The terror evidence made public

In a fit of good timing, the NZ Herald editorial calls for the evidence against the Urewera 17 to be made public, and the Dom Post and the Press run editorials explaining that they are doing exactly that, and why.

I suspect the NZ Herald was calling for the Government to officially release the info, not for their competitors to do it!

The revelations might cause a few people to pause before they acclaim those arrested as peaceful heroes.

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 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.

The good news for John Key is they expect him to win the election. The bad news is they wanted him to serve just five days!!

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.”

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.

14 firearms is a significant number.  I am looking forward to especially hearing from the peace activists who were present how having 14 firearms illegally used at a camp fits with the peace movement’s objectives.

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