It’s official you can’t be a ISIS sympathizer if you’ve smoked cannabis. Unfortunately in the case of the Bourke Street attacker Shire Ali this is far from the truth
Australian media reports 25 November the following revelations, yesterday, from the inquest
On Tuesday, the inquest into the attack heard evidence that analysts downgraded Shire Ali’s perceived terror risk in the months before the deadly attack because he was using cannabis.
A witness from Victoria Police Security Intelligence Unit officer, known as SIU Officer 23, said: “The use of cannabis is not consistent with an extremist islamic ideology”.
SIU Officer 23 was on a three-month-long secondment to review all persons of interest files when he came across 30-year-old Shire Ali’s “active” file in June 2018.
But the inquest was told that a mid-2018 review of Shire Ali’s case file found his risk assessment was “historic” and may have “overestimated” the Meadow Heights father’s actual risk due to recent behavioral changes.
SIU Officer 23 gave evidence that unit analysts told him these relevant changes included Shire Ali’s documented cannabis use and recent criminal offending. He was subsequently deemed to be at the “lower end” of priorities for SIU investigators, the witness said.
The inquest also heard that because Shire Ali’s brother was the subject of his own terrorism investigation, SIU officers were to avoid any direct interaction with the 30-year-old without approval from other agencies.
During his July 2018 review of the file, SIU Officer 23 decided it was appropriate to refer Shire Ali’s case file to the countering violent extremism unit, which ran deradicalisation and behavioural programs.