Militant video seems authentic: Downer
ABC News | August 11, 2005
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says a video aired on Arab television, showing a masked militant with an apparent Australian accent, appears to be authentic.
The footage shows the man holding a rifle and criticising the British Prime Minister Tony Blair over the war in Iraq.
The masked man also boasted about a recent attack that killed United States troops in Afghanistan and he said a group of Al Qaeda fighters carried out the operation.
Mr Downer says while it is hard to tell the man's nationality, officials are trying to identify whether he is Australian.
"He seems to be a native English speaker," he said.
"And, bearing in mind we do have a very small number of Australians who are jihadists, who have joined the jihad movement, who have trained with Al Qaeda, we can't rule it out that it's an Australian."
The Federal Opposition's foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, says he is sickened by the video.
Mr Rudd says Australian agencies must find the man.
"A terrorist is a terrorist and our attitude to terrorists is one of zero tolerance," he said.
"We believe that ASIO and the Australian intelligence agencies need every level of support from the Government and every resource they need to hunt and track down this person and to bring them to justice."