Why terrorism loves our justice

NO matter how the Victorian Court of Appeal framed its decision to quash the
conviction of Joseph 'Jihad Jack' Thomas, it has handed al-Qaeda, Jemaah
Islamiyah and all other terrorist organisations a major victory and
confirmed the adage the law is an ass.
Their Honours, buried deep in their law books looking for musty black letter
legalisms, might prefer not to be confronted by the truth. 
But those who followed the prosecution of Jihad Jack would be well aware
that the smug-featured fellow who now presents himself as a humble,
misunderstood Melbourne taxi driver was just five years ago standing
cheek-by-jowl with Osama bin Laden - the Uber Gruppen Fuhrer of killing and
maiming legions of innocent civilians since 9/11 and for many years before
They may wish to accept the legalistic excuse that Thomas' statement given
to members of the Australian Federal Police was tainted because Thomas did
not have a lawyer present in Pakistan, but members of the public have every
reason to ask why the facts have been ignored in favour of legal argument? 
It is not as if Thomas denied the contents of his lengthy statement - he
repeated much of its content to Sally Neighbour on the ABC's Four Corners
program on February 27. 
That interview has been removed from the ABC's website. But if one simply
searches the internet, Thomas' smiling features appear, not smooth shaven
and dressed in Western garb as he was for court but bearded and beaming
beneath the turban he wore when he was pursuing his sworn path of jihad in
Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
Some judges, smarter than others, understand the public thinks the courts
are a laughing stock and why the Jihad Jack case won't cause the public to
alter that view. 
Putting aside the AFP evidence for one moment, Neighbour's interview
provides ample proof from his own mouth that the irksome little creep now
posing as a misguided suburban family man voluntarily signed up for the
Islamofascist cause. 
He trained with their prized senior foreign recruits (David 'Daoud' Hicks,
among them), was presented to bin Laden (even shook hands with him),
received money from them, permitted them to falsify the passport he used and
returned to Australia in anticipation of hearing from them again.
Jack Thomas claimed that he wanted to walk away from the organisation after
accepting the money and an altered passport. 
According to Thomas, al-Qaeda's Khalid Bin Attash told him bin Laden wanted
a white Australian to be a sleeper for orders from abroad or from members of
the network in Australia to mount attacks similar to those carried out
His meeting with bin Laden was not some amazing coincidence - he had
previously met the Australian leaders of JI, the Indonesian twin brothers
Abdul Rahim and Abdul Rahman Ayub and taken part in paintball war games,
drills and live weapons firing in camps in NSW and Victoria. 
Small wonder that some from the families of those murdered in Bali by the
Ayub brothers' associates felt absolutely nauseated when they watched
Thomas' smarmily emerge from prison courtesy of the appellate judges'
He has his defenders of course, most predictably Julian Burnside QC, who
preposterously has written: "It is nonsense to suggest Jack Thomas is a
terrorist or he represents a threat to the community. There is no suggestion
he has done anything at all which threatens Australia or Australians." 
As if training in Australia with leading JI figures was the sort of thing
most well-meaning chaps do when not collecting for the Salvation Army or
training with the local bush fire brigade, let alone dashing off to
Afghanistan and swearing allegiance to followers of a death cult. 
Silken-tongued counsellors all too frequently condescend to assure the
public that the only certain way to fight terrorism is through maintaining
the rule of law but maintenance of the narrowest view and the strictest
letter of the law while ignoring the overall reality of Jihad Jack's case
necessarily tests one's faith in the whole judicial process. 
Unfortunately, this phenomenon of portraying those who would wish by their
actions and ideologies to destroy our civilisation as victims rather than as
the aggressors they so obviously are is by no means limited to Australia. 
The British and the US courts are riddled with judges just as determined to
keep their eyes shut to the world about them while going out of their way to
ensure that those who wish to bring it down are given every liberty
available under the legal system developed along Judaeo-Christian moral
guidelines to do so. 
What the Victorian judges seem not to understand is that judicial commands
to juries to ignore material may have some minor relevance in their petty
fiefdoms, the wider public is making judgments based on material in the
public domain, on television, in newspapers and on reputable websites. 
While they may object to the jury deciding Thomas' guilt on the basis of a
statement he gave to the AFP, the wider public has had the benefit of
viewing him on television. 
His lawyers may claim that the AFP statement was tainted, that it was made
under duress, but there is absolutely no suggestion the interview he gave
the ABC was in any way similarly compromised. 
No matter what the appellate court may say, what Thomas has said must
prevail and justice must be done.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Brooks Isoldi, editor


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