THE Howard Government will launch an investigation into why an alleged senior al-Qa'ida bagman was allowed into Australia a decade ago and whether he lied to immigration authorities about his past.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation will also examine information revealed in The Weekend Australian on Saturday about Ahmad al-Hamwi and allegations that he had supplied funds for terrorists across Southeast Asia.
An Immigration Department spokeswoman said the case files of Mr Hamwi, who was found living in the southwestern Sydney suburb of Riverwood by The Australian last week, would be reopened and examined to determine if he had committed citizenship fraud.
Mr Hamwi, also known by his alias Abu Omar, told the Refugee Review Tribunal in 1996 he had no involvement in terrorism and failed to mention a residency in Turkey. Philippines National Police intelligence reports allege that he had been banned from Turkey for his suspected involvement in a 1986 bombing.