Subject: California ‘Terrorist Incident’
Let me start by thanking you again for the confidence you’ve shown in asking me to investigate this matter. As promised, what follows (what an honour to have access to sent to your personal email!) are the salient points that will appear in my final report. This will also go to the Minister, the D-G and Department Heads.
- No one from the Intelligence Community comes out of this looking good but Signals Intercept is probably most to blame. Although the D-G repeatedly reminds us all that there are no short cuts in the War Against Terror and initiative should always be applauded, S.I. certainly took the broadest possible interpretation of their brief.
- I find it depressing that in the phone calls, made subsequent to the incident, Signals Intercept managed to pick up clear references to “smuggling” and “queue jumping” but missed “Pirates of the Caribbean”, which clearly appears in the transcripts that I saw.
- Similarly, I suggest that the references to “Don-al-Duq”, “Gufi” and “Buzal-i-tyar”, which were picked up in mobile phone exchanges prior to the trip be re-read in the context of the broader conversation in each case.
- I doubt even our friends at the CIA would interpret the public declaration at the airport McDonald’s that “We’re going to the happiest place of all!” as an unequivocal embracing of martyrdom.
- While we should all always be vigilant about the radicalisation of the youth of Australia, not every unaccompanied minor travelling overseas should be presumed to be running away from home to join a jihadi terrorist organisation. CCTV footage distinctly shows the parents of both boys driving them to Tullamarine and waving them goodbye at the security screening gate. It is my strongly-held professional view that these people be released immediately and that none of them be considered candidates for extraordinary rendition. We will just have to make up our quota some other way.
- The Instagram image of one of the suspects wearing a ‘Death Cult’ t-shirt before boarding QF83 does not, in the opinion of anyone sane, constitute affiliation with the Islamic State movement. I direct your attention to the facts that (a) the text was not written in Arabic script as per the usual IS MO; and (b) according to Google, Death Cult was a post-punk band, prominent in the UK in the mid-80s ($12.99 on iTunes).
- While I know there has been great interest, not to say pressure, in this matter from the absolute highest levels of government, I must stress again that a ‘Magic Kingdom passport’ does not constitute dual citizenship. As such, the likelihood of us successfully revoking Australian citizenship and thereby denying either child re-entry to the country remains vanishingly small.
- Stan (no last name given), who is Assistant Acting Head of Crowd Control and In-Store Merchandising, said he was unaware of any extradition agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the theme park in question but added that it didn’t sound like something “that Mickey would approve of”.
- That said, I have not yet raised this specific matter with DFAT as I’m still getting teased by those guys over our request for assistance in the recovery of the departmental funds we loaned to that Nigerian “prince”.
If you’d like a face-to-face briefing I will be in the office all day on Monday and Tuesday but taking two weeks holiday with my family after that. As per Departmental recommendations we will not be crossing any borders (international or state) in our travels.
The new book from Chaser Quarterly:
Charles Firth's Fractured Fairy Tales
In bookshops or buy now