Identity crime report
Last week we mentioned the release of the Identity Crime and Misuse in Australia 2013-2014 report from the Attorney-General’s Department and Australian Institute of Criminology. Key findings include that identity crime is estimated to cost our economy upwards of $2 billion, reported data breaches are increasing and, despite this increase, identity crime remains under-reported. This is due to victims’ embarrassment, confusion over reporting mechanisms, or perhaps worse—not realising they were a victim at all.
Similarly, Justice Minister Michael Keenan has announced plans to spend $18.5 million on establishing the National Facial Biometric Matching Capability to reduce the capacity for identity theft.
Organised crime threatens Stormont
Political crisis in Northern Ireland, sparked by the murder of former IRA member Kevin McGuigan, has revived debate of the continuing paramilitary activity in the region. While there have been assurances that the Provisional IRA no longer exists, others believe that the group has simply moved from terrorism into organised crime.
One suggestion to counter the effects of this transition from British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers is to re-establish a body like the Independent Monitoring Commission, which was founded to monitor any continuing paramilitary activity and normalisation of security measures as part of the Northern Irish peace process, and was disbanded in 2011. However, critics say the body won’t be suited to current criminal monitoring challenges.
Days after the 14th anniversary of the 9/11, Bretange, the last known surviving rescue dog to work at the World Trade Centres on the day of the attacks, was treated to a sixteenth birthday party in New York.
For paw enforcement closer to home, Canberrans can say woof to the AFP K9s who assist with parliamentary security this Saturday 19 September at Parliament House Open Day.
China and Pakistan’s joint counter terrorism exercise
On 15 September, China and Pakistan wrapped up the Pakistan–China Special Forces joint exercise for counter terrorism operations. The seven week joint field exercise between Beijing and Islamabad, dubbed Joint Field Exercise Warrior-III, took place in Bahdar Range in the Attock district near Islamabad. At the closing ceremony, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif praised the exercise, declaring that ‘the everlasting relation will grow to unprecedented heights as both countries will continue to work towards total elimination of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.’ Read more here.
On the domestic front
The Terrorism Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill has been introduced to the Tasmanian State Parliament. The Bill would expand the powers of Tasmanian police to detain terror suspects and obtain preventative detention orders verbally or electronically in urgent circumstances.
Finally, it’s been revealed that a supposed Perth-based Islamic State jihadist is actually a 20 year old American named Joshua Ryne Goldberg. The Florida resident, whose alias was ‘Australia Witness,’ was arrested last week and accused of planning a bomb attack on a 9/11 memorial event in Kansas City. The arrest was the result of an FBI joint investigation with the AFP and information provided by Fairfax media.
Thai-Malay border caught by Europe’s wall-building momentum
Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur have agreed to build a wall to strengthen surveillance along their common border amid growing concerns about human trafficking. During the 32nd Malaysia–Thailand High Level Committee Meeting, both countries also decided the wall’s construction will start next year in several locations, although details of its height and length remain unknown. Considering Southeast Asia’s significant people-smuggling and intra-regional trafficking problems, this response is set to be a trendsetter.
EU border controls are back
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for an emergency summit to find a European response to the refugee crisis, Germany restored border controls on Sunday. Border checks in the Schengen area were abolished in 1995. But to handle an unprecedented influx of migrants, Germany’s stance on free movement is being put to test. Austria, Slovakia, The Netherlands and Hungary—where asylum seekers have already been arrested for breaching new border laws—embraced the German decision. Rather than closing the door on refugees, Berlin has insisted that the new measures were needed to restore order to the asylum process.
The border fact