19 Sep 2005

Police in Fiji say threat of terrorism is real

7:05 am on 19 September 2005

Fiji's police commissioner has warned that the threat of terrorism in the country is low but very real.

The Sunday Times quotes Andrew Hughes as saying that people can no longer afford to think terrorism is confined only to big nations like the United States, Britain and Australia.

Mr Hughes says these countries have embassies in Fiji which could be targets for terrorism and Fiji has a duty to protect tourists, business people and expatriates from these countries.

He says police Special Branch is working actively and has strong links to international intelligence organisations, as well as access to a constant stream of intelligence all of which are consistent in their assessment on the possibility of a terrorist attack.

Mr Hughes says if close community policing fails during a terrorist attack in Fiji, the force would first rely on its Tactical Response Unit, and then call the military and finally international networks like INTERPOL.

He says he feels sorry for Fiji's peaceful Muslim community who they are being unfairly vilified because some fanatical extremists claim they are Muslim.