10 Aug 2005

Fiji police checking reports about radical Muslims

2:11 pm on 10 August 2005

Fiji's police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, is indicating his special branch and overseas spy agencies are checking up on reports radical Muslims have been sent to Fiji for training.

Commissioner Hughes says officials in Australia haven't asked him specifically to investigate reports that Solomon Islander Muslim converts are coming to Fiji and becoming radicalised.

"I think the chances of a terrorist training camp being located in Fiji are just about zero; it's a very close-knit community and those sorts of activities would not go unnoticed. But in the event that anything untoward were detected, we have established mechanisms of communication through police to police and the special branch, and their counterpart security intelligence agencies in Australia and in New Zealand."

Sources say those intelligence services would be dealing in contacts with their respective diplomatic missions in Fiji.

The Australian Federal Police in Canberra would neither confirm nor deny reports they were circulating a list of 40 named suspects.