GUEST BLOG: Ross Meurant – WHAT CONSTITUTES A TERRORIST ATTACK? WHAT CONSTITUTES POLITICAL ADVANTAGE?

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Whether the West Auckland stabbing and police killing of the perpetrator, was an attack by a terrorist or just a “deranged nutter”, is a moot point in my view.  

Same reassessment must also be asked of the actions of the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacres. 

Harbouring contempt for a particular culture or race or group of persons, does not in my view justify being elevated to a terrorist attack.  

America is constantly exposed to “deranged nutters” committing mass school yard mayhem.  Yet, these tragic events are not uniformly promoted as “terrorist attacks”.

Surely, to qualify as a terrorist attack, there must be an objective to overthrow a government.

If we are to apply random killings by deranged perpetrators as terrorism, the 1990 Aramoana massacre of 13 persons, should be re-calibrated to have been terrorist attack and not a mass murder. (1)

No motive to overthrow the government of New Zealand appeared in the above examples; merely a hatred of one’s fellow human beings – for whatever reasons, possessed the perpetrators at the time.

Therefore, the penchant of politicians to rattle the sabre of, “terrorists in our midst”, does raise the question of political grandstanding.  

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This in turn presents the golden opportunity for our Guardians aka police & GCSB, to make a grab for more power.

As Voltaire warned: Beware of the words, “Internal security for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.”

In his relentless pursuit of freedom of expression and preservation of the rights of us all, Martyn Bradbury, with predictable regularity and imprecations, sounds Voltaire’s clarion call. 

For example, when he penned: “Right now, the NZ Police are using mass surveillance facial recognition software from an Orwellian company that illegally sources photos without any sign off from the Privacy Commissioner or their own Police Boss!”  (2)

In a response from me I penned:

“Having been deep in the forest of police intrigue, I can tell you unequivocally, that 50% of what is produced by police spies aka Criminal Intelligence, is either exaggerated beyond reason or totally “invented” to ensure job security and that their paymasters i.e., gullible politicians who thrill at the ride in police car with flashing lights or a tiki tour helicopter ride over denizens below trying to get some sleep before work in the morning, are sufficiently impressed (aka sucked in) that they will approve any request for more power. (3)

More recently, following the “terror attack” in West Auckland, I argued that existing laws, if applied, may have prevented that tragedy.  For example, whereas it was claimed that no legal provisions existed to incarcerate a person for planning a crime, I countered with anti-pen ultimate acts constituting an attempt (being statutory and case law which exists).

I do however recognise that the ingredients of the crime of, conspiring to commit crime (Crimes Act), requires three of more persons to engage and do envisage a crime of “planning” per-se with oneself (example collecting data via internet) might be introduced as a new crime. (4)

The 2007 Tuhoe raids where a series of armed police raids were conducted in response to alleged paramilitary training camps in the Urewera mountains, were widely touted as “terrorism”.

Conducted under the mantel of the recently introduced 2002 Terror Laws, this police action was finally brought to heal when the Solicitor General had to decline his permission to proceed with charges laid under that legislation.

The crimes and offences alleged by the police, could have and should have and ultimately were laid under legislation which existed before the 2002 Terror Laws variation was adopted.

Seventeen people faced a total of 291 charges under the Arms Act, including the illegal possession of an AK-47-style rifle, a double-barrel sawn-off shotgun, other military-style semi-automatic firearms and Molotov cocktails.

Point arising?  With very few exceptions, current laws do provide all the powers the police need.  It’s simply a matter of not being negligent (as I consider police were preceding the Christchurch massacres) and utilising existing laws (as were available in the Tuhoe and West Auckland cases).

As Descartes penned: “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” 

 

  1. https://nzhistory.govt.nz/david-gray-kills-13-aramoana
  2. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2021/04/27/look-at-that-nz-police-drunk-on-power-again-but-we-can-trust-them-with-new-mass-surveillance-network/
  3. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2021/05/26/guest-blog-ross-meurant-are-you-being-watched/
  4. https://breakingviewsnz.blogspot.com/2021/09/ross-meurant-beware-of-words-internal.html#more

Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies; currently Honorary Consul for an African state’ Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interests.

24 COMMENTS

  1. I have wondered the very same thing and mostly agree with you, but you might want to lower the bar a bit from ‘overthrow’ to ‘destabilize’ the govt. I think everyone would agree that 9/11 was a terrorist attack, however the purpose was to commit terror, not overthrow the government. It could be argued that the Christchurch massacre was done for the same reasons even tho he was an individual acting on his own. However the shadowy background of the social media groups he belonged to could be said to have amplified his hate and egged him on in his plans, which appeared extensive before he executed his wicked deeds. This is unlike the recent supermarket attacker, or any other number of mass murders committed on these shores.

  2. Was the 9/11 attack designed to overthrow a government? I don’t think so. Still, It was undoubtedly a terrorist attack.

  3. “WHAT CONSTITUTES A TERRORIST ATTACK? ”
    Nearly 100 years of the criminals masquerading as a political right wing politic intervening ( read thieving from) our primary industry while pretending to be farmer allies when, in reality, they were, and still are, the enemy and in so doing have tanked our economy, ruined generations of the children of the damned and heralded in poverty, hardship and suffering in what can be easily argued as being an otherwise paradise country of more than enough. 35 million more than enough be exact. ( It’s said that our farmers can feed 40 million which, as a farmer, I believe is a conservative figure. )

  4. Apropos a txt I received re: search without warrants.

    Current legislation provides for search without warrant -in a fluid situation and where good cause to suspect items may be found.

    However, where police in routine enquiry situations have collated data and gather sufficient information to indicate unlawful goods etc may be at a particular place, the police must put that evidence before a judicial officer who will sign a warrant if satisfied reasonable grounds exist.

    In the case of an evolving “terror “ incident, police would have right to search without warrant under current legislation.

    Proposals to grant police open slather walk in where any time, is exactly the same pathway Internal Security Paragons have sought in the past, to gain more and more power.

    Which brings me back to Voltaire.

    • So @ RM? You mean by using the concept of terrorism, for example, to argue to for an ever increasing level of security ( Read intrusion by stealth) into our society presumably to eventually gain control of our society by foreign powers with private agendas that have nothing to do with actual terrorism, what ever that is?
      If that’s what you mean then I must say it’s been terrifyingly obvious to me for years.
      I’d go so far as to write that we’ve been under covert foreign control for generations. Although those same foreigners are less foreign to us now because THEY’RE buying their way past OUR border controls and immigration requirements. And the reason for that isn’t for the fresh air and the fishing. It’s because of their mindless greed that’s started literal global fire storms and now they’re on the run from them.
      Peter thiel, elon musk’s bestie who constantly vies for worlds richest man-weirdo with jeff bizarro Ba Ha Bezos can be seen literally holding hands with donald trump. Larry page ? $172 BILLION dollar larry ‘google’ page was secretly given AO/NZ citizenship. We know that because he flew his kid here for what we’re told was urgent medical treatment right through our c-19 lock down and over our very own starving kids in Otara in his fucking Gulf Stream! I mean WTF? Then larry had the cheek to ask our government to be discrete about those matters to us. The citizens of AO/NZ who pay OUR politicians to act in a manner that best serves WE the people. Not fucking larry The Lizard. ( No disrespect to actual lizards) I have a friend in Brisbane who told me that their early spring temperatures are already above 31 C.
      Once the collective ‘we’ become brainwashed into becoming a republic, the Crown will be chucked out along with The Treaty and all our current privileges we can all enjoy will become private property so you’d best get down to the National Parks, rivers and beaches while you can.
      Did you read? The owner of fucking Ikea has just bought 5500 hectares of Otago farm land to plant bloody pine trees? How, who and for how much? The politicians who enabled that should be literally dragged out of OUR parliament and charged with treason.
      Ikea owner buys 5500ha of Otago farmland for forestry.
      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/country/451673/ikea-owner-buys-5500ha-of-otago-farmland-for-forestry
      Put simply; our beautiful AO/NZ is being parasitised by the hyper riche and we’ll fall victim to them.

      • Both versions of our govt are disgusting and it is our duty to remove them. The last thing NZ needs more of is fucking pine trees.

      • Country boy, agree! In the 1970s a hippy conspiracy theory was that multinationals would take over the world. No one would argue that is a conspiracy theory now, because they have.

  5. Two points,

    One a terror attack used to be about creating terror amongst the community, usually for an ideological reasons. People in NZ are arguing the definition of terrorism, to suit themselves.

    In my view, both were terror attacks, the mall attack would have been just as deadly as CHCH but the person did not have the use of semi automatic weapons, had hunting knives confiscated and had two armed police to shoot him dead before he went further. His intent was to kill and he had been keen and vocalised doing so for some time, (not necessarily in NZ as he tried to leave).

    Two,

    Both people did not seem like to be able to pull this off themselves unsupported. I think more study should have been done about their history and when, were and how they were used by other parties to ‘turn’ them into terrorists. Is the end plan to de-stable the west or governments for some far left, far right libertarian or religious ideal? Who knows, as usual in NZ, there is not much interest in doing research, under neoliberalism and woke rule, we can’t even do a census anymore .

    I don’t believe either terrorists suddenly woke up one day or always had those views. Tarrent had visited Pakistan and Israel in his OE, which are unusual choices and well known for terrorist attacks. The mall attacker came from a majority muslim town, but according to his Mother, was radicalised in NZ, from his neighbours. The mall attacker found the money to come to NZ, but probably was a ruse to enter NZ as he seems to have never intended to study here, as he quit his course after 1 month. This is not usual behaviour for many refugees or genuine foreign students, who want education so they can get a good job and have a better life. He came and immediately seemed to choose a path of destruction from the get go, just like the September 11 bombers were only interested in learning how to fly the plane, not landing it.

    • saveNZ. If you’re saying that New Zealand does not do sufficient vetting of persons whom we allow to emigrate to this country, then it looks as if you are correct.

      As a tax payer, and fourth generation New Zealander, I have no problem with policy which prioritises our own interests over the interests of outsiders, and I expect government to know that vetting immigrants is part of their job – and nor am I anti-immigration per se.

  6. America is constantly exposed to “deranged nutters” committing mass school yard mayhem. Yet, these tragic events are not uniformly promoted as “terrorist attacks”.

    YES the Auckland one was just a mental health case in my view. They have all this money to monitor the man 24 hours and little to sort out his mental health and his beliefs.

  7. The insistence that “overthrowing the government” as the defining aspect of terrorism is not broad enough. Perhaps “the intentional creation of fear for political purposes through violence or the threat of violence” would be better.
    The famous Charlie Hebdo massacre, for example, was designed to silence dissent through instilling fear within the people (the creation of Islamophobia?) not overtly political towards the French Government.

    An interesting one was the (as it turned out) fake bombs planted by a bunch of “nutters” (APA affiliates) in a Wellington cinema. The mostly elderly Jewish movie goers were traumatised, that was the intention, that is terrorism. No?

    • David George

      Its an important aspect of where the country goes with this -terrorism – justification for usurping rights.
      Taking the examples I have provide; the existing laws do provide for police to deal with nutters or terrorist’s. The examples also suggest police were remiss in the application of the powers they have,

      I don’t presume to have the sagacity to produce a perfect definition.
      Your contribution is as important as any, to making suggestions for the legal definition of what is terrorism.

      The concern implicit in my article above is; that fear generated by “security personnel” should be recognized for what it is: “In too many cases, self promoting job protecting opinions of a group of bureaucrats who have been educated largely on a diet of internal departmental wisdom – like “inside the tent culture”.

      That is a dangerous standard to elevate as the justification for expanding powers.

      The cry of the the Oppressor.

  8. Hello Ross
    It must be demoralizing reading some of the comments.
    Its as if some dont read or absorb what is in the blogs!
    Being technically precise as you are and you do use big words?

    But, they do get a vote.
    That’s democracy for you.

  9. Excellent article. The government’s raison d’etre is consolidating it’s power and both sides are generally happy to pick up where the other left off every 6 or 9 years. Most else going on around about is window dressing.

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