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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Security chief warns of 'radicalised' Australians

Australia's security chief has warned of the risk of "radicalised" home-grown extremists committing terror acts, adding that "lone wolf" attacks such as occurred in Norway could not be ruled out.

David Irvine, Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), said that a decade after the September 11 attacks on the United States, "radicalised" youth posed a realistic threat.

"In terms of current threats, the fact that Al-Qaeda and its associated anti-Western transnational terrorist partners have declared Australia to be a legitimate target of attack continues to be a major concern," he said.

"Of equal concern is that small numbers of Australians have absorbed the ideology of violent religious extremism and have planned or are contemplating and planning acts of terrorism in Australia or overseas.

"This home-grown brand of terrorism, involving mostly young Australians who have been 'radicalised' either by Australian extremists or by overseas inspiration, requires constant vigilance."

In an address late Monday to Adelaide University, Irvine said an event similar to the July bomb and gun attacks which killed 77 people in Norway could not be ruled out in Australia. Far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has confessed to the attacks.

"Particular worries are the so-called 'lone wolf' or 'stand-alone' groups who act independently and throw off few clues as to malicious intent," Irvine said.

He praised the work of Australian authorities, particularly ASIO, in preventing a terror attack on home soil for many years.

"Nevertheless, planning for terrorist attacks on Australian soil has occurred and has been thwarted by ASIO and its law enforcement partners since 9/11," he said.

"Our job is to predict and alert, thereby to prevent the bomb going off."

Irvine, who has headed ASIO since March 2009 and previously led Australia's overseas secret intelligence collection agency (ASIS), said balancing the need to protect the country against personal privacy was a constant concern.

Australia has disrupted four major terror plots since the 9/11 attacks on the United States which killed close to 3,000 people, with 37 of the 38 people prosecuted for those plots being Australian citizens.

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Euro lawmakers gather in Kiev to condemn anti-Semitism

Dozens of lawmakers gathered in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Monday for an international conference condemning anti-Semitism.

Participants at the event, organized by Ukrainian lawmaker and businessman Oleksandr Feldman, issued a joint declaration commemorating the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Jews by the Nazis at Babi Yar, which takes place next week.

“Babi Yar should be viewed as a symbol of man’s inhumanity to man and an example of the horrific cost which can be imposed in the name of hatred and intolerance,” the declaration stated.

Educational efforts must be reinforced all over the globe to establish the Babi Yar massacre as not simply another event within the horrific scope of the Holocaust, but as a telling indicator of the breadth of Nazi evil.”

During the two-day gathering delegates from over a dozen countries debated the significance of the Holocaust at the Ukrainian parliament with local lawmakers.

Vice President of the Bundetstag Petra Pau spoke on behalf of the German government saying events which took place in her country over 70 years ago were examples of why supporters of democracy must stay united against totalitarianism.

“Germany’s history teaches us that the reasons fascism gained power was not that the Nazis were so strong but because democrats were hopelessly divided on crucial issues,” the social democrat said. “This must be remembered when commemorating the millions of victims of the Holocaust.”

Israel’s representative to the conference, MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu) used the opportunity to call on delegates to oppose the expected unilateral Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations.

“Nowadays we often see that anti-Semitism is being converted into anti-Israeli sentiment,” he said. “Recognizing a country which does not recognize us could potentially take us back to the dark times of the mid- 20th century.”

Other lawmakers in attendance included MPs John Mann and Denis MacShance of the UK; Raffi Hovannisian of Armenia; Yusuf Ziya Irbec of Turkey; and Rufat Guliyev of Azerbaijan.

“I first arrived in Kiev in 1975 to study and I know the city very well,” Guliyev said. “But before I visited Babi Yar I had never realized the size and significance of the Holocaust.”

At the end of the gathering participants issued a second declaration calling for the establishment of a museum in Kiev depicting the history of the Jews in Ukraine.

“So as to transform this important vision into reality, we call for broad international support – both moral and financial,” it said.

Feldman, who is also the head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, said he hoped to turn the conference into an annual event.


Romanian Foreign Minister Claims Dutch Govt 'Held Captive' by Far-Right Party

The Dutch government is "held captive" by a far-right party with anti-European attitudes, according to Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi.

Commenting Monday on Dutch opposition to Romania and Bulgaria's accession to Europe's visa-free Schengen zone, he stressed that "France and Germany have become more flexible, they have proposed us a two-step entry scenario".

The two countries, however, have "failed to convince the Dutch government which is in a certain way held captive by the anti-European and anti-immigration political agenda of an extremist party," Baconschi added, as cited by Romanian news agency Mediafax.

The Dutch center-right government, which vowed last week to block Romania and Bulgaria's bids to join the Schengen zone, rules with the backing of Geert Wilders' far-right Freedom Party (PVV).

According to diplomatic sources close to the matter, the two countries, which firmly opposed the the two countries' Schengen accession in spring, advising them to step up the fight against corruption, "left the door open for compromise", which was suggested by the Polish EU presidency.

Poland came up with a two-step solution that would see air and sea borders open by the end of October.

A decision on giving the two countries dates on the land borders, "which are more controversial," would only be taken "in the next year," the source said.

The Dutch government, however, remained adamant that it would "not even approve the partial entry."

Several days ahead of Thursday's meeting of foreign ministers of EU member states on the issue, where all decisions are taken by a unanimous vote, Baconschi expressed hopes that the Netherlands' blockage would be surmounted.