Katter calls for Trump-style immigration ban after Young arrest


Tuesday’s counter-terror raid on a property in country NSW has prompted federal MP Bob Katter to call for Australia to implement a Trump-style travel ban.

Independent MP Bob Katter has used Question Time to call for a Trump-style immigration ban.

Mr Katter referred to the recent raid in rural NSW, as well as comments made by the President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils Keysar Trad about domestic violence, in his comments to Parliament.

“Will the minister listen to his own backbench and the United States and ban visas from North Africa and the countries between Greece and India, exempting of course persecuted minorities, namely Sikhs, Jews and Christians?” Mr Katter asked during a heated Question Time.

Australian-born citizen Haisem Zahab, 42, was arrested at his house in Young in southern NSW on Tuesday and charged with two counts of foreign incursion and recruitment, which carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


The NSW electrician is facing life in prison and will spend at least the next week behind bars after he was arrested for allegedly aiding Islamic State to develop "high-tech weapons capability".

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said Zahab allegedly researched and designed a laser warning device to help warn against incoming guided munitions used by coalition forces in Syria and Iraq.

"We will also allege that he has been researching, designing and modelling systems to assist ISIL's efforts to develop their own long-range guided missile capabilities," Mr Colvin told reporters in Canberra.

Young NSW
The property in question in Young, NSW.
Australian Federal Police

He was arrested after an 18-month investigation but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there was no planned domestic attack or threat to the community.


"This highlights that terrorism, support for terrorist groups, and Islamist extremism is not limited to our major cities," he said on Tuesday.

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the number of Australians joining the conflict zone was concerning.


“Since the terrorism alert level was raised in 2014 to "probable" we've charged 61 people in relation to 26 counter-terrorism operations, and our top priority remains keeping the Australian people safe here and also when they travel abroad.”

Members of the Young community said they were surprised the electrician who “kept to himself” had been charged with terrorism related offences.

“It's the first encounter that country people have probably had with this and we're lucky it's not particularly dangerous to us,” said Zahab’s neighbour Kerry Barr.

Responding to Mr Katter’s calls for an immigration clamp-down, Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said Zahab is not an accurate representation of the wider Muslim community in Young.

“They are hard-working people. They are doing the right thing. Like 99% of people from the Islamic community in this country, they are doing the right thing,” Mr Dutton said.

Zahab, did not apply for bail when he appeared in Young Local Court on Tuesday and it was formally refused.

He's next due to appear in Parramatta Local Court on March 8.

-With AAP





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