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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, Aug. 13) - The chief of
Australia's domestic spy agency has predicted there will be a terrorist attack
using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

The director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence
Organization (ASIO), Dennis Richardson, voiced his concerns in a speech
delivered last week, which has now been released to the media.

Richardson delivered the speech on the day Jakarta's Marriott
Hotel was bombed.

He said the bombing is a reminder that there cannot be a
declaration of victory in the war against terrorism any time soon.

He said in the United States, there is genuine concern that a
catastrophic attack using weapons of mass destruction is only a matter of time,
an assessment he said he shares.

Richardson noted Australia remains a target, partly because of
its close alliance with the U.S.

He stresses the risk is more to Australian interests overseas
than at home.

He said in Southeast Asia, some Muslim schools continue to teach
a militant interpretation of the Koran and the Philippines Government is unable
to tackle extremist groups, which now pose a threat to the region.

He also raises concerns about a group called the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front, which he said has been operating training camps for extremists
in the southern Philippines.

Richardson said while the group's activities have been
considered an internal issue for the Philippines; it has not been contained and
is now a threat to the region.

August 13, 2003

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