Top French investigator inAustralia terrorism talks

18th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

SYDNEY, July 18 (AFP) - France's top terrorist-hunter, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, met Australia's attorney general Monday as part of an investigation of local and Southeast Asian links to global terrorism, officials said.

SYDNEY, July 18 (AFP) - France's top terrorist-hunter, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, met Australia's attorney general Monday as part of an investigation of local and Southeast Asian links to global terrorism, officials said.

No details of the talks were immediately available, but Attorney General Philip Ruddock said before the meeting that the investigation into high-profile terror suspect Willie Brigitte would be raised.

Bruguiere has been involved in the interrogation of Brigitte, who was deported to France after being arrested in Sydney in September 2003. French authorities said he had links to Al-Qaeda and was planning a terrorist attack in Australia.

Since Brigitte's deportation, Australian authorities have detained a number of his Sydney associates, including two men facing trial on terrorism-related charges.

Bruguiere later told a joint news conference with Ruddock that "to meet a global threat we are now having a global response on all continents, whatever the political, constitutional or legal systems.

"The work that I am here to undertake shows that we are on both sides able to come up with the necessary response to the threat," he said through an interpreter, without giving details of his mission.

Ruddock refused to comment on what Bruguiere had told him about the Brigitte case or any further potential threats to Australia.

"I would simply refer to the fact that there are on the public record matters relating to the Brigitte investigation and people have been committed to trial here in Australia arising out of that investigation," he said.

Ruddock said before the talks that the aim was also to take a fresh look at Australia's security after the London bombings.

"We are going to look at what the British, what the Americans and the French are doing again, and ask whether there are any lessons learned, and we're keeping an open mind in relation to that," he said.

Bruguiere is also reportedly interested in travelling to Perth to interrogate jailed Australian bomb plotter Jack Roche.

The British-born Muslim militant, arrested in November 2002, was convicted of involvement in an Al-Qaeda plot to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra and was jailed for nine years.

Roche has reportedly offered to provide information to authorities and testify in foreign courts against alleged terrorists in return for a more lenient sentence.

The Australian newspaper reported Monday that Bruguiere wanted in particular to question Roche about his possible links to Christian Ganczarski, a German in custody in France and suspected of being a senior Al-Qaeda operative.

Bruguiere, an anti-terrorist judge for more than 20 years, played a major role in bringing to justice the man known as Carlos the Jackal and Libyan officials convicted of blowing up airliners in the 1980s.

In recent years, Bruguiere has rounded up hundreds of suspected militants at home and earned a global reputation as a key player in the fight against Al-Qaeda.

Security surrounding his visit to Australia has been tight, with Bruguiere reportedly travelling in an armour-plated car with two full-time bodyguards.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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