Greg Moriarty, the diplomat about to become Australia’s first anti-terrorism chief, is one of a handful of officials to have given a briefing to an American president.
Moriarty, a former ambassador to Iran, gave George W. Bush a run down on internal politics in Iran at a time when the US hadn’t been in Iran for several decades.
Tony Abbott will today formally announce Moriarty’s appointment as coordinator for counter terrorism within the prime minister’s office.
Moriarty is said to be an authority on security and intelligence issues.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Moriarty’s role will ensure a whole of government approach.
“We have a number of security intelligence and law enforcement agencies and Greg Moriarty’s role will be to coordinate all of the efforts across government and report to the prime minister,” she told the ABC’s AM program.
“History shows that where there’s a lack of coordination between agencies, information flows, then that can cause concerns and issues.
“We want to make sure that we do everything possible to keep Australians safe from a terrorist attack at home and prevent Australians taking part in terrorist activities overseas.”
Moriarty is currently deputy secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs. He was Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia from 2010 to 2014 and has also served in Papua New Guinea.
His appointment is one of several expected announcements this week on anti-terrorism measures. This month’s federal budget added $600 million in further funding to counter terrorism, bringing total funding to $1.33 billion.
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