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The floating bomb threat is real.

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Media Release

Hon. Arch Bevis MP Federal Member for Brisbane Shadow Minister for Homeland Security, Aviation and Transport Security

5 June 2006


The 17 arrests in Canada over the weekend involving the ammonium nitrate explosive reveal Australia’s vulnerability to a frightening terrorist attack.

“The arrests involved suspected al-Qaeda sympathisers in possession of three times the amount of ammonium nitrate explosive used in the Oklahoma City Bombing. That explosive was also used in the World Trade Centre attacks in 1993, the al-Qaeda bombings on the two U.S. Embassies in Africa in 1998, and the Bali bombings that killed so many Australians in 2002,” said Labor’s Homeland Security spokesperson Arch Bevis.

“Labor has warned for years of the dangers of large quantities of ammonium nitrate shipped around Australian ports by foreign vessels.

“The Canadians are rightly alarmed at three tonnes of ammonium nitrate in the wrong hands, yet under the Howard Government The Pancaldo, a ship flagged out of the West Indies and crewed with East Europeans visited Australian ports in September 2005 carrying 3000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. That happened under a Government issued voyage permit.

“The Government continues to put Australia at risk by handing out voyage permits to foreign vessels like a Friday afternoon chook raffle,” said Mr Bevis.

“Security assessments are conducted on Australian seafarers on Australian registered ships and Australian licensed vessels. Foreign crews carrying serious explosives like those on The Pancaldo are not security assessed, and that is downright dangerous,” said Labor’s Arch Bevis.

5 June 2006

Further information: Jason Söderblom 0409 374 900