Itoldyaso! – John Key

Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand intelligence agencies are monitoring individuals with “similar characteristics” to the man behind Sydney’s deadly hostage drama.

Three people, including gunman Man Haron Monis, are dead after the Martin Pl siege ended in a volley of gunfire shortly after 2am local time today (4am NZT).

Key said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning were not aware that any Kiwis were involved but it still had imperfect information and was continuing to monitor the situation.

Key said New Zealand’s risk assessment had not changed as a result of events across the Tasman though the independent group responsible for monitoring the situation may meet to review that.

And he confirmed that among the 30 to 40 individuals identified as a threat to New Zealand’s national security were those who had “not identical but similar characteristics” to Monis.

“If you think about the sort of characteristics of the person that could be attracted to these kinds of actions they need to be often…..disenfranchised, sometimes mentally unwell, perceptible to the sorts of messages that Isis are pumping out by their social media and outreach campaign and believers of the extreme version of Islam.

“When all those characteristics congregate together you have a toxic combination and that’s what you see both in Canada and Australia.

“So from New Zealand’s point of view theres a very small group of people in that category.

“We do our best to monitor them but as you can see these people in Australia and Canada were all known to the authorities, so it shows you how high the threshold is before someone can actually be detained – and that’s the challenge between freedom and liberty and keeping New Zealanders safe,” Key said.

Translated:  It could happen here, and in spite of our shored up laws, we are still unable to protect Kiwi citizens from similar nutbars if they choose to act. 

The gunman at the centre of the Sydney siege was among a number of homegrown terrorists being targeted by IS, Key said.

The attack was an act of “cowardice”, and he said New Zealand’s hearts went out to all Australians.

“It’s a terrible tragedy isn’t it? Our hearts and thoughts go out not only to the families of the victims and the hostages, but actually to all Australians.” Key said on Firstline.

“Australia’s our nearest neighbour, they’re our greatest mates, we consider ourselves to be very similar in the way we go about our lives.

“I think Australia will be really hurting, and indeed the world is as we see some people lose their lives in an utter act of cowardice, and so close to Christmas.”

But he rejected arguments that the attack might not have happened if Australian troops were not in Iraq.

“Some people want to make that link and make that case, but in the end, what we see is ISIL and these domestic terrorist attacks which is the result of part of their teachings, building in intensity and spreading around the world,” he said.

“You can always make the case that says if Australia and Canada weren’t involved in the war against ISIS then they wouldn’t be subjected to the these domestic terrorist attacks.

“But the counter-argument to that is that ISIL is growing in its resources and its outreach, and as it gets stronger and more influential then those risks grow exponentially as well.”

I think we’ll see our own home-grown incident in the near future.  Unless our security services manage to get ahead of it.

We can but hope.


– Stacey Kirk, Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.