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article imageOp-Ed: Alleged Sunni threat to Shia Sydney mosque foiled, two arrested

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By Paul Wallis     Nov 25, 2012 in World
Sydney - In an extremely unusual incident, New South Wales police arrested two extremists after an alleged threat to a mosque in Sydney’s south. The men are believed to be Wahabi Sunnis, and the attack was allegedly directed at a Shia mosque.
The Telegraph:
Police said two men are in custody after they conducted an operation in Arncliffe in Sydney's south today.
A witness at the mosque at the time who did not want to be named, said he saw members of the congregation drag a man wearing Islamic clothing from the mosque around 1pm.
The man was later arrested by police. He’s said to be an Anglo Saxon convert to Islam. Alleged bomb threats were supposedly made on Twitter, but this has yet to be confirmed by police. The incident also coincided with Ashura, a holy day in Shia worship.
Update 1: Subsequent information from the Sydney Morning Herald:
Jamal Daoud of the Social Justice Network said he was contacted by a member of the Muslim community who said two Wahabi extremists had threatened Shia Muslims gathered to observe the day of Ashura at the Masjid Fatima Al Zahrah mosque.
‘‘We have information that two men were arrested when they attempted attacking masses of Shia Muslims remembering the Ashura in Arncliffe,’’ Mr Daoud said.
‘‘We have information that two men were arrested when they attempted attacking masses of Shia Muslims remembering the Ashura in Arncliffe,’’ Mr Daoud said.
He said the action came after calls for violence against Shia were made on Facebook on Saturday.
Mr Daoud said worshippers at the mosque called police when they became suspicious of attempts by the two men to use their mobile phones.
Mobile phones are commonly used to detonate explosives in the Middle East, so the suspicion was quite understandable. No explosives have been reported to have been discovered at this point.
There’s also been no indication of any details regarding the attempted attacks
on worshippers referred to by Mr Daoud.
What’s particularly unusual about this incident is that it’s the first time in Australia that the Sunni/Shia dichotomy has ever had even an alleged credible threat of violence.
Sadly, if true, the threat has all the hallmarks of international attacks on Shias:
• Selection of a holy day
• Attacks on worshippers in or around a mosque
• Targeting of large numbers of people in one place
This is the same pattern commonly used in Iraq for attacks on the Shia population, with many deadly incidents recorded in recent years.
Update 2: ABC Australia has since said that the police have stated there was no bomb threat, but “disturbing behaviour”.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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