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Australia to compile terror list

Australian Advertiser | August 7, 2005
By Ellen Connolly and Linda Silmalis

AUSTRALIA is working with Britain to compile a database of suspected extremists who could be deported from the country.

It will also examine Britain's new laws, which give authorities the power to close places of worship which are being used as centres for inciting extremism.

The move comes ahead of next month's national terrorism summit in Canberra, which will focus on the need to increase security measures.

The Sunday Telegraph can also reveal that the Prime Minister has planned a meeting with Islamic leaders in a further measure to combat hate-preaching.

It is understood the Federal Government wants to enter both meetings with a fresh approach and does not want to be committed to following Britain's lead.

The meeting with Islamic community members will be held in Sydney or Canberra.

Senior ministers will also be invited to attend.

The discussions will focus on ways the Government and the community can counter apologists for terrorism and people who advocate violence as a solution to problems.

In other measures to prevent a terrorist attack, Australia's security agencies are understood to be working closely with Britain to compile a more comprehensive database of suspected extremists from around the world.

The list will include overseas-born extremist Islamic clerics, people inciting terrorism on websites, and those known to have trained in Pakistan or Iraq.

Senior ministers and members of the Islamic Council, in addition to community leaders, will be among those who will be invited to attend the talks.

In the UK yesterday, Tony Blair announced new powers to deport or deny entry to foreign nationals who "foster hatred" and an automatic refusal of asylum to anyone who has participated in terrorist activity.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, said the issue of deporting individuals was complex because of citizenship.

Many people who became citizens of Australia did so after relinquishing their citizenship from their birth country.

Among those who could be at risk are Abu Bakr, a militant Muslim living in Australia since 1989, who describes Osama bin Laden as "a great man".

He has had his passport confiscated by ASIO.

Sheik Mohammed Omran, who said the US Government, and not the al-Qaeda leader, was responsible for the September 11 attacks will also be a target of authorities.

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