Members of an alleged terror cell in Melbourne
downloaded an al-Qai’da call-to-arms document that celebrates the Bali
bombings and calls on Muslims to commit the “heroic act of jihad”
against the West, reports The Australian. Computer hard drives seized by ASIO also contained information about
the banned organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, as well as news articles about
ASIO’s counter-terrorism activities.

And in other terror news, the mastermind behind the two Bali bombings,
Azahari bin Husin,
was stockpiling bombs for another terrorist atrocity
when he was killed in a shootout by Indonesian police on Wednesday. Turning its attention to today’s 30th anniversary of the
Whitlam dismissal, the paper flirts with political sacrilege, with Labor
frontbencher Lindsay Tanner‘s message for true believers still
mourning Gough Whitlam’s sacking: get over it.

The SMH
leads with the report that the lawyer representing nine men facing terrorism charges says
he must wait an unacceptably long time for police to provide a
brief of evidence. The men will appear in Sydney’s Central Local Court today where
they will apply for bail. Meanwhile, a ninth alleged terrorist was arrested by NSW police in Sydney
last night. The man, who police believe fled Melbourne during the
raids in the Victorian capital on Tuesday morning, was taken after
6pm. The man was to be charged under Commonwealth legislation with
the same offence as eight others arrested in Melbourne: being a
member of a terrorist organisation. His arrest brings to the total number of those in custody in
both states to 18.

“Terror suspect flees Sydney,” is the latest alarming news on the front page of The
Daily Telegraph
,
with a report revealing a suspected Sydney terrorist believed to
be the owner of a burnt-out car containing a drum of chemicals fled
the country after news of impending terrorist raids were made public.
Counter-terrorist forces identified the man as a “major target”
among those arrested in Tuesday’s pre-dawn raids. And how did a
19-month-old girl disappear from her bed in the middle of the night? asks the paper, that’s the question a Sydney suburban community is asking
as they search desperately for Rahma El-Dennaoui – the only clue a torn
flyscreen on her bedroom window.

The
Age

splashes its front page with video images of the police raid on a house
in central Java that resulted in the death of Jemaah Islamiah
bomb-maker Azahari Husin and another suspected terrorist. The Bali
“terror mastermind” had constructed 30 bombs
for a new wave of attacks before he was killed during a dramatic
police raid on his central Java hide-out. In local news, three of
Australia’s most senior Commonwealth Games officials
are expected to withdraw from the Queens’ Baton Relay, after
tensions overflowed at board level of the Melbourne 2006
corporation. Melbourne 2006 chairman Ron Walker reacted angrily yesterday to
revelations that Sam Coffa and Perry Crosswhite
— the two most senior officials of the Australian Commonwealth
Games Association — would carry the baton on its journey
around Australia.

The Herald Sun
continues the terror theme, reporting that scores of factory workers
say they don’t want
to work alongside the thugs who bashed cameramen outside a court where
nine men were facing terrorism charges and splashing half the front
page with an image of the incident. Three of five men who savagely beat
a Channel 7 cameraman and hit a Herald Sun photographer outside the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday work at the Safeway distribution centre in Broadmeadows.

Over in SA, The Advertiser
leads with drama of the medical kind, with the headline “1000 new
doctors needed to avoid crisis.” The paper reports that Australia
urgently needs more than a 1000 extra
GPs a year from 2007 or it will face a massive crisis, a government
report shows. The report estimates the number of new doctors to the
nation’s
general practice workforce will need to almost double from current
levels of about 700 a year to between 1105 and 1200 a year to “meet a
supply/demand balance by 2013”.

At least 30 bombs were found in
the house where Asia’s most-wanted man died in a bloody raid that
villagers likened to a battle, reports The
Canberra Times
, and the discovery suggests the man behind the Bali bombings and a string of
other attacks had been ready to unleash a new wave of bloodshed and
mayhem before Indonesian forces, assisted by Australian Federal Police
intelligence, cornered him in the hideout high in the mountains of East
Java on Wednesday night. Indonesia’s National Police Chief General Sutanto, revelling in his
latest success, said the bombs had been “primed to explode” and had yet
to be defused and removed from the ruined house.

“Ready to attack,” screams The
Courier-Mail
.
The paper reports that Australia’s first home-grown terrorists used
fake identities to buy bomb-making chemicals and hire cars. They also
conducted sophisticated surveillance operations in Sydney and
were much closer than first believed to conducting a major terrorist
strike there. The Sydney-based cell’s attack plans were very advanced
and
Australia’s first home-grown terrorist attack, only the second in
the country’s history, was likely during the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the Betfair issue is still raging in Tasmania, with The
Mercury
, reporting that racing
Minister Jim Cox has been accused of offering $1 million to Tasmanian
jockeys concerned about betting exchange Betfair. A sworn statement
from Tasmanian Jockeys Association secretary Kevin
Ring tabled in Parliament yesterday said Mr Cox told a meeting: “Put it
this way, would you roll over for a million dollars?” The
allegation came just a day after it was revealed Premier Paul
Lennon had stayed at the PBL-owned Crown Casino in Melbourne before
announcing the controversial licence to Betfair. Mr Lennon and Mr Cox
also admitted accepting Melbourne Cup day corporate hospitality at
Kerry Packer’s PBL marquee.

“Insults fly in Falconio trial,” reports the Northern
Territory News
. New
Zealander James Hepi, 38, told the Supreme Court in Darwin he and
Bradley John Murdoch were partners in a drug-running operation between
South Australia and Broome, WA, in 2001 before the two began to shout
insults at each other, with the accused calling Hepi a liar.

In environmental news, The West Australian reports that yet another report has provided a damning insight into the dire state
of the Swan and Canning rivers, this time with the government body
responsible for the waterways saying they are suffering “severe
ecological stress”.