Update from The Australian:
Hicks was al-Qa’ida’s golden boy: inmate
Patrick Walters, National security editor
February 24, 2007
DAVID Hicks was al-Qa’ida’s “24-carat Golden Boy” and was willing to undertake suicide missions, including crashing a plane into a building, a former Guantanamo Bay inmate has claimed.
In a 148-page document written for US government terrorism investigators, British former inmate Feroz Abbasi wrote that Hicks wanted to “go back to Australia and rob and kill Jews”.
Abbasi’s account also made the claim that Hicks wanted to crash a plane into a building and details the Australian terror suspect’s behaviour in al-Qai’da training camps in Afghanistan. The claims made by Abbasi, who was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2005 and has never been charged, are detailed in next week’s Time magazine.
In a signed statement made on October 20, 2004, Abbasi – who was arrested in Afghanistan in 2001 after being caught carrying a hand grenade in his underpants – repudiated his written account of Hicks in its entirety, describing the allegations made against the Australian as “ludicrous in their content (yet believed by dense investigators)”.
According to Time, Hicks was nicknamed “Golden Boy” because he was so clearly al-Qa’ida’s favourite recruit. Abbasi wrote in his original statement that Hicks, a former kangaroo skinner and father of two who converted to Islam, wanted to “go out with that last big adrenalin rush”.
“He once told me in Afghanistan that if he were to go into a building of Jews with an automatic weapon or as a suicide bomber he would have to say something like, ‘there is no God but Allah’ ect (sic) just so he could see the look of fear on their faces, before he takes them out,” Abbasi wrote.
“I can only speculate as to why he likes capturing defenceless animals … All these factors can only point to the reasons why he wanted to hijack a civilian plane and plough it into a civilian building.”
Australian authorities have long maintained that Hicks received the highest level of terrorist training of any caucasian who attended al-Qa’ida training camps in Afghanistan.
Canberra should not convince the US to let the Taliban fighter come home without being charged, writes foreign editor Greg Sheridan
From The Australian
FIRST the process trumped the substance. Now the politics might trump the process. That is the real tragedy of the David Hicks case. There is a danger of a grave injustice occurring. And that injustice would be if Hicks did not have to stand trial and account for his actions in joining four separate terrorist groups – the Kosovo Liberation Army, Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Taliban and al-Qa’ida.