No Federal Govt inquiry into national terrorism threat

UPDATE: THE Gillard Government will not commit to establishing an independent inquiry after a man convicted on terrorism charges slipped through the national security net, claiming asylum last year.

It was revealed during Senate estimates this week the man, who was convicted of terror-related charges in Egypt in the late 1990s, was allowed into the country.

The hearings showed the man who arrived late last year, was not initially identified as a convicted terrorist, and was transferred to the low security Inverbrackie detention centre in South Australia.

Revelations sparked Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison to call on the government to establish an inquiry into how it happened, and "who knew what when".

Mr Morrison said the issue was an outrage, saying it showed senior government minister were not communicating properly, and the security checks on asylum seekers had failed.

He alleged the man involved had committed crimes including "premeditated murder, firearm and explosives possession and destruction of property".

Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor would not confirm whether the government would initiate such an inquiry on Friday.

Instead, a spokeswoman for the minister attacked Mr Morrison, saying he was "willing to exploit national security matters to whip up fear and grab a headline".

A statement from the spokeswoman said Mr Morrison was fear-mongering and "talking about matters best kept between law enforcement and security agencies".

"The Gillard Government takes national security very seriously and it is irresponsible of the Coalition to reflect on the work of security and law enforcement agencies in the manner it has," the statement reads.

While Mr Morrison said he would move in parliament next to establish an inquiry if the government did not, he would not commit the Coalition to investigating the issue if the Opposition wins government in September.


Senate hears man with Al Qaeda link in low secuitry detention

THE Coalition has called on the Federal Government to establish an independent inquiry into "the mishandling of the detention of a convicted terrorist" who has been living in low security detention for as long as five months.

In Senate estimates this week, it was revealed the man, who had links to Al Qaeda, was transferred to the Inverbrackie detention centre after arriving by boat five months ago.

Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison this morning called on the government to initiate an independent inquiry into how the man was allowed to enter Australia.

Mr Morrison said if the government did not call for such an inquiry, he would move for one when parliament sits next week.

However, he refused to commit the Coalition to establishing such an inquiry if the government did not, arguing the ball was in the government's court on the issue.

The government has been contacted for response.

Topics:  immigration scott morrison senate estimates

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