Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Terrorism is not something new

Some people have a very short term memory of history and discuss terrorism as if it were something that emerged in the late 1990's, and exploded in 2001, as a response to American or Israeli foreign policy.

This conclusion is based on ignoring the last few decades, since the early 1970's when Yasser Arafat's PLO, and other Palestinian groups like Black September, were already frantically hijacking passenger planes across Europe and the middle east, hijacking cruise ships, murdering Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and in 1983 when over 200 American marines were slaughtered in the bombing of their facility in Lebanon.

Australian news outlets have been reporting how intelligence reveals that 30 years ago, Palestinian terrorist groups plotted to assassinate Labor leader Bob Hawke for his pro-Israeli views, as well as targetting some prominent Israeli diplomats and Jewish community leaders. Bob Hawke later went on to become one of this countries best Prime Ministers.

Most worryingly, ASIO believed pro-Palestinian terrorists had a clear operational interest in Australia and that had been demonstrated by visits from militants.

In September 1973, Abdulhamid Abdulla Azzam, a member of the military branch of Al Fatah - the principal Palestinian terror group - visited Melbourne. He was arrested on his way out, charged with immigration offences and subsequently deported.

Information from the Israeli Security Service claimed he was a member of the extremist Black September group who had launched a terror attacks in Thailand and was interested in operations against Israeli targets in Australia.