25th September (2014). Thursday morning at 6.30 am. A member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was attacked. The 41-year-old Navy man told police he was threatened and assaulted by two men of Middle Eastern appearance while wearing his full uniform at Bella Vista, Sydney. They threatened to cut his throat (Channel Nine News). Suffering “minor bruising”, he reported the matter to police and then attended Kings Cross police station in person.
ADF personnel are warned to be careful when wearing their uniform in public following the Bella Vista incident. The fight is now on Australian shores. The media did their usual blitz. The Australian, SBS, SMH, The Guardian, Business Insider etc.
Later than night…
Terror laws clear Senate, enabling entire Australian web to be monitored, and for whistleblowers, journalists, and bloggers to be jailed for 10 years if they disclose information about a special intelligence operation.
26th September. On Friday morning, the officer/sailor withdraws the assault claim.
I have reported this incident on several occasions and called the media unit in New South Wales on Friday. A very pleasant officer confirmed (via phone) that, “We don’t believe it happened”.
It was also reported that the Navy man had been off work (sick), and had not received the email advising personnel not to wear uniform in public. There is the possibility that this Navy man was making up an excuse (for something) – and thought this would be more convincing that a flat tyre – making this an extraordinary coincidence.
Is there a possibility that this event was orchestrated to put the screws on Canberra – to make sure The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 passed? You decide.
But let us backtrack to a few days (and months).
“…law enforcement authorities became aware of information in May of this year (2014) that a group of people in Sydney were at least talking about plans to carry out random attacks on individuals in Australia and they were kept under surveillance,” Federal Attorney-General George Brandis told Macquarie Radio.
18 September: The raid. 800 police launched synchronised raids on houses and vehicles across Sydney’s west and north-west, and Brisbane’s south. “Authorities thwart ‘beheading’ plot in Australia’s biggest ever counter-terrorism raids” (ABC headline). After a few arrests, there is a protest in Lakemba. Mad Man Haron “Meta-data” Monis – who was later to hold up the Lindt Cafe and die at Martin Place – makes a show.
The new anti-terror laws are pending in Canberra.
On the 23rd of September Fergal Davis writes in The Drum, entitled: “Tell us why we need these new anti-terror laws“. “It’s not enough for our elected leaders to say that anti-terrorism legislation is “above politics” – we must insist on there being proper scrutiny of any new laws…”
23rd September – 18-year-old Numan Haider, a terrorism suspect, is shot dead by a Victoria Police officer outside Endeavour Hills police station after stabbing the officers.
24th September – Greens Senator Scott Ludlam is reported as saying on Wednesday evening, before debate was due to commence “I think this Parliament is being bullied to pass something in the heat of a national security crisis that we will later regret, as we regretted an earlier tranche of legislation that we passed in 2005.” The legislation was labelled as “urgent” by Attorney-General George Brandis. Australian Lawyers Association president Greg Barns said the new laws would allow ASIO to conduct surveillance on “anyone, any time, anywhere”, and “There are few, if any, limits now.”
The laws that passed parliament on September 25, 2014, were Stage 1 of the (anti-terror) The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014. Details explained here.
The Belle Vista event revealed a threat to the forces that protect Australia. This highly emotive incident proved to the politicians in Canberra that we are vulnerable in Australia – and that more laws were required.
But is was a non-event. It never happened.