Raids were conducted by the police and intelligence officers on multiple properties in the Sydney suburbs of Surry Hills, Lakemba, Wiley Park and Punchbowl yesterday, allegedly in disruption of a planned attack to down an aircraft with an improvised device.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia notes the following in this respect:

1. This is yet another instance of the politicisation of “counter-terrorism”. There is simply no reason for all the political and media theatre that has now belong part and parcel of these raids. Any real threat can be dealt with by police without the sensationalist narrative and execution. What is the point of bringing media to the show? What is the purpose of conducting a press conference along with the Prime Minister? What business does the Prime Minister or Justice Minister have in commenting so early on in a criminal investigation? The excessive numbers and force used, projecting the spectacle through media, ready commentary by political leaders, judgments of “terrorism” without any established facts – all this points clearly to the fact that such moves are for political ends not merely security ones.

2. No charges have been laid after more than a full day of police having complete access to the accused and their properties. AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin said that there was no detail of any specific plot. Yet this has not stopped Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from claiming that there was some “elaborate” plot thwarted and Justice Minister Michael Keenan from counting this as the 13th major terrorist plot disrupted on Australian soil. Further, without any established facts, the language of “Islamic-inspired” and “Islamist terror” has been bandied around by all officials.

3. Malcolm Turnbull has been quick to again exploit the spurious “the threat of terrorism is very real” narrative. It is by now well established that the threat of terrorism is statistically negligible compared to other killers in Australia (domestic violence, homicide, alcohol-related deaths, etc.) to which the government pays uncomparably less attention. As for the thoughtless vacuous retort that terrorism is different because of the fear it spreads, well this is precisely how the fear is spread: through sensationalist and irresponsible media and political theatre.

30 July 2017
Media Office
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia