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Aussie counter-terror chief: new powers needed to fight terrorism

The head of Australia’s major counter-terrorism force has called for extra powers to face increasing threats and warned terrorists are using new technology to wreak havoc far outside their own countries.Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty said existing laws are inadequate and police need greater powers of interrogation to obtain information from suspects on who they work with and what they know about planned attacks.In a speech to a major criminology conference in Melbourne, Keelty said police were currently encountering several constraints imposed by laws relating to evidence from overseas. The Australian government has already significantly increased police powers, increased funding for its war on terror and signalled its intention to further strengthen laws after winning control of the upper house for the first time at the October 9 election. But Keelty told the conference: “If society really expects law enforcement to prevent and disrupt terrorist activity, then we need to look at other models that are working or that are under development in other parts of the world.” He said counterparts overseas, such as in Britain and Northern Ireland, had a greater ability to obtain information from suspects than would be permitted in Australia. Full Story

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