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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Australian intelligence agencies warned of infiltration by terrorists

ABC: Security experts are warning that Australia's intelligence agencies could be vulnerable to attempted infiltration by terrorists, after officials at Britain's MI-5 spy organisation confirmed al Qaeda sympathisers had tried to get jobs there.

However, our reporter, Leigh Sales, says there is so far no evidence that similar attempts have been made in Australia.

Like Australian intelligence organisations, MI-5 has been conducting a post September 11 recruitment drive.

The agency has confirmed press reports that al Qaeda sympathisers have tried to infiltrate it through that process.

None have been successful.

Experts say Australia could be vulnerable to similar attempts, although a senior official says there is currently no evidence that it is happening.

There is agreement in the intelligence community that the screening processes are so rigorous that it would be extremely difficult for a terrorist sympathiser to get through, although not impossible.

ABC Asia Pacific TV / Radio Australia
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