“The foreign fanatics, the looney loner, they are easily explained
away. But 18 men, all born in Australia or citizens of Australia,
suspected of carefully planning the mass murder of their fellow
citizens, their own neighbours, in their own country, brought home
powerfully the immediacy and the reality of extremist violence in
Australia. The global jihad had touched down in the Lucky Country.”

Peter Hartcher, SMH, Saturday November 12.

They are accused of hiding
a deadly secret but Australia’s terrorist suspects are ordinary
citizens – an electrician, a panel beater, a rock singer, a would-be
actor and a Muslim cleric living on welfare. The 17 accused plotters appeared to lead ordinary suburban lives as
they allegedly plotted to wage war against the community that supported
them.

Luke McIlveen and Evelyn Yamine, The Daily Telegraph November 10

As for tolerance, look at what one of those arrested in Melbourne,
self-styled cleric and sheik Abdul Nacer Benbrika, the alleged
spiritual leader of those charged in Victoria and NSW, told the ABC two
months ago: “I am telling you that my religion doesn’t tolerate other
religion. It doesn’t tolerate. The only one law which needs to spread,
it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam.”

The Algerian-born Benbrika, who like many of his fanatical
co-religionists, also goes by a nomme de guerre – Abu Bakr – makes no
bones about his hatreds. They are simple. He limits them to everyone
who doesn’t follow Islam.

Piers Akerman, The Daily Telegraph, November 10

Details of alleged plots to bomb Australian landmarks have served
notice on the nation…The seeds of terror were sown in the quiet
suburban streets of West Hoxton, where Baladjam had spent most of his
life. That’s not far from Mohamed Ali Elomars brick bungalow at Condell
Park which was the warehouse and bomb factory where the plotters
allegedly were stockpiling material to make the highly volatile
explosive, TATP.

Ian McPhedran, The Courier Mail, November 12 – 13

So it wasn’t a political stunt. It
isn’t about Iraq. And the threat of Islamist terror right here is more
real than many pretend. How real? If the police are right, they have
saved scores of you from
being blown up – as people in Madrid and London were blown up. As NSW
Police Commissioner Ken Moroney put it, the arrest yesterday
of 17 Muslim men disrupted “the final stages of a large-scale terrorist
attack.” He said explosive material had already been collected.

Andrew Bolt, The Herald Sun, November 9

Mr Houda has not let many opportunities pass this week to give the
media, the Government and several million uneasy Australians a preachy
lecture about the potential for public discussion to jeopardise the
prospect of a free trial. This sounds – and will be seen by many – like
the stock-standard response of a defence lawyer running a particularly
familiar line of argument on behalf of a client.
It is unacceptable that Mr Houda – or anyone else – should
demand that public discussion be shut down. Public debate is allowed
about the nature of the alleged conspiracy. Australians already feel a
sense of unease – even fear – when they catch a train, when they board
an aircraft, when they take their kids to a major public landmark such
as the Opera House. It is appalling that in this age people feel this kind of fear.
It is intolerable that anyone should try to make us fearful of free
speech.

The Daily Telegraph Editorial, November 11

I have no sympathy for those arrested if they are proven guilty of
planning attacks on our streets. The Melbourne cleric Abdul Benbrika,
or Abu Bakr as he is known, would scare the hair off a brown dog. He
has two names, two identities, two loyalties and no real affection for
Australia. We should not jump to conclusions or we risk jeopardising
trials, but this guy should go back home to Algeria – they’ll have a
better way of dealing with him,

Jim Soorley, The Sunday Mail, November 13

Last week’s raids on terror suspects in Sydney and Melbourne are more
important than the Bali bombings. The raids prove that after four
years, what has so far been a largely phony war with radical Islam has
finally come to our shores.

Paul Gray, Herald Sun November 14