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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 19, 2002

Australian denies anti-Israeli plot

Surprise! a convert to Islam
Australian police have charged a British-born man with planning to blow up Israeli diplomatic premises in Australia.

Roche: defended Osama Bin Laden as "innocent until proven guilty"

Jack Roche, 49, appeared in court in Perth on Tuesday to deny any connection with the alleged plot.

The man's arrest on Monday night follows an earlier raid on his home - one of a series by Australian police in the wake of the 12 October bombings in the Indonesian resort of Bali, in which nearly 200 people died.

A police spokesman said the arrest was not connected with the attack in Indonesia.

In interviews after the raids, Mr Roche said that after converting to Islam 10 years ago, he had been sent to Afghanistan to learn to make bombs.

He also said he was a supporter of Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir - the alleged spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, a militant group that has been linked to the Bali bombing.

Mr Roche also defended Osama Bin Laden who was "innocent until proven guilty".