House debates

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Statements on Indulgence

US Air Strike in Afghanistan

2:01 pm

Photo of Peter DuttonPeter Dutton (Dickson, Liberal Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | Hansard source

I join with the Prime Minister and his fine words. The death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a key planner of the 9/11 terror attacks, is yet another success in the enduring battle against terrorism. Persistence prevails. Evil may lurk in the shadows but it cannot hide in the darkness. On 9/11 al-Zawahiri was one of many responsible for murdering almost 3,000 innocent people, including 10 Australians. He has been responsible for masterminding many more attacks resulting in the death and the slaughter of many innocent men, women and children.

For over two decades, some 39,000 men and women of the Australian Defence Force served with other nations in Afghanistan, thwarting terrorism and preventing further attacks. Tragically, 41 Australians made the ultimate sacrifice. I pay tribute again today to those 39,000 men and women of the ADF who, through their actions in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, prevented terrorist attacks on our allies, against our Australian citizens both here and abroad. The pain of Australian families who lost loved ones on 9/11 or in service in Afghanistan will of course never dull. But al-Zawahiri's death may provide some solace in the knowledge that the planners and perpetrators of terrorism will always be relentlessly pursued and hunted. For them, neither place nor time will provide a sanctuary from the forces of justice.

Ayman al-Zawahiri's death also reinforces to free people that we must always be vigilant, must always prepare for and confront threats from a position of strength, not weakness, be it terrorism, radical ideology, foreign interference crime or authoritarianism. I thank the House.


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