CANBERRA – The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has given the all clear to former Turnbull Government minister Wyatt Roy who surprisingly popped up in post-politics life last month dodging bullets in war-torn Iraqi Kurdistan.
The former federal Queensland MP, who lost his seat at the July 2 election, had been seriously rebuked by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for undertaking a fact-finding mission in Iraq as a private citizen which included a serious brush with an Islamic State/Peshmerga fire fight.
Grateful to the Peshmerga and the incredible people of the Kurdistan Region for their hospitality Here's why I went https://t.co/hodqFt3mla— Wyatt Roy (@MrWyattR) September 29, 2016
Roy's high profile trip was raised in estimates Monday by Greens Senator Nick McKim as "war tourism."
"We were very conscious it was a high profile matter, we did our own due diligence and satisfied ourselves," declared AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin.
"But no we don't have a current investigation in relation to that."
The former assistant innovation Minister supports Kurdish independence and wanted to see the Kurds' struggle for himself, but Malcolm Turnbull said it was lucky Roy was not killed, while Labor's Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong derided him for acting out a "boyhood fantasy."
Wyatt Roy told The Huffington Post Australia he had been spending time with Peshmerga "who are facing off pure evil with incredible resolve."
But the question of whether the former politician had breached Australian counter terrorism laws in his travels remained.
Roy had claimed in news reports, including HuffPost Australia, that he had not entered the declared area surrounding the IS controlled city of Mosul, which was good enough for the AFP.
"Based on the public reporting we do form a conclusion that we did not believe that any offences had been committed," Commissioner Colvin said.
"We have no active investigation in relation to his movements."
The Attorney-General George Brandis told the Senate Estimates hearing that Roy was in Iraqi Kurdistan as a private citizen and queried why his former colleague's activities had been raised and pursued.
The AFP Commissioner said Roy's activities were being treated like any other Australian citizen, adding the AFP does take a "general interest in people who travel to conflict zones."
The AFP is tasked with keeping an eye on Australians travelling in Iraq and Syria and it is currently monitoring about 110 suspected foreign fighters or terror supporters.
"We have arrest warrants for a number of people, we believe some are currently in theatre over in the Middle East and fighting," said Deputy AFP Commissioner Mike Phelan.
"There are, and it ebbs and flows, approximately 110 people offshore at the moment fighting various guises and providing various levels of support to terrorist groups offshore."
"We still have warrant out for people who are presumed dead. We are not taking them off the books until it is confirmed."
The AFP also told Senate Estimates that they've now charged 51 people with terror offences since 2012.Suggest a correction