Intelligence aware of insider attack threat

AN intelligence officer working in Afghanistan at the time three Australian soldiers were killed has told an inquest he was made aware of the threat of a possible insider attack.

But he said despite a heightened threat in place at the time it was not deemed to be a major priority because no definitive intelligence suggested an attack was imminent.

Lance Corporal Stjepan Milosevic, Sapper James Martin and Private Robert Poate were killed during an insider attack at a patrol base north of Tarin Kowt in August 2012.

Their killer, a man called Hekmatullah, has since been captured and sentenced to death.

Intelligence officer major Martin Wray told the inquest on Tuesday he was aware of the possibility of an insider attack.

"We were aware of the possibility of an insider threat, but it was not our number one priority," he said.

"For it to be a number one priority we would have had to spend our entire deployment screening the Afghan National Army."

Major Wray said he had previously conducted a security intelligence assessment of military patrol bases specifically targeting the possibility of an insider threat.

He said as the ground offensive started winding down it was clear collusion was occurring between Afghan National Army personnel and insurgents.

The inquest before deputy state coroner John Lock continues.



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