Australia's security intelligence service, ASIO, has been accused of heavy handed tactics in its attempts to recruit agents from within the Muslim community, leading to disquiet and resentment among Australian Muslims.

According to the Age Online news site, Islamic Society of Victoria secretary Baha Yehia claims the Society has been aware of attempts to recruit young Muslim men as informants for at least two years.  The recruitment effort has been accompanied by an implication that a failure to co-operate with ASIO would result in criminal charges being laid, leading to disquiet and distress in the Muslim community.

According to the report, ASIO's recruitment drive has centred on the Preston Mosque in Melbourne.  In 2008, a number of men associated with the mosque were convicted on terrorism charges.  The Age reports that ASIO's tactics have included continuously ringing and pestering targeted recruits over the phone, or conducting interviews in which the interviewee was questioned by multiple ASIO agents.

The report cites Mr Yehia as saying: ''What we are not happy with is when they attack people from the community for no reason. It's random.''

The full report can be found here:

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