Timothy Bankroft-Hinchey:The Sydney Olympics are a target for International Terrorists

As attention now turns to the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games on September 15, the Australian police fear an attack by extremist Islamic terrorists. A number of attempted plots were discovered by the Australian and New Zealand police earlier this year and as the countdown to the opening ceremony continues, the security forces are on maximum alert. In March, 2000, a group of Afghan refugees was caught in New Zealand with suspicious material – a map of Sydney (where the Olympic Games are to take place) with the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, Sydney and the roads approaching this reactor, marked in a highlighting pen. This group of Afghan refugees is believed to have connections with the international terrorist, Osama bin Laden. The house where they were staying in Auckland, New Zealand, had been transformed into a command centre, with detailed maps of Sydney and charts of the movements of security personnel, police tactics and movements during the games spread all over the walls. In May, 2000, the Australian police raided a house in Sydney and found weapons and explosives…a massive quantity which was capable of provoking hundreds of deaths. The name of Osama bin Laden, who declared a Jihad (Holy War) against the “injust, criminal and tyrannical” US administration, strikes terror into the hearts of the security forces around the world. This millionaire, Saudi Arabian terrorist is linked with a number of murders through bomb attacks around the world for the last 12 years : The bombing of the US Embassies in Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), 1988, in which 220 people died The World Trade Centre - Bomb attack, in 1993, New York 1996 – Saudi Arabia – 19 USA soldiers killed Bin Laden is not exactly a figure one can negotiate with : his home address is unknown and has been for twenty years. However, this figure has been linked to Islamic movements worldwide, namely in the Philippines, Indonesia and Central Asia. Indeed it is bin Laden who is linked to the armed Islamic guerrilla movements in Tadjikhstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic, also those in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. These insurgents are supplied by terrorists residing in Afghanistan, where bin Laden houses his operations. These are not small bands of terrorists. The Uzbek Islamic Movement, led by Djumaboi Namangani, for example, has 5,000 armed insurgents, including Uzbeks, Tajiks, Afghans and….Chechens. The objective of this group is to form a separatist Islamic State in Ferghana. Sources in Bishkek state that there is strong, documented evidence that Namangani is closely linked with bin Laden, who is financing his operations. As the countdown to the Olympics starts, the Australian police state that a terrorist attack is a possibility. Looking at their security operation, one understands their position : The Australian police have launched a massive security operation, the biggest the country has seen since the end of the Second World War and certainly the biggest in Olympic history : 5,500 police and security personnel 3,500 firemen 1 squadron of Black Hawk helicopters 1 detachment from the Special Services Divers from the Australian Navy 3,500 special security personnel (anti-bomb unit, anti-terrorist brigade, body guards) Paul McKinnon, Chief of the Command Centre for Olympic Security, said that “these will be the safest games in history”. Whether or not the Muslims manage a campaign of violence, one thing is certain : the Australian Aborigines, led by Chief Charles Perkins, are determined to make a public display claiming their rights to ancestral lands. Perkins says “There will be fires in cars and buildings and nothing else” during the games. These people are not international terrorists and are simply trying to bring public attention to their human rights claims….rather like the Indians in the USA. While the Aborigines survived attempts at genocide during the last four centuries, they have seen their ancestral lands (and culture) confiscated by successive governments. Now they feel the public eye will be on them…but certainly they will not use explosive devices in the Games. This correspondent of Pravda.ru met a representative of the Australian aboriginals in 1976 in the UK. Asked about his people’s fight for their rights, this representative said “Young man, people will always have their rights…these rights will naturally be theirs if they deserve them and if they know how to fight for them…but violence always created more violence”. As the Olympic flame burns for the first time in the third millennium, let us see if all the groups who contest the existence of the Olympic flame can do more than destroy…and present an alternative. Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Lissabon

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