Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Australian teacher arrested with stockpile of explosives

And he insists he's not a terrorist...

A high school teacher yesterday told a court a huge stockpile of explosives found at his home was for use in a TV production and not for terrorist activity.

John Howard Amundsen, 40, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with one count of fraud.

About 30 houses in the Brisbane suburb were he lived were evacuated when police allegedly found 53kg of explosives, some manufactured into bombs with nails and razor blades embedded in them, on Tuesday night.

Police also evacuated and searched Ferny Grove State High School, where Amundsen teaches.

Amundsen yesterday told the court he had no affiliation to any violent terrorist organisation, had high-level security clearance and insisted he was not a terrorist.

"Prior to the current charges, I've worked for three years in public relations at the Brisbane airport and have a red ASIO security clearance," Amundsen told Magistrate Lindy Bradford-Morgan.

"I don't have any affiliation to any violent organisation.

"The explosives are being used in a TV shoot.

53kg of explosives... that's over 116 lbs... some already fashioned into bombs with nails and razor blades in them. And he just happens to have security clearance at Brisbane airport. Sure he might not be a terrorist, but he's sure a moron if he thinks they'll buy the "it's just for a TV program" line.