RealNews

Australia holds major counter-terrorism maneuvers

Australian police, defense forces and emergency services launched a major counter-terrorism exercise, highlighting the country’s new status as a key target of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network. The three-day exercise, dubbed “New Deal”, centered on a military base in the Sydney suburbs and was to involve actions elsewhere in the city and around the national capital in Canberra, officials said Tuesday. Exact details of the operation were being kept secret “in order to adequately test a evaluate crisis and consequence management capabilities,” Attorney-General Daryl Williams said Tuesday. “Exercise New Deal will provide a timely opportunity to test measures for dealing with terrorism in the current security envinronment,” he said. The exercise comes a week after the release of a recorded message in which bin Laden’s top deputy allegedly singles out Australia alongside the United States and Britain as prime targets for future terrorist attacks due to their involvement in the war on Iraq. Full Story

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