The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is the domestic security agency of Australia which is responsible for the protection of the country and its citizens from espionage, sabotage (especially sabotage of critical infrastructure), politically motivated violence, attacks on the Australian defence system, and acts of foreign interference.
ASIO is comparable to MI5, the domestic security agency of the United Kingdom. As with MI5 officers, ASIO officers have no police or arrest powers and are not armed, except in situations which may require a means of self-defence. ASIO operations requiring police powers are co-ordinated with the Australian Federal Police or with State and Territory police forces.
ASIO's sister organisation is the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), which is the intelligence agency whose foreign counterparts are MI6 in the United Kingdom and the CIA in the United States. Although the responsibilities of ASIO and ASIS are complementary, they are separate agencies with distinct and different roles.
Prior to the establishment of ASIO in 1949, several forms of security and intelligence services existed in Australia, most of which were extensions and branches of the British military establishment. The first was the Central Counter-Espionage Bureau, a counter-intelligence agency with responsibility over the whole of the then-British Empire, which included Australia.
On 16 March 1949, Prime Minister Ben Chifley issued a Directive for the Establishment and Maintenance of a Security Service, appointing South Australian Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Reed as the first Director-General of Security. The need for a national security service (to be modelled on MI5 in the United Kingdom) became apparent following the raising of significant security concerns by Operation VENONA (see Operations). In August that year, Justice Reed advised the Prime Minister that he had decided to call the previously unnamed service the ‘Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’.
On 6 July 1950 the Charter of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation was defined by the directive of Prime Minister Robert Menzies following the appointment of then-Colonel Charles Spry as the new Director-General. The following year, ASIO headquarters were relocated from Sydney to Melbourne (the headquarters would be relocated again in 1986 to their current location in Canberra).
ASIO celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1999.
Management and Structure
An extensive review of the management structure of ASIO, following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States (which triggered the invocation of the ANZUS Treaty by Australia) and the Bali Bombings, led to a large restructure in March 2003.
The head of ASIO is the Director-General of Security, who chairs the Corporate Executive, which includes the Deputy Director-General and First Assistant Directors-General. The Corporate Executive oversees the strategic management of ASIO.
In 2005, the Australian government announced its intention to substantially increase ASIO's operational budget, with the aim of increasing the agency's staffing level to nearly 2,000 personnel - double its 2005 level and nearly triple the number of staff in 2001.
Because of the nature of its work, ASIO understandably does not make details of its activities public. Furthermore, law protects the identities of ASIO officers from disclosure. However, effective operational measures ensuring the legality of ASIO operations have been established.
ASIO briefs the Attorney-General on all major issues affecting security and he/she is also informed of operations when considering granting warrants enabling the special investigative powers of ASIO.
Furthermore, the Attorney-General issues guidelines with respect to the conduct of ASIO investigations relating to politically motivated violence and its functions of obtaining intelligence relevant to security.
ASIO reports to several governmental and parliamentary committees dealing with security, legislative and financial matters. This includes the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. A classified annual report is also provided to the government, an unclassified edited version of which is made publicly available.
The Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security was established in 1986 to provide additional oversight of Australia’s security and intelligence agencies. The Inspector-General has complete access to all ASIO records and has a range of inquisitorial powers.
Special Investigative Powers
The special investigative powers available to ASIO include: the intercepting of telecommunications, the use listening devices and tracking devices, remote access of computers, entering and searching premises, and examining postal articles. These powers are used under the authority of a warrant signed by the Attorney-General.
Current Security Environment
ASIO has determined that Australia faces a lower threat level to its national security than many other nations, which is attributed to its ‘political, social and economic systems’, as well as its ‘clearly defined borders’. However, Australia is still a target for espionage and foreign interference because it is in possession of information and technology that other nations desire and could turn to their own advantage. Furthermore, Australia is at risk of terrorism and politically motivated violence due to foreign policy that seldom wavers from the lines taken by the United States.
According to ASIO, most threats to the national security of Australia have their origins overseas, and include ‘efforts of foreign governments to use clandestine or deceptive means to further their goals in Australia’.
Espionage and Foreign Interference
ASIO is responsible for counter-espionage and actively monitors foreign agents in Australia, preventing and frustrating their efforts to gain scientific, technical, military and political information.
Furthermore ASIO is charged with preventing the interference of foreign governments in the processes of Australian government and internal affairs, and with protecting Australian citizens from being ‘pressured or corrupted into helping the interests of another country against their own’.
ASIO admits that ‘terrorism will be part of the international security environment for some time to come’, and describes the overall threat to continental Australia as medium and unlikely to fall for some time. However, the threat to Australian interests overseas is described by ASIO as high, with particular mention given to Islamic extremism.
Response to Terrorism
Like its American and British counterparts, ASIO has come under public scrutiny and criticism since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.
The passing of anti-terrorism legislation in 2003 and 2004, which gave ASIO as well as other police and intelligence agencies greater powers, has been criticised by civil libertarians. Among the controversial new powers granted to ASIO is the ability to question and detain suspects without charge, with severe penalties for those who reveal that questioning or detention has taken place.
Relationships with Foreign Agencies and Services
Australia’s intelligence and security agencies maintain close working relationships with the foreign and domestic intelligence and security agencies of other nations – most notably Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. According to it’s 2004-2005 annual report, ASIO had established liaison relationships with 266 authorities in 112 countries.
In addition ASIO has the capacity to carry out foreign intelligence collection against targets in Australia. Known as Joint Intelligence Operations, and usually conducted in concert with the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) the purpose of these operations is the gathering of security intelligence on and from foreign officials, organisations or companies.
ASIO shares intelligence information pertinent to the national security of Canada with its Canadian counterpart, the CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Service). Likewise, Canada shares information with Australia relevant to the maintenance of Australian national security.
The traditional close-relationship between Australia and New Zealand extends to intelligence co-operation. All intelligence information is freely shared between the two countries, regardless of classification. The major New Zealand security and intelligence service is the NZSIS.
ASIO was substantially modelled on the Security Service (MI5) of the United Kingdom, and an MI5 liaison team was permanently attached to the fledgling ASIO during the early 1950s. Historian Robert Manne describes this early relationship as “special, almost filial” and continues, “ASIO’s trust in the British counter-intelligence service appears to have been near-perfect.”
While the mission statement of ASIO is to prevent foreign espionage, ASIO makes accommodations for friendly services such as MI6.
An extremely close relationship exists between ASIO and the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency. The reputation of ASIO in the eyes of the CIA was enhanced greatly when ASIO was able to provide highly valuable information on the structure of the Soviet intelligence services in the mid-1950s. Furthermore, the Director-General of Security at the time, the Brigadier Sir Charles Spry, came to be held in high personal regard by the Director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, after the pair met in the United States in mid-1955.
In fact, when Brigadier Spry retired, the Deputy Director of the CIA sent the following tribute:
“The relationship between the CIA and ASIO started as a very personal one. The real substantive relationship started with Sir Charles’ visit in 1955… Since Sir Charles’ first visit, the relationships with ASIO have continued to become closer and closer until today we have no secrets, regardless of classification or sensitivity, that are not made available to ASIO if it is pertinent to Australia’s internal security… I feel, as does the Director, a type of mutual trust in dealing with ASIO that is exceeded by no other service in the world today.”
Such a close relationship between the intelligence establishments of Australia and the United States continues, in line with the strong defence, political and cultural ties of the two allies.
The post-World War II Quadpartite Pact (which has been largely superseded by the UKUSA Agreement) links Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Intelligence information is freely shared between the respective governments of these four nations.
Australia is a member of the UKUSA Agreement.
ASIO is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act 1982, thus it is not possible to obtain information regarding the current operations of the organisation.
Operation VENONA, 1940s
Operation VENONA, or the VENONA project as it is sometimes called, was a joint code-breaking operation run by the United States and the United Kingdom from 1943 to 1949.
In the late 1940s, VENONA uncovered sensitive British and Australian government data being transmitted through Soviet diplomatic channels. Officers from MI5 were sent to assist Australian investigations and the leak was eventually tracked to a spy ring operating from the Soviet Embassy in Canberra .
ASIO was established in 1949 when the findings of Operation VENONA made it clear that Australia required a domestic security service similar to MI5 in the United Kingdom.
"The The Case", 19, 1950s
The operation to crack the Soviet spy ring in Canberra consumed much of the resources of ASIO during the 1950's. The operation became internally known as "The Case". MI5 assisted the then fledgling organisation with investigations concerning the spy ring.
Among the prime suspects of the investigations were Wally Clayton, a prominent member of the Australian Communist Party, and two diplomats with the Department of External Affairs, Jim Hill and Ian Milner. However, no charges resulted from the investigations, because Australia had no laws against peacetime espionage at the time.
"The Case" took a sensational turn in 1954 with the defection of the Third Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in Australia, in what has become known as ?The The Petrov Affair?.
The Petrov Affair, 1954
Vladimir Mikhailovich Petrov, Third Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in Australia and an agent of the Soviet Ministry of State Security (MVD, a forerunner to the KGB), had been subjected to several false accusations by the Soviet Ambassador that would have lead to his imprisonment upon his return to the Soviet Union. Fearing for his safety, Petrov contacted Australian authorities.
ASIO was instrumental in arranging Petrov?s des defection to Australia, which occurred on 3 April 1954. Petrov was placed under protection, but his wife Evdokia was dramatically escorted to an awaiting aeroplane in Sydney by MVD agents. There was doubt as to whether she was leaving by choice or through coercion and so Australian authorities did not act to prevent her being bundled into the plane. However, when she later spoke to her husband via telephone it became clear that she was being forcibly repatriated to the Soviet Union and wished to defect alongside her husband.
When the aeroplane stopped for refuelling in Darwin, Northern Territory Police dramatically and sensationally stormed it and liberated Evdokia from her Soviet escort. The Soviet Union temporarily withdrew its Australian diplomatic mission in protest.
First Soviet Expulsion, 1961-63
The First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, Ivan Skripov, was ejected from Australia and declared persona non grata in 1963. Skripov had engaged in elaborate espionage preparations, which were detected and prevented by ASIO.
Since 1961 Skripov had been refining an Australian woman as an agent for Soviet intelligence. However, the woman was actually an undercover operative of ASIO. Skripov asked the woman to courier a package to Adelaide, where he said it would be accepted by a contact. ASIO allowed the woman?s ass assignment to continue, hoping to uncover another arm of the Soviet intelligence apparatus in Australia.
The package contained a transmitter enabling coded messages to be sent by radio at several hundred words per minute. A similar device had been found in the United Kingdom after a British couple were arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. The package also contained a coded list of Russian transmission timetables.
However, the appointed contact did not show for the delivery and the ASIO operative was unable to deliver the package. Rather than take any more risks, ASIO recommended the ejection of Skripov and the government declared him persona non grata ? not not to be allowed re-entry into Australia.
The KGB Mole, 1970s-1990s
During the Cold War period, a Soviet mole managed to penetrate ASIO. Due to the close defence and intelligence ties between Australia and the United States, ASIO became a backdoor to American intelligence. Upon realising ASIO was compromised, the United States pulled back on the information it shared with Australia.
Following a strenuous internal audit and a joint Federal Police investigation, George Sadil was accused of being the mole. Sadil had been a Russian interpreter with ASIO for some 25 years and highly classified documents were discovered in his place of residence. Federal Police arrested Sadil in June 1993 and charged him under the Crimes Act 1914 with several espionage and official secrets related offences. However, parts of the case against him collapsed the following year.
Sadil was committed to trial in March 1994, but the Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to proceed with the more serious espionage-related charges after reviewing the evidence against him. Sadil's profile did not match that of the mole and investigators were unable to establish any kind of money trail between him and the KGB.
Sadil pleaded guilty in December 1994 to thirteen charges of "removing ASIO documents contrary to his duty", and was sentenced to three months gaol. He was subsequently released on a twelve-month good behaviour bond. It is believed that another ASIO operative, now retired, is suspected of being the mole but no prosecution attempts have been made.
There were suggestions that the KGB had not actually compromised ASIO, and that the United States used this as justification on limiting the intelligence information it shared (a trend noticed, in fact, by most Western governments and not just Australia). However, in November 2004, former KGB Major-General Oleg Kalugin confirmed to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Four Corners programme that the KGB had in fact infiltrated ASIO in late the 1970s and early 1980s.
Second Soviet Expulsion, 1983
In April 1983 the First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, Valeriy Ivanov, was declared persona non grata and ejected from Australia on the grounds that he had performed duties in violation of his diplomatic status (that is, espionage related activities). ASIO had determined he was an officer of the Soviet Committee for State Security (KGB).
The Gulf War, 1990-91
ASIO has stated that it ?ddevoted considerable resources in late 1990 to security investigations during the build up to the Gulf War?, an, and that in 1991 from ?mmid-January until March ASIO was involved in intensive investigations related to the war.? Th The specific details of the investigations remain classified, though it is logical to assume that it played a secondary role to ASIS as the Gulf War was in a foreign nation and therefore out of ASIO's jurisdiction
Sydney 2000 Olympic/Paralympic Games
ASIO began planning for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, held in Sydney in the year 2000, as early as 1995. A specific Olympics Coordination Branch was created in 1997, and began recruiting staff with ?sspecialised skills" the following year. In 1998, ASIO ?sstrengthened information collection and analytical systems, monitored changes in the security environment more broadly, improved its communications technology and provided other agencies with strategic security intelligence assessments to assist their Olympics security planning.?
The Olympics Coordination Branch also began planning for the Federal Olympic Security Intelligence Centre (FOSIC) in 1998. FOSIC was to ?pprovide security intelligence advice and threat assessments to State and Commonwealth authorities during the Sydney 2000 Games.?
On its website, ASIO concludes it?s Sys Sydney 2000 Olympics overview with the following:
- The success of the Commonwealth's security support to the New South Wales Police was demonstrated by the absence of incidents and the completion of the safest Games in modern history. By the end of the Paralympic Games ASIO had provided more than 151,000 Olympic-specific security assessments for people accredited to the Games, provided 24,784 security clearances for the entry to Australia of some Olympic family members and other visitors, and issued 532 Threat Assessments specifically related to Olympic security. ASIO also made overt contact with 98 communities as part of a Community Interview Program designed to establish a channel of communication for any concerns relating to Olympic security, and to explain ASIO's role in that context. 57 people of specific security interest were also interviewed to assist in the prevention of politically motivated violence during the Games.
Anti-Terrorism Surveillance and Raids
On 8 November 2005, following an extensive surveillance operation by ASIO, the Australian Federal Police arrested 17 people believed to have been plotting a major terrorist act against Australian targets. ASIO operatives participated in the raids, seizing documents and computers belonging to the accused.
ASIO was converted to a statutory body on 13 December 1956 through the Australian Intelligence Organisation Act 1956. No change was made to the functions of the organisation.
The Telephonic Communications (Interception) Act 1960 enabled ASIO to seek warrants from the Attorney-General to intercept telephone communications. However, this was merely formalising a function that had been practiced since the establishment of ASIO.
Due to deficiencies identified by the Royal Commission on Espionage relating to peacetime espionage, the Crimes Act 1914 was amended in 1960 to change the provisions relating to espionage and breaches of official secrecy and to include sections covering treason, treachery and sabotage.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 came into effect in 1980, which designated ASIO as the national agency responsible for assessing terrorist and politically motivated violence threats. The ASIO Staff Association was also formed in 1980, and was charged with representing all staff members in relation to the terms and conditions of their employment.
The Archives Act 1983 became operational in 1984 and ASIO began transferring records to the National Archives of Australia. While some records held by the archives were declassified at the time (or have been since) many remain withheld from the public. ASIO is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1983.
In 1999, the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 were amended by Parliament, enabling ASIO to access information held by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, and the Australian Taxation Office. Access to this information is highly regulated by legislation and allowed only under strict circumstances for security purposes only.
Further amendments to the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1960 became operable on 22 June 2000, expanding the telecommunications interception powers of ASIO to include modern technological communications advances.
The powers available to ASIO were expanded with the Australian Security Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002. The legislation, designed to enhance the capacity of ASIO to combat terrorism, defines terrorist acts as a threat to Australian security and authorises ASIO to question persons related to terrorism investigations, as well as providing the power to seize the belongings of suspected persons.
Royal Commissions, Inquiries and Reviews
Royal Commission on Espionage, 1954-55
On 13 April 1954 Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced that a Royal Commission would be established to inquire into the espionage activities of foreign governments in Australia. The Royal Commission on Espionage was established on 3 May 1954 and concluded in August 1955 that "... it plainly appears that for many years the Government of the U.S.S.R. had been using its Embassy at Canberra as a cloak under which to control and operate espionage organizations in Australia."
Furthermore, from the 5000 page document released by the Commission, it was found that:
- the files that Petrov had removed from the Soviet Embassy were authentic and the Petrovs were truthful witnesses;
- from its establishment in 1943 to its departure in 1954, the Soviet Embassy in Canberra had been used for espionage; and
- the only Australians who willingly assisted Soviet intelligence were Communists.
Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security, 1974-77
On 21 August 1974 Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced the establishment of the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security to inquire into Australia?s ins intelligence agencies. Justice Robert Hope of the Supreme Court of New South Wales was appointed as Royal Commissioner.
In 1977 the Commission confirmed the need for Australia?s ows own security and intelligence agency and made many recommendations on improving the analytical capability and financial accountability of ASIO. It also advocated increased ministerial control, designated the conducting of security assessments for access to classified information to ASIO, and urged greater cooperation with police and foreign intelligence services. Also as a result of the Commission the jurisdiction of ASIO investigation was expanded to include sabotage and terrorism, and ASIO was given lawful authority to open mail, enter premises, use listening devices and intercept telegrams and telex under warrant.
Protective Security Review, 1978-79
Following the Sydney Hilton bombing of 1978, the government commissioned Justice Hope with conducting a review into national protective security arrangements and into co-operation between Federal and State authorities in regards to security. In the report concluded in 1979, Justice Hope designated ASIO as the agency responsible for national threat assessments in terrorism and politically motivated violence. He also recommended that relations between ASIO and State and Territory police forces be regulated by arrangements between governments.
Royal Commission on Australian Security and Intelligence Agencies, 1983-84
Following the publicity surrounding the expulsion of Valeriy Ivanov, First Secretary at the Soviet Embassy in Canberra, the Government established a Royal Commission to review the activities of Australian Security and Intelligence Agencies. Justice Hope was again Royal Commissioner.
Justice Hope completed his report in December 1984. His recommendations included that:
- the security related activities which ASIO should investigate be redefined. References to subversion and terrorism be removed and replaced with politically motivated violence, attacks on Australia?s ds defence system and promoting communal violence;
- ASIO be given additional functions of collecting foreign intelligence and providing protective security advice; and that
- a separate office of Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security be established.
Justice Hope also recommended that amendments to the ASIO Act provide that ?iit is not the purpose of the Act that the right of lawful advocacy, protest or dissent should be affected or that exercising those rights should, by themselves, constitute activity prejudicial to security?.
Post-Cold War Review, 1992
In early 1992 Prime Minister Paul Keating commissioned a review ?oof the overall impact of changes in international circumstances on the roles and priorities of the Australian intelligence agencies?. In. In the Prime Minister?s sts statement of 21 July 1992, he says:
"Consistent with the philosophy of a separation of the assessment, policy and foreign intelligence collection functions, the Government considers that the existing roles of the individual agencies remain valid in the 1990s. The rationale outlined by Mr Justice Hope for ASIO as a freestanding, non-executive, advisory intelligence security agency remains relevant in the 1990s and the Government has therefore decided that ASIO should continue to have the roles and responsibilities laid down in existing legislation."
The Soviet threat certainly formed an important component of ASIO?s as activities, but threats from other sources of foreign interference and politically motivated violence have been important to ASIO for some time, and will remain so. However, the implications for ASIO of the changes in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are more far-reaching than for the other agencies. The Government has therefore decided that while ASIO?s cas capacity to meet its responsibilities must be maintained, there is scope for resource reductions."
The resource reductions mentioned were a cut of 60 staff and a $3.81 million budget decrease.
Inquiry into National Security, 1993
Following the trial of George Sadil over the ASIO mole scandal and from concern about the implications of material having been removed from ASIO without authority, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of Mr. Michael Cook AO (former head of the Office of National Assessments) to inquire into various aspects of national security. The review was completed in 1994.
Parliamentary Joint Committee Inquiries
The Parliamentary Joint Committee completed several reviews and inquiries into ASIO during the 1990s. The first concerned the security assessment process. Another was held in September into ?TThe nature, scope and appropriateness of the way in which ASIO reports to the Australian public on its activities.? The The Committee concluded that ?tthe total package of information available to the Australian community about ASIO's operations exceeds that available to citizens in other countries about their domestic intelligence agencies.? Pur Pursuant to this, recommendations were made regarding the ASIO website and other publicly accessible information.
Criticisms and Controversies
Opposition to the Left of Politics
ASIO has been accused of executing an agenda against the Left of politics since its inception. In particular, during the investigation of "The Case" in the 1950?s, cs, circumstantial links were noted between the leader of the Australian Labor Party and the Communist Party of Australia (and hence to the Soviet spy ring). H.V. Evatt, the leader of the Labor Party at the time, accused Prime Minister Robert Menzies of arranging the Petrov defection to discredit him. The accusations lead to a disastrous split in the Labor party.
In the 1960s, ASIO was also accused of neglecting its proper duties because of this supposed preoccupation with targeting the Left. Like other Western domestic security agencies, ASIO actively monitored protesters against the Vietnam War, Labor politicians and various writers, artists and actors who tended towards the Left. Critics of ASIO go further, alleging that the organisation compiled a list of some 10,000 suspected Communist sympathisers who would be interned should the Cold War escalate.
Raids on ASIO HQ, 1973
Further accusations against ASIO were raised by the Attorney-General following a series of bombings from 1963-1970 on the Yugoslav consulate in Australia by Croatian far-right militia. Attorney-General Lionel Murphy alleged that ASIO had withheld information on the group which could have led to preventative measure taken against further bomb attacks (it must be noted, however, that Murphy was a member of the recently sworn-in Labor government, which still held a deep-seated suspicion of ASIO).
On 15 March 1973, Murphy and the Commonwealth Police raided the ASIO offices in Melbourne. The raid was disastrous, serving little purpose other than to shake-up both ASIO and the Whitlam government.
The Church of Scientology, 1982
The Church of Scientology brought court action against the Director-General, the Attorney-General and the Commonwealth in 1982. It sought declarations that it was no threat to the security of Australia, and claimed the Director-General was acting beyond his powers under the ASIO Act in collecting information regarding the Church, communicating that information to other persons and characterising the Church as a security risk. The case was dismissed.
Anti-Terror Bungle, 2001
A few weeks after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, mistakes led ASIO to incorrectly raid the home of Bilal Daye and his wife. It has been revealed that the search warrant was for a different address. The couple subsequently sought damages and the embarrassing incident was settled out of court in late 2005, with all material relating to the case being declared strictly confidential.
Due to their secretive nature, security and intelligence agencies such as ASIO are often the subject of conspiracy theories regarding their supposed actions. Accusations have been made that such agencies organise or allow terrorist acts to take place to justify their existence, or to increase their budget and powers.
One such occasion was the bombing of the Sydney Hilton Hotel on 13 February 1978, one of the few domestic terrorist incidents on Australian soil. The Hotel was the location for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Three people in the street were killed " two council workers and a policeman " and and several others injured. Former police officer Terry Griffiths, who was injured in the explosion, accused ASIO of either orchestrating the bombing or being aware of the possibility and allowing it to proceed. In 1985, the Director-General of Security issued a specific denial of the allegation. Despite this official reassurance, Griffiths has repeatedly called for an inquiry into the bombing, particularly after the three men accused and charged of the bombing were cleared and freed.