Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Archival Rescue 7 ~ Outsourcing Detention

Former ballet dancer detained.

I was tortured in Pakistan, says terrorism suspect
By Steve Butcher
February 15, 2005 Sydney Morning Herald

Melbourne terrorism suspect "Jihad Jack" Thomas was freed yesterday on $100,000 bail after claiming he was tortured in Pakistan.

Joseph Terrence Thomas, 31, told a psychiatrist last week he was threatened with execution and that his wife would be raped after his arrest in Pakistan two years ago.

Consultant psychiatrist Mark Ryan reported Thomas spoke of "intrusive memories" about incidents in Pakistan during his time in solitary confinement at Victoria's Barwon Prison.

Authorities recently admitted that ASIO officers and Australian Federal Police members conducted interviews with the married father of two in Pakistan between January and February 2003.

Thomas's untested allegations, which do not suggest the involvement of any Australian official, formed part of his third application for bail last Thursday which was granted yesterday in Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Thomas, the accused "sleeper" agent allegedly recruited by Osama bin Laden, broke down and sobbed the moment Chief Magistrate Ian Gray announced he would get bail.

Mr Gray found that Thomas, who faces two terrorism-related charges with a total maximum sentence of 50 years jail, had shown exceptional circumstances that justified his release on bail.

Mr Gray yesterday ruled that a combination of factors made Thomas's application stronger.

Mr Gray read excerpts from Dr Ryan's report in which Thomas recalled being hooded, handcuffed, shackled and chained in Pakistani custody and of hearing the screams of others being interrogated.

Thomas, of Werribee, was released under conditions that include he report twice daily to police, not leave Australia or apply for a passport. His committal hearing was set for March 22.

Who is Jack?

* Joseph Terrence Thomas, also known as "Jihad Jack" Thomas.

* Age 31, married with two children. Last occuptation, taxi driver.

* Accused of attending al-Farooq terrorist training camp in Afghanistan in 2001, meeting Osama bin Laden several times.


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