Thursday October 3 2013

– Elite Australian super spies made the breakthrough that led to the capture of a fugitive Taliban “sleeper” wanted for murdering three Diggers in a cold-blooded ambush.
Rogue Afghan soldier Sergeant Hekmatullah may face the death penalty for the shootings of Lance Corporal Stjepan “Rick” Milosevic, Sapper James Martin, and Private Robert Poate at Patrol Base Wahab in Afghanistan in August last year.
So secret was his capture in February, by Pakistan’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, that the families of the dead Australian soldiers were notified of it only yesterday.
Announcing the development in Canberra yesterday the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, said the arrest “draws a line” under the four “insider” attacks on Australian personnel, which have so far killed seven Diggers and wounded 10.
General Hurley took the rare step of revealing the involvement of our most secretive intelligence bodies, including the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation, the overseas-focused Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and electronic spies at the Australian Signals Directorate.
Insiders said it was the ability of experts at the AGO to analyse imagery collected by satellites and unmanned aircraft; electronic data from the Signals Directorate; and human intelligence that was collected by ASIS spies operating along the Pakistan border and by special forces troops, which had finally tracked down the wanted Taliban insurgent.
Australian spies and special forces have been working closely with the US’s National Security Agency, CIA, and special forces, as well as Britain’s MI6 and SAS, to track down the murderer.
It is understood mobile phone intercepts, voice and facial recognition technology, drones and satellites were employed in the hunt.
AGO uses information from all the sources to establish a “geolocation”. Confirming the suspect’s whereabouts enabled Pakistan’s ISI agency to move in and arrest him.
The ISI had initial interrogation rights and that, as well as the need for positive identification and arrangements to extradite him to Afghanistan – which occurred on Tuesday – caused the delay in announcing his capture.
It is understood Hekmatullah is in the maximum security Afghan-run jail at Bagram air base, north of Kabul.
The news was greeted with joy by Pte Poate’s father, Hugh, who described the feeling as “wonderful”.
“Before Robbie left to go to Afghanistan I asked him about the insider attacks and the word he used was retribution.” And retribution is being dealt out here,” he said.
The three soldiers were shot dead as they played cards.
Mr Poate, of Canberra, said he wanted the Afghan treated as his son and mates had been: without mercy.
“It won’t bring the boys back but it is a great help to us,” Mr Poate said.
Seven Australians have been killed in “green on blue” insider attacks since May 2011. All the killers have now been killed or captured.
General Hurley also confirmed that under Afghan law, Hekmatullah would probably face the death penalty.
“Those responsible for the deaths of seven Australian soldiers and who wounded another 10 have been captured or killed and no longer pose a threat to our people.

– Ian McPhedran & Patrick Lion


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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