by Geoffrey Churchman
On 27 October, the Jacinda government’s spy agency (or at least one of them) the NZ Security Intelligence Service issued its first ever guide for the public on how a terrorist thinks and acts, if not looks like.
Stopping terrorist acts before they are carried out is pretty much what it is there for. The number of actual terrorist acts that have been committed in NZ can be counted on one’s fingers: the Wellington Trades Hall bombing of 1984, the blowing up of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour the following year — which killed one person each — and of course, Brenton Tarrant’s murderous rampage in Christchurch in 2019 are the ones that come to mind. Inconveniently for Jacinda, there was also the knife attack by an Islamist on customers in an Auckland supermarket last year,
But the question that arises is why issue this now? It rather suspiciously coincides with Jacinda minister Kiri Allan’s announced renewed attack on Freedom of Speech and the government paid Kate Hannah’s absurd Flopumentary on TVNZ entitled Web of Chaos, not to mention the Stuffers’ government paid Fire and Fury.
Back in the 1970s, in addition to the regular terrorist attacks by Palestinians and Islamic Jihadists, there were some notable acts committed by communist groups in Europe like the Red Brigade and the Bader Meinhof Gang. Today we have the international Antifa terrorist organisation, notorious for its violent extremism in America.
In 1977, the authoritarian Muldoon government caused considerable consternation among Leftists when it announced it was expanding the SIS’s powers to intercept private communications. The bill attracted large-scale protests during its passage through Parliament, including in Parliament grounds and a march on the SIS headquarters which at that time was at 175 Taranaki Street.
At the time Leftists believed this measure was aimed at them, understandable when the Muldoon government was doing things they didn’t like — such as endorsing the tour by the All Blacks to apartheid South Africa, reversing the ban on visiting nuclear warships and selling land at Bastion Point that Maori claimed was theirs. But more significantly, Muldoon constantly demonized Leftists who protested against his government.
Five decades on, the situation has been reversed: Leftists rule the roost and it’s the political Right — libertarians and conservatives — that gets demonized by public sector employees and the Left Wing media.
Viewed objectively, the pdf the SIS has released is fairly restrained in comparison to what the Jacinda government’s media propagandists have been proclaiming about their ideological enemies. Much of what it says is what the public generally has realised since the 9/11 attacks by Muslim extremists, and a succession of follow-up attacks by Islamists in Europe and some in America. These — and there are a lot more of them than people may realise — are assiduously documented by the website The Religion of Peace which is well worth visiting.
One problem with what the SIS states, however, is that whenever neighbours of terrorists have been interviewed after they have committed their heinous acts, they invariably say things like ‘we never suspected it, he was such a nice boy.’ Indeed; those plotting terrorist acts are unlikely to want to draw too much attention to themselves.
Despite what libertarians and civil rights campaigners think of the Jacinda government and its manipulative, controlling and anti-democratic behaviour over the last 5 years, I do see some potentially useful comments in Know the Signs if it was aimed specifically at the Muslim community — and let’s face it, nearly all terrorists in the last 20 years have been Muslim extremists, but it’s not hard to predict about whom most reports to the SIS or the Coster Mob will be made and by whom.