Wait for it..Howard says there is now a specific terror threat.

Crikey this is covenient. I wondered this morning if we would be told this as ASIO has been making moises over the last couple of days about non-specific threats.

Today the PM announced that there is one that has been identified.

Christian Kerr in Crikey writes:

And – you guessed it – as a result part of the new anti terror legislation will be rushed into Parliament after Question Time this afternoon, while the Senate will also be recalled to debate the bill tomorrow.

The PM expects legislation to pass the House of Representatives tonight and hopes to have it
through the Senate as soon as possible.”This is not a political issue,” he said.

“This is something I hope the parliament can act in a united fashion in the public interest.”

Openness, transparency and accountability were reportedly in hiding awaiting clarification of the status of the shoot-to-kill provisions.

Immediate terrorist threat, PM warns

THERE was an immediate terror threat to Australia, Prime Minister John Howard said today. Because of this there would be an urgent amendment to terror laws.
Mr Howard said the government would rush its tough new anti-terrorism legislation through the House of Representatives tonight and the Senate would be recalled tomorrow to ensure it becomes law as soon as possible.
“After question time today, the attorney-general will introduce into the House an urgent amendment to the existing counter terrorism legislation,” he said.
“We will seek passage of that amendment through all stages this evening.
“The president of the Senate will recall the Senate to meet tomorrow afternoon at 2pm and it’s the government’s wish that this amendment be passed into law as soon as possible.”
Mr Howard said he had not yet received any information that would require a change in the general terror threat level for Australia.
“If we received advice to that effect, which we have not received, we would respond appropriately to that advice,” he said.
Mr Howard said he could not comment further about the information he received and would not say whether the intelligence advice had come from Australian or other authorities.
“We have seen material. It is a cause of concern,” he said.
“We have been given advice that if this amendment is enacted as soon as possible the capacity of the authorities to respond will be strengthened.
“And I am satisfied on what I have been told, and the government and the national security ministers in cabinet are satisfied, that that is the case but I do not intend and cannot and will not go into any of the operational details.”
He said he had briefed Opposition Leader Kim Beazley and Opposition homeland security spokesman Arch Bevis last night and this morning. – AAP

Does the fact that I was expecting the government to announce this make it less real? The opposition leader thinks it is real.
Great timing though. ASIO often springs to the suport of the government in times of evidence- babies over board, weapons of mass destruction etc. ASIO is really just an instrument in the hand of government policy makers?

See also:

ASIO fears terror cells among us

Warning of home threat

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