Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Brownshirt terrorism in Australia?

Yesterday as I was scanning Australian headlines, I came upon "Sniffer dogs help fire investigation," with a lede that mentioned a "kebab cafe." Sensing that "kebab" might be code for Middle Eastern, I decided to take a look. Sure enough. A shop located in a section of Sydney and owned by a Kurd has most likely been bombed. I waited until today for more coverage, but I needn't have bothered. There ain't none.

Basically two stories have been written—one simply states the facts of the event and the other contains an interview with the owner. That's it. Nada. And neither story has moved beyond the Australian press.

Can you imagine that a cafe were bombed in Israel without full coverage on CNN, Fox, the AP, the NY Times and the Washington Post?

Here is the initial report—

A cafe in Sydney's south-west has been destroyed by a large, loud explosion overnight.

The blast happened just after midnight at a Panania pizza and kebab cafe on Anderson Avenue.

It sent the cafe's roller door flying into the air and shattered many nearby shop windows.

No one was injured as the cafe was closed at the time, however there was a group of six people in a small flat at the back of the building.

New South Wales Fire Brigade Superintendent Ian Krimmer says it was a massive blast.

"As a result of the incident there was a subsequent fire which threatened to spread to several adjoining buildings," he said.

"Fire crews were on scene within eight minutes - they had quickly contained the fire to the building origin."

He says the explosion damaged buildings 50 metres away.

"There is a fair amount of debris and bricks that have fallen onto the roadway in front of this particular shop," Supt Krimmer said.

The cause of the explosion is yet to be determined.

Police are asking people who own businesses in the vicinity of Panania Post Office to contact Bankstown or Revesby police about securing their property.

A slightly different version gives this—

Witnesses told reporters a man was seen running from the rear of the building shortly before the explosion, reports said.

NSW Police and NSW Fire will jointly investigate the blaze and a crime scene has been established at the site.

Larrissa Cummings' interview with the owner produced this—

The owner of a Sydney takeaway cafe ripped apart by a powerful blast suspects he may have been the target of a bomb attack.

Auburn businessman Max Polat, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday he was still coming to terms with the destruction of the Darling Cafe in Panania, which he bought from another local kebab shop owner about 15 months ago.

And he revealed that he had been viciously abused by racist youths a few weeks ago.

Although Mr Polat could recall no specific "enemies" he said he was almost forced to call the police last month when the gang began swearing at him and behaving violently in the cafe.

"They were angry that I had an Australian flag hanging up, when I am Kurdish," he said.

"They asked me what nationality I was and I told them I have great respect for the Australian flag and people and then they started swearing and one of them tried to attack me."

Mr Polat said he did not know the youths and had not seen them since the incident.

Fire investigators yesterday revealed Sunday's explosion was not caused by a faulty gas main, as first suspected.

Inspector Paul Bailey said an initial inspection found the main intact - indicating the blast was caused by something else.

He said the outward force of the blast suggested the flashpoint was somewhere near the front of the cafe, however a full-scale investigation and clean up would not be possible until insurance company inspectors visited the site today.

Imagine that! No police investigation until the insurance company can get there!

The blogger-journalist David Neiwert of Orcinus has been pointing out terrorist acts from the right for quite some time. As it happens, yesterday was no exception. He quotes from a report in Congressional Quarterly

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not list right-wing domestic terrorists and terrorist groups on a document that appears to be an internal list of threats to the nation's security.

And then Neiwert notes—

Here's a reality check for the Department of Homeland Security: After the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, through Jan. 1, 2000, there were over 40 serious cases of domestic terrorism -- some of it realized, some of it thwarted -- committed by right-wing extremists.

These were not petty or mere property crimes. They included the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics and abortion clinics by Eric Rudolph; a plan to attack a gathering of military families in the Midwest; and a plot to blow up a California propane facility. In every instance, the planned or perpetrated act involved serious violence in which potentially many people could be killed or injured.

Neiwert concludes—

The report also makes clear that this apparently is only a draft version of the list of apparent threats. But if it emerges that this in fact is the DHS view of domestic terrorism, then it should be clear there is something seriously wrong with its priorities.

And then, perhaps, we should begin asking some of the uncomfortable questions that naturally arise, to wit: Does this administration's heavy rightward political tilt have any role in its failure to recognize right-wing extremists as the serious security threat that they objectively are?

Australians may need to ask that question of their media and their government.

Follow-up post
Terror in Sydney Australia

Post a Comment

<< Simply Appalling Home

Atom feed

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Blog Search Engine

Blog Top Sites

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?