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After knife attack, New Zealand criminalizes terror plotting

35 Comments
By NICK PERRY

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35 Comments
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The article is vague on details. What exactly does this new law criminalize? "Plotting" seems like a rubber word.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

It's rarther remarkable that such a loophile existed for so long, and it's a tragedy that it took this knife attack to get it corrected. But at least it is now corrected.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

WilliB

The article is vague on details. What exactly does this new law criminalize? "Plotting" seems like a rubber word.

Sounds like "conspiracy" to me.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Maybe it’s indeed better and more effective to let the Maori show you how to handle that…lol

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

*The Greens said they were also worried that some experts had characterized the new offense (planning a terrorist attack) as a “thought crime," and that accompanying powers allowing authorities to carry out warrantless searches increased the risk for human rights abuses.*

And the Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner have agreed with the Greens. This is concerning.

"The Government has also changed the Search and Surveillance Act to permit police officers to conduct warrantless searches of people, vehicles, and properties for terror planning and preparation offences which have a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment."

What does that mean? They had tried to prosecute Samsudeen after he "bought a large hunting knife" (in addition to having IS videos) so now, under the new law, is buying hunting goods grounds for surveillance or a warrantless search? Our shed on the farm contains stacks of hunting / camping equipment which would be perfect for hiding out after carrying out an attack, or for training out in the bush. Is THAT grounds for prosecution under the new laws?

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/126530458/parliament-passes-counterterrorism-laws-criminalising-terror-planning-and-expanding-warrantless-search-powers

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I think the term "conspiracy " in criminal law requires two or more people's involvement

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not surprising the 'freedom' shouting far rightists seem to be upset that their 'freedom' to plot terror attacks might in some way be more difficult to do.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Maybe it’s indeed better and more effective to let the Maori show you how to handle that…lol

Just out of curiosity, how would Maori handle it?

Any idea is a good idea.

Also, best of luck with your new leader.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I agree that there needs to be more done to stop Islamic terrorism, but thought crime is not a crime.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Ubesh,

Islamic terrorism

The Christchurch attacks weren't Islamic terrorism.

PTownsend,

Not surprising the 'freedom' shouting far rightists seem to be upset that their 'freedom' to plot terror attacks might in some way be more difficult to do.

I don't think anyone is advocating for the freedom to be able to plot terror attacks. The conservative National Party supported the bill, although I acknowledge that you said 'far rightists.' I'm pretty liberal, and am upset with law changes that allow surveillance and warrantless searches for actions that are vaguely described, or taken in relative isolation. Such as 'buying a knife.' As are the Green Party, and the Maori Party.

I don't think knee-jerk law changes to extreme, and in the case of NZ relatively rare, events are always justified.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

With the increasing pressure-cooker environment in most Western countries and loss of personal freedoms, it a question of when not if the next terror attack occurs. These will be done either by Islamic fundamentalists or the Far Right. The Far Left has no need to any lonher do such things since they now control all the major institutions in Western countries.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

thought crime is not a crime.

It is now.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The Far Left has no need to any lonher do such things since they now control all the major institutions in Western countries.

So since they are in power they will not do such things, but if out of power they will do such things.. now that is such obtuse thinking..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

PTownsendToday 12:55 pm JST

Not surprising the 'freedom' shouting far rightists seem to be upset that their 'freedom' to plot terror attacks might in some way be more difficult to do.

Another "bright" statement from the left. Why aren't you accusing the police of overreaction and brutality? Maybe shooting him in the leg while he was stabbing someone would have been better. Oh wait, he is Muslim, therefore the police are racist. I get your point.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Maybe the govt. immigration should screen incoming immigrants better,

and deport at the hint of terrorist activity.

If NZ's govt. needs to "crack down" on anything, it's their own virtue signaling.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Maybe the govt. immigration should screen incoming immigrants better,

and deport at the hint of terrorist activity.

Why would they pass up this opportunity to impose further authoritarian control on their own populace?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

One thing some countries fail to understand is how these idiots are radicalized. Is it in their local mosque, social media, moslem preachers on YouTube? If so, then keep an eye and monitor these platforms. I once walked into a shop owned by a Bangladeshi and sure enough he was watching these hate preachers on YouTube. This incident was not in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

One thing some countries fail to understand is how these idiots are radicalized. Is it in their local mosque, social media, moslem preachers on YouTube?

The seeds are sown in the cradle and they are, for the most part, radicalized by the environment they grew up in.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Having lived in NZ , I know that the police the intelligence community would only use these laws when they have credible worries about an individual or group. Having a camping bag in your shed? Not going to ping them. Just owning a hunting knife not enough. Internet chats, searches for extremest videos or people worried. Then the limited resource will take an interest.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Having lived in NZ , I know that the police the intelligence community would only use these laws when they have credible worries about an individual or group.

I lived in Australia and I never dreamt there would be black clad riot police beating, pepper spraying and firing rubber bullets on peaceful demonstraters. Fascism is a hairs breadth away.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cricky,

I know that the police the intelligence community would only use these laws when they have credible worries about an individual or group. 

Let’s hope so. But not every member of the police or intelligence communities are pure as driven snow. There are documented instances of nefarious practices such as the Dawn Raids, described as “the most blatantly racist attack on Pacific peoples by the New Zealand government in New Zealand’s history,” when the New Zealand Police was instructed to enter homes (of suspected overstayers) and/or stop people on the street and ask for permits, visas or passports.  A 2021 report found instances of: Intolerance of questioning or dissent; favouritism and protectionism; marginalisation and ostracism; abuse and intimidatory conduct; sexist and racist behaviour; inappropriate office culture; and lack of empathy and caring. There has been illegal spying by the Government Communications Security Bureau, and the States Services Commission Report asserts “Over a dozen government agencies including the New Zealand Police are revealed to have been engaging private intelligence firms such as the notorious Thompson and Clark Investigations Limited to spy on New Zealand citizens engaged in issue-based democratic dissent, activism in general, or who were deemed to present an economic or political ‘risk’ to the bureaucracy or the private sector in New Zealand.”

More recently there were raids on legal gun owners like this farm manager who was surprised when 14 police officers, many of whom armed with semi-automatic rifles and side-arms, spread out across his front yard. He said of the raid, “I'd like to know how I came to be on a list somewhere. I'm just an everyday Kiwi. A phone call would have worked just as well." And all because he’d legally bought an AR15 the day after the Christchurch attacks.  

Having a camping bag in your shed? Not going to ping them. Just owning a hunting knife not enough. 

Well that’s good, but that’s not what I described, which was “stacks of hunting / camping equipment which would be perfect for hiding out after carrying out an attack, or for training out in the bush.” And just quietly, Dad and my brothers are not hunting deer, boar and tahr with knives. There's some high-powered - legally owned and secured - stuff in there.

www.nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/dawn-raids

www.consortiumnews.com/2019/01/18/exclusive-they-spy-with-their-little-eye/

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/claim-armed-police-raids-to-seize-firearms-over-the-top/2QUWJFQORE3M3X4GZ6BOFRG3HI

www.ipca.govt.nz/Site/publications-and-media/2021-media-releases/2021-mar-02-bullying-and-culture-nzp.aspx

0 ( +2 / -2 )

NZ needs to take care not to use this law to entrap political dissidents which is how it’s often abused by the FBI in the US.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The new crime of planning a terrorist attack comes with a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment. 

One thing some countries fail to understand is how these idiots are radicalized. Is it in their local mosque, social media, moslem preachers on YouTube? If so, then keep an eye and monitor these platforms.

Just locking them up in prison won't do much. What happens when they're released? They could be plotting during the time behind bars.

What's needed is reeducation. Teach them why it's wrong to hurt others. Put them through a rehabilitation program like in Xinjiang for the Uighurs with ties to extremists. Do so without violating their rights.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thought police.

If it was actually possible to know, without a reasonable doubt, what another human intends, then fine.

How are creative groups trying to make realistic movies going to work? A group of the writers gets into a room and creates a plot. Sometimes they have props to help with the process. A huge, sharp, hunting knife would easily be a prop. Are they terrorist too?

When police try to figure out future terrorism activities - that seems much like plotting too. Is that legal now? After all, they will need to think through what someone else's intent.

NZ needs to take care not to use this law to entrap political dissidents which is how it’s often abused by the FBI in the US.

What? This is nonsense.

Are there any people in jail in the US purely for political views? Nope. None. If their views make them violent, that's different. Typical political protesters who get arrested for failing to obey police are released a few hours later. They get to continue their political activities. They aren't beaten. They aren't poisoned. They aren't fired from their jobs unless it interferes with work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One thing some countries fail to understand is how these idiots are radicalized. Is it in their local mosque, social media, moslem preachers on YouTube? 

A great many are indoctrinated in prison.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They aren't fired from their jobs unless it interferes with work.

Depends. There are no shortage of instances of individuals being fired after being identified on social media as being part of a big protest when their political position is claimed to be incompatible with their work. This is something I dislike even when it happens to someone who is openly racist/misogynist or otherwise unsavory. The difference is that employers are making these calls and not the government but it is still wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What's needed is reeducation. Teach them why it's wrong to hurt others. Put them through a rehabilitation program like in Xinjiang for the Uighurs with ties to extremists. Do so without violating their rights.

This is a non sequitur. It is not possible to confine someone for political re-education without violating their rights. One may teach civics in school but everyone is free to believe as they wish in terms of religion. Forcibly re-educating people is undemocratic in the extreme, and worse guarantees future sworn enemies who will think nothing of using violence.

What does work is inclusion in government combined with economic opportunity. People with a job and who perceive their government hears them do not engage in anti government violence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Warrantless searches are undemocratic and should never be permitted by an elected representative government. It is a sign of cowardice on the part of law enforcement to engage in a search without a warrant signed by a judge. If law enforcement has evidence of a crime they need to show it to a judge first. Without a judge signing off on searches to protect the rights of the innocent you devolve into a police state no better than Russia or China. This is a shameful act of cowardice on the part of the New Zealand government and deserves to be condemned roundly. Any judge who accepts such evidence in a court of law should be disbarred. They are unfit to judge anyone if they allow such a detestable abuse of the long standing traditions of rules of evidence in English Law to stand.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Desert Tortoise

I agree.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jeans and T-shirt,

Quite right. There was also in NZ the notorious case of Arthur Alan Thomas convicted of double murder in NZ in the 1970s on faked police evidence and testimony. Thomas spent years in maximum security prison before persistent protests from ordinary NZers led to a re-examination of the case and his being pardoned.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I seem to remember many posters saying, after the knife attack, "why didn't the do something sooner" or why were they waiting until he attacked before doing anything?"

The reason was they couldn't do anything. They had to wait and follow him until he attacked someone and then act.

This law fixes that problem.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The reason was they couldn't do anything. They had to wait and follow him until he attacked someone and then act.

This law fixes that problem.

He needed to be deported. That would have solved everything and prevented the crime. Absurdly, this new law doesnt address that at all. Instead we have new regulations eroding the freedoms and rights of NZers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is not possible to confine someone for political re-education without violating their rights. 

It is also not possible to wield knives and carry out terrorists attacks and without your rights taken away. In the end, you still have a freedom to choose your religion. Non-political education that teaches to abandon the use of violence to exercise religion is not a violation of human rights.

What does work is inclusion in government combined with economic opportunity. People with a job and who perceive their government hears them do not engage in anti government violence.

There are Chinese mandarin language and vocational classes in the Xinjiang "camps" designed for the reintegration into society for Uighurs arrested for ties to extremists.

Rehabilitation programs of terrorists and extremists have been tested in over 20 countries since 9/11. These aim to boost dialogue, tolerance, and understanding among different religions, cultures, and people. It is in line with the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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