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Terror suspect was deported from Australia

Wednesday October 30, 07:43 AM  (

The federal government has confirmed a man suspected of having al-Qaeda links was deported from Australia last year.

Saudi national Ahmad Al Joufi arrived in Australia on a fake passport and was deported after sentencing on assault and riotous affray charges.

According to intelligence sources quoted in the Fairfax press, Al Joufi had arrived in Australia in March 1999 to recruit fighters for a holy war against Russia.

Opposition Leader Simon Crean said he should have been kept in Australia for questioning but Attorney-General Daryl Williams insists he handled the case appropriately.

Mr Williams said Mr Crean was being both inconsistent and ridiculous.

He said his predecessor Kim Beazley had been fully briefed on Al Joufi and said Labor was blocking a government bill which would give ASIO the power to detain and question terrorist suspects.