. We have been seeking that for many weeks. We have been seeking that since the story appeared in the media. We have been asking a series of questions to the Government and we just haven’t received answers. I understand that they are now going to facilitate a briefing for us and we look forward to getting the full story.

Journalist

Is Immigration providing that briefing?

Michael Keenan

We have asked for the briefing to be conducted by the Immigration Department, the Australian Federal Police and ASIO because all three agencies have been intimately involved in this case.

Journalist

When did you first ask for that briefing?

Michael Keenan

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We have been asking for further details about this case ever since it appeared in the media on the 20th April. We have been specifically asking for a briefing for some weeks. The Minister offered us a briefing in Parliament earlier on in the week. We instantly wrote to him and requested that that briefing be facilitated and I understand that he is now going to do that.

Journalist

Labor can’t stop the boats and nobody can, do you agree with that?

Michael Keenan

I absolutely don’t agree with that and the evidence for that is that we have stopped the boats. We stopped the boats by taking a series of tough but necessary measures that resulted in the complete decimation of the people smuggling trade. The only reason that people smuggling was reinvigorated was because when the Labor Party came to office they reversed those policies. We can stop the boats and our record speaks to that.

Journalist

So Labor has just given up on this issue?

Michael Keenan

I don’t just think Labor has given up on this issue, they have given up on providing any semblance of good government for Australia and we have seen that over the last few days, where the Government has essentially disintegrated before our eyes.

Journalist

How long will it take to stop the boats?

Michael Keenan

We believe that the policies we will take will have an immediate impact. In the past when we took the same suite of measures it did have an immediate impact. People smugglers will know that we are deadly serious about stopping them and of course when they look to Canberra at the moment they see a Government that they know won’t do anything to keep them off track.

Ends…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

© Authorised by Michael Keenan MP, 203 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill WA 6060

www.keenan.net.au

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