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Are our spooks looking the wrong way?

16 July, 2004

Are our spooks looking the wrong way?

Green MP Keith Locke is concerned that the New Zealand and Australian security agencies might be overlooking the threat from supposedly 'friendly' countries like Israel.

"It is damning that one of the jailed Israeli spies, Eli Cara, lived for four years in Australia with a fake job cover, and travelled to New Zealand 24 times without any alarms ringing with either our Security Intelligence Service (SIS) or the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)," said Mr Locke, the Green Security and Intelligence spokesperson.

"If it hadn't been for an alert New Zealander at the passport office, the Israeli agents might have got off scot-free and Mossad may have been able to plan another political assassination, this time with the killer using a false New Zealand passport.

"The question is: prior to March, when the passport fraud was detected, was the SIS devoting any resources to monitoring Israeli government activities here, and if not, why not?"

Mr Locke pointed out that Mossad has a long record of international terrorism, including political assassination and kidnapping, often involving false passports.

"We've yet to see any evidence that our security services are at all attuned to the danger of state-run terrorists, be they the French agents who bombed the Rainbow Warrior in 1985, or the Mossad agents of today.

"Instead, our spooks seem to be following Washington's agenda and chasing the mirage of Islamic terrorism in New Zealand.

"It will be interesting to see if the Bush administration condemns Israel's violation of our sovereignty," said Mr Locke. "In the past, Washington has largely looked the other way when Israel has conducted terrorist activities abroad.

"In the meantime, we need some answers from the SIS and ASIO about how they fell down on the job."


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