So the Australian experts reckoned that the threat from Al-Qaeda was being overstated. In the latest Fairfax press WikiLeaks disclosures the head of Australia’s intelligence analysis agency, the Office of National Assessments, told US diplomats in October 2008 that al-Qaeda ”ultimately has failed to achieve the strategic leadership role it sought within the Islamic world”. What’s more, ONA boss Peter Varghese said developments were especially positive in Australia’s region, where ”the growth of Islamic extremism-based movements is constrained, thanks in part to ongoing successes in combined counterterrorism efforts, but more because of societal factors in south-east Asia that reject the Middle Eastern Jihadist model”.
Good news indeed, you might have thought but it clearly wasn’t for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to whom ONA reports. She has kept on spinning the old line that Al-Qaeda is still a mighty threat