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Tuesday, 4 November 2003
Page: 21916

Mr McCLELLAND (2:36 PM) —My question is again to the Attorney-General. Will the Attorney-General confirm to the House whether the French al-Qaeda suspect Brigitte, having been granted a tourism visa by the Howard government, subsequently married a member of the Australian Defence Force during his five-month stay in Australia? Has this member of the Australian Defence Force been involved in any aspect of Australian intelligence work? If so, what security checks did the Howard government undertake of Brigitte's background at the point at which the ADF member in question notified the government of her intention to marry a foreign national?

Mr RUDDOCK (Attorney-General) —I thank the honourable member for his question. I can confirm that Mr Brigitte's spouse previously served in the Regular Army and has since served in the Army Reserve. It has been said by competent agencies that Australian security and law enforcement issues have not been matters which his wife was aware of in terms of security, and that she was not involved in any activities of security concern herself. That is the advice I have.