Embassy row on alert
ACT SENATOR Gary Humphries has vowed to raise the recent attack on the Syrian embassy in Canberra in Senate estimates this week.
The opposition Parliamentary Secretary for the Shadow Attorney-General will seek to shine a spotlight on the security provided to Canberra-based diplomatic missions after about 40 men stormed the O'Malley premises last Saturday, about 9.30pm, smashing windows and furniture.
The Australian Federal Police have launched a probe into the incident but are yet to make arrests.
The assault was one of seven attacks on Syrian embassies around the world, after a failed United Nations security council resolution was vetoed at a time when there were reports of mounting civilian deaths in the strife torn country.
Protesters smashed into diplomatic missions across Europe and north Africa, including London and Libya.
It is the second time a Canberra-based diplomatic mission has been attacked in the past year, with the Libyan embassy, on the same street as the Syrian mission, attacked last year.
Security insiders said ASIO was responsible for threat assessments and passed on that information to the AFP to respond.
Attacks in Germany and Egypt occurred before the O'Malley incident, yet extra police were not posted as a precautionary measure.
An ACT Policing spokeswoman said officers arrived at the scene within five to 10 minutes of the incident, but no arrests were made.
The matter is still under investigation.
Extra security has been posted to the O'Malley precinct this week.
Security at embassies in Canberra ranges from fortified compounds, such as the United States premises in Yarralumla, to gated residencies. Many smaller missions rely on the Australian Federal Police patrols to provide protection.
Despite the attack, the diplomatic corps is adamant security in the capital is not a problem.
But Senator Humphries wants to know if the ''security agencies are talking to each other about threats and possible threats''.
''I would hate to think that vital communications and risk assessments are being neglected because of Labor's budget cuts,'' he said.
''I will be following this matter up in Senate estimates this week.''