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Government's 'terror list' includes dead man

22 January, 2004

Government's 'terror list' includes dead man

The Green Party has accused the government of gross incompetence for today issuing a list of suspected terrorists which includes at least one high profile terrorist suspect who was killed last October.

"Clearly, for all the government's anti-terrorist talk it didn't do even the most elementary checking of a list of twenty people provided by the UN Security Council last year," said Keith Locke, the Green Party's Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

"The list includes Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozhi, an alleged bomb-maker, who was shot by Filipino police on October 12, 2003. The Al-Ghozhi killing was world news, coming six days before US President George Bush visited Manila. Al-Ghozhi had headed the news bulletins three months earlier when he escaped from a Manila prison.

"It is gross incompetence for our anti-terrorist unit not to have picked this up. The government appears to have simply worked off a UN Security Council list issued on September 8, 2003, without any analysis of its own.

"At the time the Terrorism Suppression Act was going through Parliament I asked whether the government would scrutinize lists issued by the UN, before any terrorists were officially designated. I was told they would but clearly they have not.

"In reviewing the Zaoui case the Refugee Status Appeals Authority has highlighted how little the government examines material it gets from overseas agencies, and how this leads to mistakes.

"This is not good enough," said Mr Locke. "This latest farce, coming on top of the mishandling of the Zaoui case, indicates the urgent need for a review into how government agencies handle security issues."

ENDS

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