"The Terrorism Files"

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, the Dominion Post has done it: published some, but by no means all, of the police evidence presented in support of Terrorism Suppression Act charges, drawn from the 156-page affadavit presented to court. And it's fairly shocking.

    There's the intercept and surveillance evidence, a timeline to the charges, a description of the police operation, Phil Kitchin's summary and the paper's editorial justifying its decision to publish.

    So what do we all think?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

888 Responses

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  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Shocking as they are, there is nothing apparent in the intercepts that justifies a terrorism charge. The snippets the Dom published are short on concrete planning and long on deranged gibberish.

    The discussion about killing people for practice put the confrontation between the two hunters in context - presumably the police acted when they did because they couldn't discount the possibility that the suspects were going to attack hunters or trampers in the area.

    I'm curious to know about the involvement of the pakeha activists and whether they were arrested as part of the round-up-the-usual-suspects routine as initially seemed likely, or if they were actively involved in the camps, which now seems very hard for a bunch of pacifists to justify.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Kitchin's story makes reference a claim that the National Party website was hacked by someone calling themselves Bl@ckmask in 2004.

    It would seem to have been this one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    I'm confused as to how "Freedom Fighters" would want to go to Iraq or Iran?

    There has been discussion that it was a training camp to work as sercurity contractors? - This doesn't fit with militant idealists.

    Were they wanting to get trained by Al queda? They would be lucky to get back alive.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    "It'd have to be a, some sort of f......, sudden f......, because what it'll do, it'll come down on the thinking of the people, they'll think it's al Qaeda ... It's gotta be sudden and it's gotta be brutal."
    Other suspect says: "Don't piss around with cities or doing the bush thing ... just go to Parliament."

    Two suspects in bugged vehicle, August 17, 2007.

    Hundreds of protesters are expected to descend on Parliament today to oppose new anti-terrorism laws just passed by Parliament. The hikoi that began last week in Ruatoki, Bay of Plenty, where police conducted their raids on "terror" suspects, is due to arrive in Wellington this morning.

    The Press, 14 November 2007

    Heh - nice timing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Thanks for that Russell. It would be far too easy, as the editorial says, to dismiss what was heard, on the surveillance tapes, as the ramblings of wannabes. But to my mind, the police were justified in mounting the surveillance, carrying out the arrests and attempting to secure convictions. It is one thing to talk about the machinations of revolution, and quite another to act. These people were practising, however. And isn't that the step before the real thing? They may never have walked their talk, and I suspect some in the group were more radical than others, but I'm glad that they were intercepted. The Dominion has done NZers a favour.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Jackie - can you see a need for the invasion of Ruatoki beyond what happened in Wellington?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm curious to know about the involvement of the pakeha activists and whether they were arrested as part of the round-up-the-usual-suspects routine as initially seemed likely, or if they were actively involved in the camps, which now seems very hard for a bunch of pacifists to justify.

    At least some of the activists attended the camps -- the friend of the guy arrested in Christchurch told The Press his mate had attended only once after being "overwhelmed and freaked out" by the experience.

    All the people bailed last week, including Emily Bailey and Valerie Morse, had bail conditions forbidding them to go to Ruatoki, if that means anything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Shocking as they are, there is nothing apparent in the intercepts that justifies a terrorism charge. The snippets the Dom published are short on concrete planning and long on deranged gibberish.

    Well, got to agree with you there and I'm not entirely playing the devil's advocate in saying that I've read some much scarier wing-nutty stuff on various blogs. As it stands: I certainly believe there's a very strong case for some very serious firearms charges. Also hope, as many others have said on PAS, that some sections of Maoridom and the 'activist left' take a good hard look at themselves and chill the fuck out.

    And I've got to admit I was rather honked off by this passage in the DomPost editorial Russell linked to:

    Some will continue to dismiss much of what was intercepted as the empty talk of people with delusions of guerrilla grandeur. They will say the police should not have taken seriously those who allegedly discussed assassinating National Party leader John Key should he become prime minister at the next election. They will still argue that the police were over-reacting when suspects allegedly discussed creating urban and rural warfare, killing police, removing Pakeha farmers, and committing actions so brutal people would think al Qaeda had arrived.

    However, they will find it harder to dismiss what the affidavit says the police surveillance uncovered - trainees at camps in the Ureweras ambushing vehicles and carrying out military-style drills with live rounds, taking part in "terrifying" counter-interrogation training including holding guns to participants' backs and accusing a suspect of being a police informant, throwing Molotov cocktails, posting sentries and carrying out military drills.

    That is more than empty talk. Police needed to treat that seriously and needed to investigate. To do anything less would have been to fail in their duty to protect New Zealanders. We believe that the police were right to act.

    Excuse me? Has anyone around here is arguing that threats of that nature shouldn't have been responded to - and taken seriously?

    And to be quite cynical, I wonder what hasn't been quoted from a 115 page document.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    If I can giggle here - even the unstable nutters know Labour are on a hiding to nothing next election by targeting Key.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I've read some much scarier wing-nutty stuff on various blogs.

    Some of the intercepts do read like the kiwiblog comments section on a bad day:

    I'm ready to die, mate. I'm gonna hurt this country, I've had a gutsful ... I wanna leave this planet making sure that I've done a f...... huge amount of harm to this country."
    Suspect recorded on bugged phone, May 26, 2006.

    I'm also pretty curious to see what I/S is going to make of all this . . .

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    In other news, Indymedia's database goes bang.

    http://www.indymedia.org.nz/

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Maureen Jansen,

    What do you think the underlying issues are? Confused and crazy and violent and shocking as it all is, there is a festering issue there. This must be something to do with Tuhoe's valid sense of injustice about land loss which has somehow been distorted into this dangerous nonsense.

    And BTW, isn't Vincent Ward making a film about Tuhoe right now? It's in post-production I believe.

    And I STILL don't understand why police didn't watch and wait and talk to Maori elders and police reps in the area before spying on these nutters for so long.

    Rotorua • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, got to agree with you there and I'm not entirely playing the devil's advocate in saying that I've read some much scarier wing-nutty stuff on various blogs.

    Really? I found the stuff about killing people for practice deeply horrible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • Maureen Jansen,

    Sorry I mean I don't understand why they watched and waited so long.

    Rotorua • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    For me personally, certain things are unchanged. I think the TSA is wrong, and I think the police have handled this wrong.

    If the evidence presented in the DP proves to be be true and representative, then my sympathy for certain people will evaporate.

    The DP though: well really. If you boil down their justification for publishing, it is a) people are hating on the police, and that's bad b) it's in the public interest (ie we will sell a lot of papers and c) screw fair trials and the law, we're a newspaper! After all, everyone will have forgotten in a year when the defendants come up for trial.

    I mean, why didn't any paper do this with the police rape trials?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Some of the intercepts do read like the kiwiblog comments section on a bad day

    Well, I was thinking more about why I tend to avoid American political blogs of all stripes nowadays. But don't get me started about Kiwiblog, where one of the excitable left-wingnuts accused me of giving 'support' to a 'pedophile' recently. Tempted to go hide in a cave next year, because that's when I expect the loons of all complexions to go all the way off their meds.

    I'm also pretty curious to see what I/S is going to make of all this . . .

    Well, to be fair to Idiot/Savant while he has subjects he gets cranky on (don't we all?) he's a fundamentally sensible chap.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, I was thinking more about why I tend to avoid American political blogs of all stripes nowadays. But don't get me started about Kiwiblog, where one of the excitable left-wingnuts accused me of giving 'support' to a 'pedophile' recently.

    DPF's lefty trolls really need to learn when to leave it alone. But they did have a point about Cameron Slater (aka Whale Oil) photoshopping the head of a 15 year-old boy onto a porn pic of a man masturbating, because the boy had annoyed him. That was truly creepy.

    But that's way OT ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Really? I found the stuff about killing people for practice deeply horrible.

    Preaching to the Amen corner there, brother but I still can't quite get over the proposition that being hellishly creepy does not, ipso facto, reach the level of terrorism. Just as having reservations about how the Police handled the raids doesn't justify Greg O'Connor's more demented vapourings over recent weeks.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Sorry I mean I don't understand why they watched and waited so long.

    Because they were trying to build a case they thought they could get a conviction on? It is what they do, after all.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Also, just to make a point here - people say a lot of silly stuff on the anonymous internet. It's very easy to get worked up with a screen in front of you and no human beings responding. Saying the same kind of stuff in conversation with somebody is considerably scarier, in my view.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    why didn't any paper do this with the police rape trials?

    Well, that would have been illegal. You may have noticed this line right at the beginning of the DomPost editorial:

    We believe we are acting within the law.

    There were suppression orders in the police rape trials, I suspect the DomPost will have been bloody careful to avoid breaking any suppression here.

    The police rape trials were also either actually happening or just about to (when we got interested, anyway), the trials here are probably a year away - unlikely, therefore, to bring contempt of court into play. Finally, a previous conviction is a hell of a lot more prejudicial (and irrevocably so) than this is - especially without names.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I mean, why didn't any paper do this with the police rape trials?

    Actually, they did to some extent. Quite a lot of detail was published by the Star Times in particular before charges were brought.

    Even after two of the rape trials were concluded, there was the obvious danger (even recognised by Maia and her friends eventually) of a suppression breach aborting subsequent trials.

    This is slightly different: there's an elephant-sized cache of evidence that can't even be presented in the firearms trials.

    If this is the nature of the evidence, it's disturbing, but what charges it warrants other than the firearms ones, I'm not sure. But I hope everyone can now stop treating some of these people as heroes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Saying the same kind of stuff in conversation with somebody is considerably scarier, in my view.

    Fair point, Finn. I just think in Laura Bush's position, you might be creeped out by someone blathering about putting a cap in yo' man's ass no matter what the medium. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    That's interesting Graeme. I must admit I'm surprised that this might be legal, because I don't understand what the point of a closed hearing was otherwise, or why the SG would have warned TV3 about doing the same thing. I wonder if this means TV3 will have another crack now.

    I also would have thought that in some ways it's worse that there are no names (although I can see why they would have to leave them out) because then those statements could stick to any one of the accused.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Saying the same kind of stuff in conversation with somebody is considerably scarier, in my view.

    Especially if you're doing things that suggest you could act on what you're saying.

    Someone who talks about killing people for practice is a scary nutter. Someone who says that and trains with guns with like-minded people is a bit more than an angry blogger guy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

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