Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Australian National Radio interviewed me today about the four Australian citizens of Somali and Lebanese descent who allegedly were involved in a terrorist plot in Australia. According to the charges, they planned a guerrilla attack with automatic weapons on Holsworthy Barracks, a military complex in the scrub lands southwest of Sydney. Australian officials said the four were affiliated with the Somali extremist organization, al-Shabaab. Police charged only one of the men with intent to carry out a terrorist attack. They said at least one member of the group had travelled to Somalia to participate in the insurgency against the Somali government. The interesting aspect of this case, if the allegations are true, is that it represents the first case of which I am aware that anyone associated with al-Shabaab intended to carry out an attack outside Somalia or the countries bordering Somalia. If the allegations are accurate, it also raises the question whether al-Shabaab authorized the attack or this small group decided on its own to carry out the operation. Image: AAP: Julian Smith, via ABC.