A VICTORIAN detective may face criminal charges for leaking to a newspaper details of a top-secret terrorism investigation into an alleged plot to attack an army base in Sydney.The detective senior constable was suspended last week, having earlier been shifted out of the force’s most sensitive counter-terrorism intelligence unit, the Security Intelligence Group.His suspension comes amid investigations by state and federal corruption investigators into how The Australian obtained highly sensitive details of the terrorism investigation before arrests were made.Copies of the newspaper which contained extensive details about Operation Neath – including the fact that police were preparing to conduct raids – were available in a small number of newsagents in the hours before officers raided the homes of suspects in early August.The airing in the newspaper of advance information about the raids sparked a furious response from the Victorian Police Chief Commissioner, Simon Overland.At the time, Mr Overland said the story’s early release, which The Australian later blamed on production problems, had posed “an unacceptable risk to the operation, an unacceptable risk to my staff” and vowed to find the source of the leak.After the raids, five Melbourne men allegedly linked to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab were charged in connection with a suspected plot to attack the Holsworthy army barracks with automatic weapons.The detective who has been suspended is believed to have told a journalist, Cameron Stewart, about aspects of the terrorism investigation.In an attempt to stall publication of the report, the Australian Federal Police gave Stewart a much more detailed briefing on the operation on the condition The Australian did not air the story before the raid.
Nanjing Night Net

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