Statement from the Attorney-General Robert McClelland:
The Australian Government is on the record as saying the large scale distribution of hundreds of thousands of classified United States Government documents is reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.
The Government’s long-standing position is not to comment on material that has been published by Wikileaks.
However I note that on occasions in the past, Wikileaks has decided to redact identifying features where security operations or safety could be put at risk. This has not occurred in this case.
The publication of any information that could compromise Australia’s national security – or inhibit the ability of intelligence agencies to monitor potential threats – is incredibly irresponsible.
The Government condemns the publication of any document that could seriously impact Australia’s national security.
I have made a number of statements in the past expressing concern about the growing terrorism threat emanating from Yemen.
Yemen is becoming an increasingly important hub for al-Qa’ida associated terrorist activity, particularly as al-Qa’ida encounters mounting pressure in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
A number of Australians have been drawn to extremist figures in Yemen, including to Anwar-al-Aulaqi, an al-Qa’ida linked-cleric based in Yemen.
Australian authorities are working together with international partners to identify and mitigate threats, including by preventing Australians to travel overseas to undertake terrorism-related activity.
It is long-standing practice not to comment on individuals who may or may not be of security concern or on matters of national security.
Media Contact: Ryan Liddell (02) 6277 7300 or 0427 225 763.