ASIO Report to Parliament 2010-11

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Lumpen's picture
Joined: 11-02-08
Oct 13 2011 13:09
ASIO Report to Parliament 2010-11
SMH wrote:
Where such confrontations have occurred, the ‘anti-fascists’ have outnumbered the nationalist and racist extremists and police intervention has been required,” the report states in its ”Australia’s Security Environment” section.

As reported by the ever-diligent Slackbastard, The Australian had a very different take on the report:

Foreign spy cells lie in wait, security agency warns wrote:
The agency warns that as well as Islamist extremism, fuelled in part by wars in Afghanistan and tensions over Palestine, an anti-fascist movement had recently emerged led by self-styled anarchists determined to confront other interest groups.

For those keeping score at home, here is the full quote concerning anarchists from the report:

ASIO Report to Parliament wrote:
There has been a persistent but small sub-culture of racist and nationalist extremists in Australia, forming groups, fragmenting, re-forming and often fighting amongst themselves. Over the past year, such extremists have been active in protesting against various Muslim interests. Local racist and nationalist extremists maintain links and draw inspiration from like-minded overseas extremists, and much of their rhetoric and activity is derivative, heavily influenced by developments overseas. At present, their main focus is propaganda and engendering support. However, there is always the possibility of a lone actor or autonomous group inspired by a nationalist or racist extremist ideology engaging in violence as a means of provoking a wider response. A recent development is the emergence of an ‘anti-fascist’ movement, led by self-styled anarchists, which aims to confront those it identifies as fascists, including some of the nationalist and racist extremist groups also of interest to ASIO. Where such confrontations have occurred, the ‘anti-fascists’ have outnumbered the nationalist and racist extremists and police intervention has been required. [My emphasis]

Australian issue-motivated groups in general use legitimate protest to publicise and further the cause they advocate. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 states that lawful advocacy, protest or dissent shall not be regarded as prejudicial to security, and ASIO’s interest in protest is limited to that which is unlawful or violent. Unfortunately, while most issue-motivated groups act lawfully, there are some who do not. There is also a small minority who seek to use protests around a range of emotive issues to further their own (often unrelated) political agenda by provoking, inciting or engaging in violence. It is this fringe that is of concern to ASIO.

ASIO has seen violent and provocative tactics used deliberately by this fringe at a range of protests in recent years, although the frequency and intensity of such violence tends to wax and wane. Provocative tactics used include attacks on police managing protests using ‘invisible’ weapons such as fishing hooks flicked into faces or squirting dangerous or unpleasant liquids in order to provoke an apparently disproportionate police response. [My emphasis] The aim is to gain public support and to escalate the anger of those protesting in order to cause widespread violence in an attempt to de-legitimise the government position and undermine the rule of law. Other unlawful tactics used include property damage and sabotage.

Given the amount of surveillance at these protests, and the frequency and history of similar accusations by police, I would personally be very interested in seeing evidence for this. Has anyone been charged, let alone found guilty, of "fishing hooks flicked into faces"? It's an old accusation constantly trotted out and for whatever reason, has never been challenged by a single journalist – and I've been looking.

On a slightly more unselfinterested note, of more concern and interest is the Visa Security Assessments.

In its 2009–10 Report to Parliament, ASIO highlighted the need to divert resources to undertaking security assessment of IMAs for DIAC. Prior to 2011, it was government policy that all IMAs be subject to the full ASIO investigative security assessment process

In other words, "we were asked to engage in bullshit politicised assessments at the behest of the government. Not so much now though". Does make me wonder about the people who have been found to be refugees by the UNHCR but refused visas due to adverse (and secretive) ASIO reports.

Also, try not to read too much into the semiotics of ASIOs choices in stock photography. You might cry.

ASIO wrote:
@ndy's picture
Joined: 17-03-06
Oct 18 2011 13:56

I wrote some moar blah here: