Is There a Terrorist Threat or is the Threat Causing Terror?

This blog is to look at the terror laws that enable governments to hold suspects, in this case, held indefinitely. There are real human rights issues and questions that need to be asked as to the intent behind government actions which restricts rights and freedoms.

This is an article from the Washington Post. I found it interesting how Australia is seen as peaceful and yet the most repressive.  Is it because terrorism is the threat or is it the threat of terrorism that is moving us towards winding back civil liberties in the name of security?  Is it sleight of hand or real?  Perhaps Australia is a test case to see how far this can go before people protest.  I wonder?

These are the real questions.


The facial recognition technology is concerning.

Terrified of terror, Australia plans indefinite detention even after sentences are served

By A. Odysseus Patrick By A. Odysseus Patrick

October 8, 2016

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull enters the General Assembly Hall to speak during the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 21. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

SYDNEY — Australia is one of the most peaceful, prosperous and law-abiding countries on Earth. Yet it is about to allow people who might commit terrorism to be held in prison — indefinitely.

Under changes introduced into federal parliament last month by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s center-right government, federal judges could stop prisoners being released after completing terrorism-related sentences. They wouldn’t need to set a release date, although the prisoners’ detention would be reviewed every year.

Judges would need to be convinced by the government that the man or woman was likely to mount some kind of new attack. There would be no new trial, although prisoners would have the right to argue in court that they aren’t a threat.

The change will upend a centuries-old legal principle that prisoners are automatically released when their sentences end.  Even the United States, which has kept suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without trial for over a decade, doesn’t allow prisoners on U.S. soil to be held after their sentences end.

The tough policy reflects a fear among Australians they face an attack like those in Orlando or Nice, France, inspired or directed by the Islamic State.

Still, the harsh measures suggest that the militant Islamic group’s theatrical executions of foreigners and terrorist attacks around the world are achieving one of its goals: to provoke harsh responses in the West that it hopes will fuel more violence between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Although they have a reputation for an easygoing friendliness, around 50 percent of the people in this predominately white, Christian nation want an end to all Islamic immigration, according to an Essential poll published in September. The figure was so high the polling company conducted a second poll to check it wasn’t a rogue result. It wasn’t.

That hostility helps explain the lack of opposition, let alone outrage, among ordinary and expert Australians to the tough new rules, experts say.

“Since Sept. 11 the unthinkable has not only become possible, it has become commonplace,” said George Williams, the dean of the University of New South Wales law school and author and editor of 34 books, including Human Rights Under the Australian Constitution, in an email.

Williams backs the change, even though he acknowledges it overturns what is regarded by many as a fundamental human right. “It is, in the circumstances, a necessary evil,” he said.

Australia’s strict gun laws, ocean borders and physical remoteness make it a tough target for terrorists. But it isn’t immune. In the past three years, there have been four violent incidents linked to the Islamic State, which the Royal Australian Air Force is attacking as part of the U.S. military campaign in Iraq and Syria.

Last month a 22-year-old man shouting “Allahu akbar” stabbed a man on a suburban street in a normally quiet part of Sydney. Suffering deep wounds to his hands and torso, the victim ran to a neighbor’s hairdressing salon and locked a sliding-glass door, which the man tried to break down, witnesses said.

Mohandas Gandhi

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”