THE HUNT IS ON
NINE MONTHS AND COUNTING UNTIL APEC 'WORLD LEADERS CONFERENCE' IN SYDNEY
Maybe someone stole the now missing rocket launchers from an Australian Defence Force ammo dump, or maybe the armour-busting weapons were smuggled into Australia illegally.
Whatever. The fact is at least eight incredibly destructive weapons, that can unpacked, fired and dumped in a car boot within minutes, are now missing somewhere in Australia.
In just on nine months, the Australian prime minister will celebrate one of the crowning glories of his leadership years when he hosts the APEC conference in Sydney, bringing key world leaders to Australia, including US President Bush.
You can probably understand now why cops, detectives, counter-terror security officials, government ministers, the prime minister himself and key intelligence agencies are shitting themselves.
It's the stuff of horror stories.
From the Melbourne Age :
ASIO has been called in to help investigate whether rocket launchers have been stolen from the army and possibly sold to criminal gangs or terrorists.Presumably knowing these weapons are out there, and that terrorists would pay top dollar for them, means this event constitutes a major terrorist threat.
With thousands of high-level foreign visitors due in Australia over the coming nine months for a series of meetings leading to the APEC summit in Sydney in September, ASIO, Australian Federal Police, NSW Police counter-terrorism specialists and the Middle Eastern crime squad are all involved in a major effort to track down eight 66-millimetre rocket launchers capable of destroying a light-armoured vehicle.
Police have reportedly paid $50,000 to recover a ninth launcher and explosives. Security around all ADF munition supplies has been strengthened.
The light anti-armour weapon is used by infantry to destroy light-armoured vehicles and bunkers or to knock holes in buildings.
So why has the prime minister been so quiet about it?
And yet, when a mysterious white substance turned up at the Indonesian embassy last year, he rushed in front of the cameras to announce Australia's first biological terror attack, which turned out to be nothing of the sort.
Perhaps eight missing rocket launchers constitutes an all-too-real terror threat you don't want to promote, too loudly.
Not with the prime minister's good mate, President Bush, coming to town.
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