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Keelty, Haneef and al-Qaida

By Bruce Haigh - posted Friday, 10 August 2007

Why did it come as no surprise to see a “document” linking Dr Mohammed Haneef to al-Qaida enter the public domain via the SBS Dateline program on Wednesday, August 1?

The belief of the Federal Government and Federal Police that linking someone or something with al-Qaida will induce a strong negative public reaction has reached its use by date, although that does not seem to have registered with either the Prime Minister or the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Mick Keelty.

That is why the linking of Haneef to al-Qaida in the bogus document displayed on the SBS program and on its web site has led to the strong suspicion of having federal government and police finger prints all over it.


Let me elaborate.

The alleged Indian police dossier put before us by SBS cannot be identified as such. There is nothing which says it is a police dossier, nowhere in the document is there any reference to police and the word police does not appear. Conveniently, for whoever put it together, the dossier is undated.

At the end of the dossier it is recorded that, “The Australian police detained him at Brisbane International airport for questioning when he was about to depart for India in the first week of July 2007. It is learnt that a bank locker key was found in his position(sic) , which belongs to someone else.”

The photograph of Haneef which appears on the first page of the dossier is the same photograph which appeared in the Australian and British media immediately following his arrest. It appears to be a passport photo. The early newspaper photographs and the dossier photograph are the same.

Why would Indian police use a passport photo on a police dossier? Where did they get it from?

The time line on the compilation of the dossier indicates that it was prepared after Haneef was in AFP custody. Did the AFP send the passport photo to the Indian police or did the reverse occur? If the latter why didn’t they also send the information in the dossier relating to al-Qaida? Where did the media obtain the passport photo? Of course the Indian police might have down loaded the passport photo from the Internet, but why would they do that?


Was information relating to the key given to the Indian police?

Did Brisbane Magistrate Jacqui Payne have this information available to her when she granted Haneef bail?

Following the Dateline program, Keelty said the AFP were pursuing information relating to the key however the dossier indicates that this information had been available to the Indian police for some time. The Indian police interviewed Haneef on his return to Bangalore and said he was not a person of interest. Why is Keelty pursuing a line of investigation relating to the key when the Indian police have dropped it?

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About the Author

Bruce Haigh is a political commentator and retired diplomat who served in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1972-73 and 1986-88, and in South Africa from 1976-1979

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