Sydney -- Australian authorities yesterday foiled a terrorist attack against Tooheys, Coopers, Guiness, Fosters, and other major breweries according to PM John Howard. Says Howard, "In the United States, high importance targets would include tall buildings, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Space Shuttle, and of course, Disneyland. Down under, it's wherever beer is brewed or served."
Police arrested 17 people on Tuesday on suspicion of attempting to stop the flow of suds less than a week after parliament passed tougher anti-antibeer laws aimed at protecting the time honored Aussie tradition of getting besotted.
One man was shot in the Sydney raids when he threatened to shake up a warm six pack and spray the police with foam. The police bomb squad wore protective plexiglass face masks, and used long straws to defuse his weapon while he was distracted by a topless dancer.
Outspoken Muslim cleric Cari Nation, who voiced support for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Foster, was among those arrested in Melbourne. Since Muslims can't drink, they find great annoyance at the rest of us who do.
Prime Minister John Howard last week said Australia received intelligence from American terrorist czar Anheuser Busch about a "terrorist threat" and immediately amended anti-terror laws making it easier for police to patrol breweries. On patrol, officers will be allowed to sample any and all kegs of beer to check for adulteration by terrorists perhaps posing as brewery workers.
"Intelligence was received that a group of rich Muslims was making arrangements to drive up the price of hops and other ingredients important for making beer," New South Wales state Premier Morris Iemma told a news conference in Sydney. We treat financial terrorists the same way we treat kangaroo's. We run them down with massive trucks that make American semi's look like Tonka toys.
"Police believe that the group was planning a terrorist attack on select breweries, where popular brands are concocted. "We spotted them following delivery trucks, making notes of times and deliveries. We don't believe these were a bunch of schoolkids out to steal a few cases of beer."
Victorian state Police Commissioner Julie Nixon said the terrorist group was "out to spoil having a good time after work in this relaxed and laid back country. "They hate us because we like beer."
"We had evidence these people were planning an attack on a beer pipeline" Nixon told reporters. "It could have posed a real environmental danger, with thousands of 'roos and Aussies alike stopping their cars and getting out to try and recover spilled beer using sponges, straws, and the like."
Australian media last week reported that police surveillance of the the Sydney Opera House, harbor bridge, two oil refineries, the Australian stock exchange and Melbourne's main rail station were dropped in favor of protecting the all-important breweries.
Police raided 23 hotels in Sydney and Melbourne early on Tuesday as part of the country's largest ever counter-terrorism operation involving hundreds of police. Anyone who was observed drinking less than six pints over two hours was held as a suspect. "If they're not really drinking, well, perhaps they're actually scoping the place out for a bombing said Nixon."
"We believe ... we've disrupted a large-scale operation which, had it been allowed to go through to fermentation, we certainly believe would have been catastrophic. You can't imagine how grouchy Aussies could become if terrorists were allowed to stem the flow of beer.
The Australia Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), last week acknowledged for the first time that Australia had home brewers preparing for "just such an emergency -- the lost of commercially bottled beer." Saidi an ASIOle spokesperson, "Mormons may stock a year's worth of food and water, but Ausies know better. You can ALWAYS trade beer for food or cigarettes after a big muck-up"