And the backlash begins in 5-4-3-2-1
Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
The terrorism files
Today The Dominion Post reveals the secret evidence police amassed while investigating suspected terrorism activity in New Zealand. Compiled from hundreds of hours of covert surveillance, this is the intelligence that led to armed police conducting their controversial raids. This is the public's first chance to fully assess the merits of the police investigation.
What the bugs revealed ... Watched at every step ... The trail that led to armed raids ... Editorial: More than empty talk in Ureweras
Secret surveillance of Urewera bush camp trainees reveals discussions about killing people for practice, throwing Molotov cocktails into gas-filled buildings, blowing up power stations, television networks and the Waihopai spy base.
Electronic bugs also revealed United States President George W Bush as a possible target, and a discussion about assassinating National leader John Key.
Police say their bugs also picked up talk of copying IRA and Iraqi guerrilla tactics by using hit-and-run squads for bush and urban warfare.
The Dominion Post has obtained the 156-page affidavit presented by police to Manukau District Court. The information in it was used to obtain search warrants when police suspected terrorist plots were under way. It provides details from hundreds of bugged conversations and text messages, descriptions of police video footage - and the reasons why police believed people were training to be terrorists.
The affidavit was sworn on October 10 by a detective sergeant from special investigations, a unit that scrutinises radical groups and issues of national security. Five days later, armed police raided the suspects.
The affidavit says that, between November 2006 and September this year, six "quasi-military training camps" were held in the Ruatoki area. Police say the trainees planned to use small squads to commit terrorist acts.
Bugged conversations recorded talk of plans for urban and rural warfare, of killing police, removing Pakeha farmers, assassinating politicians and committing actions so brutal that the public would think al Qaeda was responsible.
On August 16 this year, police intercepted a conversation between two suspects in a car. They discussed Mr Bush and speculation that he could visit New Zealand - and talked of using a sniper's rifle.
The police affidavit says: "I believe this relates to a hypothetical conversation about how they could kill the president of the United States of America, George Bush, and a conversation about the effectiveness of firearms."
In another bugged conversation, in a car on August 17, a suspect talks of killing Mr Key after the next election: "Get someone to assassinate the prime minister, the new one, next year's one. Just been in office five days, bang ... Yeah, John Key ... just drop a bomb ... Just wait till he visits somewhere and just blow them ... They won't even find you."
In another bugged phone call, on July 21 this year, a suspect says Tuhoe would go to war for the Ureweras "so we, we gotta make a plan how we're gonna block in the bloody place, shutting the whole place down". According to the affidavit, another suspect responds, "That's what I wanna hear," and another says, "So I got a couple of years to have fun."
One suspect talks of a strategic bombing campaign and using violence so extreme it would divide New Zealand. Another talks of doing what the IRA did in Britain: "It's all about guerrilla, guerrilla war ... It's about hiding and being able to fight another day."
Another talks of training for two years, focusing only on going to war, and handpicking an IRA-type cell to kill and create chaos, the affidavit says.
In other bugged conversations, police say they heard talk of making nail bombs, targeting Parliament and screening recruits. Conversations refer to IRA and al Qaeda training manuals and police say one suspect said he would show another how to make napalm.
One suspect is said to have talked of making a sniper's camouflage suit and obtaining a rifle capable of killing from 2500 metres. Police say one suspect said 100 people had been through the camps, but that 50 would be enough to start a war if they were well-trained.
The affidavit says surveillance of training camps shows:
Vehicle ambushes and military-style drills with live rounds.
"Terrifying" counter-interrogation training, including holding guns to participants' backs and accusing one of being a police informant.
How to throw Molotov cocktails.
How to extract colleagues under rifle fire.
In the background to the affidavit, police say one trainee using the codename Bl@ckmask hacked into the National Party website in 2004.
The affidavit says police watched or recorded trainees leaving their homes around the country and heading toward Ruatoki, often picking up others en route. Police say they stopped following the suspects once they drove into Ruatoki, for fear of being discovered, but they installed video cameras on accessways and at campsites, and bugged a camp meal room and sleeping room.
At the last of the camps, police say surveillance picked up 18 people and 14 firearms.
Well, well, well - I wonder how mainstream NZ will react to this now. I have said it once, I'll say it again, NO PEACE ACTIVIST - NO SOCIAL JUSTICE ACTIVIST HAS ANY RIGHT TO PICK UP A GUN IN NZ! And the second you do pick up a gun - you are no longer a member of a social justice movement. Do I think these people are terrorists, no, I think it's a lot of arrogant boasts, but now the cat is out of the bag, there's no way the rest of NZ are going to see anything short of terrorism. So do those rallying around the Urewera 17 (or 16 if you are trying to distance yourself from Jamie Lockett) support any of this shit?
More from the Dominion Editorial...
The police have been accused of over-reacting, and of being racist. Supporters of those accused have argued there is nothing to justify the operation the police mounted, that notions of domestic terrorism are as insubstantial as the Urewera mist, and that those arrested are the victims of some sort of vendetta. They argue that those the police arrested are blameless. Their claims have not been tested in any meaningful way till now.
Solicitor-General David Collins, Qc, has spoken of "very disturbing activities". The material in the affidavit the police submitted to obtain search warrants more than confirms that description.
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.
I am a proud activist, I have been on more protest marches than I care to remember, I disagree completely with the TSA and have blogged on how disgusting it is for Helen Clarke to have the power to decide who is and who isn't a terrorist, I have spoken out against the Police in this country so many times that any suggestion I'm pro Police is simply farcical, philosophically I support damage to property to make symbolic statements, and if you get caught for that you man up and take the consequences - HOWEVER, as a matter of principle I would never pick up a gun against my fellow NZer - certainly there are moments in history, Bloody Sunday, the Sharpeville massacre where resistance has to go to another level against the oppressor - but in NZ the 'oppressor' uses 3 yearly proportional elections and the odd taser - hardly a rallying call for armed resistance now is it? These stupid clowns in the Urerweras have set back the activist community for 100 years, not race relations. By acting in the manner they have, they give the right wing all the bullets necessary to shoot at us, this is a home goal unlike any other, now watch the security spiders spin their domestic terror laws into something we all have to worry about now.
What the bugs revealed
Suspect tells another it would be good to kill Pakeha to get trainees used to killing. Also suggests making their own tracer ammunition and using tungsten projectiles to go through a "cop vest" and through "his f...... mate".
Bug in vehicle, recorded April 6, 2007.
"Get someone to assassinate the prime minister, the new one, next year's one. Just been in office five days, bang ... Yeah. John Key ... just drop a bomb ... Just wait till he visits somewhere and just blow them ... They won't even find you."
Two suspects in bugged vehicle, August 17, 2007.
"They want to start blowing shit up. You know, they want to blow up power plants, gas plants, Telecom, petrol f...... places and shit like that."
Two suspects in bugged vehicle, June 23, 2007.
"You know like the IRA in England ... it's gonna happen here ... 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.
"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.
"I heard you talking about the napalm shit." Response from unknown man: "I'll make some and bring some next time round, show everyone how to make it."
Conversation in bugged vehicle, September 16, 2007.
"No, I'm teaming up with the Maoris, we have to ... I'll come and see ya, I can't f...... take the white man on without the c...s ... I'm declaring war on this country."
Bugged cellphone, May 22, 2007.
"Tuhoe wouldn't have popular support for a bombing campaign in New Zealand."
Reply: "It would in Tuhoe though ... What about if we did a bombing campaign that blew up Waihopai spy base, power dams, gas facilities, TV stations and radios ... It's a strategy that's gonna be f...... urban warfare. We are training in the wrong place."
First speaker: "What's going to be the strategy?"
Reply: "Strategy will divide, will divide Aotearoa ... extreme violence and extreme f...... actions too."
Two suspects in bugged vehicle, June 23, 2007.
"I cut down all of my work, right down. Ah, I'm only focusing to go to war."
Bugged suspect, April 26, 2007.
"There's nothing in this country can stop you once you got it, you can kill anybody you want. They'll never be able to find you."
Suspect talking in bugged vehicle about asking for sniper's rifle, August 16, 2007.
"Wait till bullets start going through people, that's f...... horrible ... Wait till your mate's head gets blown off because someone dobbed us in and we get f...... shot at."
Suspect in bugged sleeping room, June 23, 2007.
"There's about 10 manuals ... There's the al Qaeda manual and that's f...... good. That's right up to date."
Later another suspect says: "That last exercise was a bit freaky for me, having a gun in my back."
Response: "High level of secrecy, we needed, you know, we need to test people."
Bugged training camp room, June 23, 2007.
Suspect X tells Suspect Y he is tired of playing games. Suspect Y says they need good planning so they don't die on the first day. Both worry about the enemy within their ranks and talk about needing 20 small squads, such as in Iraq, carrying out their own missions.
Bugged vehicle, April 4, 2007.
Straw Poll time folks - what do we think - were the cops right to act or not?