Source: ABC News
Date: 16 August 2016
A man charged with fraud as part of an investigation into the suspected funnelling of millions of dollars in Australian taxpayer money to Islamic State (IS) was authorised to care for children in his home, despite being convicted of threatening to kill someone with a sword at a Sydney shopping centre.
Hussain Dandachi, 26, was charged last Friday with rorting more than $80,000 in childcare benefits for day care services that were allegedly never provided, as part of an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation into an alleged fraud syndicate suspected of funding IS.
The revelations about Dandachi on Monday night’s 7.30 program have sparked questions about how he continued to be authorised to work with children, despite being under close watch by counter-terrorism authorities and becoming involved in a standoff with police at gunpoint, in which he threatened them with a sword.
Dandachi was arrested last week in raids on a Sydney childcare network which was founded by Australia’s highest-ranking terrorist, Mostafa Mohamad, who calls himself Abu Sulayman and is now a senior official for the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group in Syria.
The network has claimed nearly $27 million in government subsidies since 2012 and employs nearly 600 home providers of family day care.
Police have been unable to locate a massive portion of the $27 million and are investigating whether the money was defrauded to fund IS, potentially making Australian taxpayers one of the biggest funders of the terrorist group.
The AFP uncovered the network after Dandachi, a 26-year-old waterproofing contractor, was stopped from boarding an international flight from Sydney late last year and his passport was cancelled.
Authorities suspected he was bound for the Middle East to join IS.
The AFP launched an investigation into Dandachi and discovered he was claiming tens of thousands of dollars in government subsidies to provide day care services in his home.
Dandachi allowed to work with children despite sword attack
Dandachi remained authorised to work with children even after he brandished a sword at Sydney’s Campbelltown Mall in April and became involved in a tense standoff with police at gunpoint.
He had stormed into the shopping centre with the 85-centimetre sword and threatened to kill someone in revenge for a scuffle involving his family over their faith.
He was pepper sprayed by police and arrested at gunpoint after assaulting two officers.
“Even if you are convicted of a crime or a threat or a risk against an adult, that doesn’t mean under the current system that you’ll have your Working With Children check cancelled.
“And even if you have been committed of a threat or a crime against a child in another state, that won’t necessarily show up on a Working With Children check in each state, so the system itself has some flaws and some serious restrictions to it.”