Muslim leaders hit back at terror cell claims

Representatives of Melbourne’s Muslim community have hit back at Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty’s claims of terrorist cells operating in Australia, saying they know nothing of them.

The secretary of Melbourne’s Board of Imams, Sheikh Fehmi el-Naji said he was shocked by Mr Keelty’s estimate that up to 60 suspected Islamic extremists were operating in Australia. “It’s shocking, it’s quite the opposite to what they have been saying,” he said.

After recent ASIO raids in Melbourne and Sydney resulted in no arrests or charges, Sheikh Fehmi said he felt reassured there were no terrorists in Melbourne’s Muslim community. “The raids that have been done on Muslims involved no charges and the police said everything was under control and that they have no fear,” he said.

The Age, 3 August 2005

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