With about 20 stories on yesterday’s terror raids, The Oz leads with “OSAMA’S AUSSIE OFFSPRING,” detailing how a massive terrorist attack on Australian soil
has been narrowly averted after sweeping raids across Sydney and
Melbourne led to the arrest of 17 members of a suspected terrorist
cell. One of those arrested, Melbourne man Abdulla Merhi, 20, is said
to have
been impatient to carry out Australia’s first suicide bombing but was
refused permission by the group. Another, a former bit-part actor in a
TV drama, Omar Baladjam, 28, was shot in the neck after allegedly
firing on Sydney police.

The seven men charged in Sydney have been accused of being the bombmakers of the foiled terrorist operation, says the paper. They were charged with conspiring to manufacture explosives in preparation for a terrorist act.
And critics of John Howard’s decision to make a last minute amendment
to terrorism legislation have egg on their faces, writes Matt Price “oodles and oodles of egg, yet nary a crumb of humble pie.”

The raids weren’t anti-Muslim, said the PM yesterday, reports the SMH.
Prime Minister John Howard says the police operation wasn’t an attack
on Australian Muslims. And the president of the Australian
Federation of Islamic Councils
believed yesterday’s police raids in Sydney and Melbourne, in which
16 terrorism suspects were arrested, showed the current laws were
strong enough.

Meanwhile, a missing magnate has surfaced as a Polish
property tycoon, says the paper, reporting how Abe Goldberg,
Australia’s last fugitive from the corporate
collapses of the 1980s, has been tracked down in Poland and is
clearly unrepentant about doing a runner with $1.5 billion missing
from his rag trade business. Fifteen years after he fled as Australia’s
then biggest
bankrupt, Mr Goldberg has told the Bulletin magazine that “people are
what they are … I don’t care or give a damn for them.”

Back to the raids in The Ageand emerging revelations that one of nine Melbourne men accused of planning to unleash jihad
attacks on the city had allegedly asked his spiritual leader for
permission to be a suicide bomber in Australia. Abdullah Merhi, 20, of Fawkner, asked radical Muslim cleric
Abdul Nacer Benbrika if he could become a martyr, a member of the
joint counter-terrorism team told the Melbourne Magistrates Court
yesterday. “It was quite clear that he wanted to go the way of a similar
suicide bomber,” Detective Sergeant Chris Murray said.

And Indonesian police have tried to meet Michelle Leslie in prison
amid a storm over allegations that she was with the son of a senior
Indonesian minister on the night she was caught with drugs outside
a Bali dance party, reports The Age. Prison sources said plain-clothes police were sent to Kerobokan
jail yesterday to see the Australian model after it was reported
that she was arrested in the company of a son of Economics Minister
Aburizal Bakrie. The reports were denounced as “rubbish” by the
Bakrie family.


“A WAR AT OUR DOOR,” says the Daily Tele with a round up of a day of dramatic developments and how a court heard the group was about to kill “innocent men and women in
Australia.” Prosecutor Richard Maidment QC said: “The evidence suggests
that each one of the group is committed to violent jihad, either by
martyring themselves or doing acts that will do very serious harm.”

Meanwhile, accused man Aiman Joud’s father has defended his son in the Herald Sun.
He was born in Australia to Lebanese parents and had immersed himself
in Islam, according to family, but they insist he is a conservative
follower, not an extremist.
His father, Mahmoud Joud, said yesterday that his son had been
wrongly accused, describing Aiman as a hard-working young man who loved
Australia.
“He’s as clear as roses,” Mr Joud said.

More raids at The Courier-Mail. And more Jayant Patel. New details on Dr Patel’s appalling US record before he came to
Queensland show his surgical errors led to at least eight patients or
patients’ relatives suing for malpractice or wrongful death. At least
five cases were settled, with more than $3.8 million paid out to
patients, reports the paper.

Canberra could learn more from the experiences of international capital
cities such as Washington DC than from other Australian cities,
National Capital Authority chief executive Annabelle Pegrum said
yesterday at the one-day summit of the inaugural Canberra Biennial, reports The Canberra Times.

“Our experience has been that we can learn and share a great deal more
with cities like Brasilia, Ottawa and Washington than with cities like
Sydney and Melbourne because national capitals are unique and the
challenges that face them are unique.”

“First came the deluge, now for the storm over who is to blame,” says Adelaide’s Advertiser. The State Government says widespread flooding across Adelaide should
serve as a “wake-up call” to councils that have failed to deal with
stormwater management issues. But the Opposition has blamed the
Government for yesterday’s widespread floods, saying residents whose
homes were damaged have every right to be angry.

In Tassie, “shame homes axed,” reports The Mercury, with the news that the
government disability homes damned in a series of reports will be
closed. Health and Human Services Minister David Llewellyn yesterday
released
the long-awaited KPMG audit into the state’s government-run homes.
It confirmed failures in most of the state’s nine houses that care
for about 65 people aged 22 to 91 with mostly intellectual but also
severe physical disabilities.

In the NT, stowaway survivors quizzed. Painfully thin and unable to walk without support, two stowaways who
survived more than three weeks in a locked cargo hold where their two
companions died were taken from a Moroccan ship when it docked
yesterday, says the NT News. The stowaways, aged 22 and 32, are suspected of sneaking into the airtight hold of the Furness Karumba
during foggy and overcast conditions when the bulk fertiliser carrier
was loaded with rock phosphate at the Moroccan port of Laayoure on
October 7.

And the WA Government will rely on architectural expertise from the US to
ensure its proposed $160 million multi-purpose indoor stadium is built
on time and on budget, reports The West. Housing and Works Minister Fran Logan will announce today he has
awarded a contract to design the new 14,000-seat stadium to a
consortium of architects comprising Perth-based Cameron Chisholm and
Nicol, Melbourne firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall and US group RTKL.