Lax security could open door to radical Islamists, regional police chiefs are told The scattered island states of the South Pacific are in danger of being infiltrated by radical Islamists, Australia's most senior police officer warned yesterday. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said Islamic extremists could exploit lax security and shaky law and order in Pacific nations to establish bases for terrorism, money laundering, drug running and the trade in false passports. Mr Keelty told a meeting of 21 South Pacific police chiefs in Brisbane that unlike Southeast Asia, there was, as yet, no evidence of radical Islamic terrorists in the region. 'But, of course, some of these problems don't manifest themselves immediately. Some of them take a long time to infiltrate communities and start to establish their networks,' he said. The police chiefs agreed on a four-year strategic plan under which their forces will co-operate to prevent international criminals or terrorists from gaining a foothold in the South Pacific. The initiative is part of a plan by the Australian government to increase its strategic presence in the South Pacific at a time of heightened fears over regional terrorism. It follows Australian-led police and military intervention in the Solomon Islands and a pledge to send up to 300 police to neighbouring Papua New Guinea to help restore law and order. Mr Keelty's remarks followed a warning by the Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, that Australia should brace itself for an aggressive Islamic government in Indonesia. 'We must think about the possibility of an Islamist Indonesia,' Mr Carr told a meeting of foreign policy analysts and business leaders on Tuesday night. 'It was only 10 years ago that we were being reassured that an aggressive Islamism would be inconceivable in Indonesia. Now, Islamic schools across Java are full of Arabic-language material focused on the Middle East and well disposed to Osama bin Laden,' said Mr Carr, who is seen as a possible candidate for leadership of the troubled opposition Labor Party. Australia's uneasy relationship with Islam both inside and outside its borders was further illustrated this week, when the spiritual leader of the country's 280,000 Muslims called on his people to 'shape up or ship out'. Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali was speaking to about 30,000 Muslims gathered outside a mosque in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba to mark the end of Ramadan. He said Muslim Australians should either love their adopted country or leave. 'Australia is our compassionate mother, and I say to every person living in Australia - from the person in the highest office down to the ordinary man in the street - love this country or leave it. Shape up or ship out,' said Sheikh al-Hilali. Last month, Mr Carr attracted controversy when he warned Muslim Australians to obey the country's laws or risk being deported. Relations between Muslim and non-Muslim Australians have been tense since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States two years ago. The relationship was further strained by a series of gang rapes of white Australian girls by a group of young Lebanese immigrants in Sydney, which led to a string of high-profile court cases. Yesterday, two more Lebanese-Australian men from Sydney were found guilty of gang rape. Three other men had previously been convicted of the attack, with all five expected to be sentenced early next year.