Tim Blair


New Criterion



Saturday, November 23, 2002
JACK ROCHE is a man of limited intelligence and a burning desire to have one over his fellow-citizens of Australia. He was a natural for the messianic version of Islam. An interview with Colleen Egan in the Enquirer section of today's Oz gives us some novel insights into the man, and more importantly, into al Quaeda's modus operandi for Australia. (Uncle couldn't find it on their Website, but you're welcome to try.}

Roche got involved in Jemaah Islamiya, whose Australian operations were run by twin brothers named Ayub who have since departed our shores for their homeland of choice. He was a willing killer for the cause, evidenced by his meetings with Hambali, the SE Asian branch head of al Quaeda, Bashir the duck and the great and good bin Laden himself, with whom Jack shared a meal in Afghanistan.

So far so good. Jack readily concedes he is willing to commit mayhem on US and Israeli targets in Australia. This would not affect his fellow Australians of course, unless they got in the way.

Here is the interesting bit. Why is the regional head of al Quaeda running Jack directly, by-passing the Ayub clones, who are very cranky when they find out?

The answer is a change in al Quaeda strategy. Since people "of middle-eastern appearance" are bound to attract attention when people perceive their situation to be risky, they need to use people of the same ethnicity as the local mugs.

So Jack leaves his patriarchal beard back in Afghanistan and returns to Australia with instructions to find a couple more pinkos of like inclination who can be sent to al Quaeda land for technical education. Then to wait for instructions.

So why is Jack squawking to the Oz? Well, he's just had a visit from ASIO and he's getting cold feet. He fears arrest and wants to put his side of the story. A good, loyal Aussie bomber of unwelcome foreigners.

Now he has been arrested, and it's all sub judice. But we can ask ourselves, again, some of the questions that the left commentariat were trying to answer for us after the ASIO raids of two weeks ago.

How important is it to keep the local associates of Bashir the duck, and other Australian-resident hate-talkers, under surveillance?

Were the cops who raided Jack's home looking for evidence "heavy-handed", or did they have sufficient reason to anticipate a violent response?

If hate-talking and deliberate incitement to violence can attract the attention of our vilification police, is the involvement of religion a sure protection against HREOC action? Acting HREOC Commissioner Bill Jonas has slapped down the dopy Fred Nile for wanting to ban chadors in public places (just like Singapore), Australia's political leaders have called for us to be alert but not alarmed in response to potential threats of terrorism. I say we should also be vigilant but not vilifying . But HREOC remains silent on the local Islamofascists.

Should Muslim schools be given special attention to prevent these creeps getting at the young?

And should converts to Islam be automatically added to the list of those deserving the attention of ASIO?