Hang on, I thought we were safe from terrorism?

The NZ Herald had a major article the other day about what to do if you become embroiled in a terrorist attack.

It was written by Darren Morton, an expert in counter-terrorism and a former member of the Diplomatic Protection Squad who guard our politicians.

I thought to myself, hang on a minute, we are being constantly told that there isn’t a problem in New Zealand. David Seymour thinks people like me are scare-mongering, and our own government has ignored warnings about laptops on aircraft.

Even one of the rare successes against the Islamic State belongs at least in part to Israel, which was America’s partner in the attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Top Israeli cyberoperators penetrated a small cell of extremist bombmakers in Syria months ago, the officials said. That was how the United States learned that the terrorist group was working to make explosives that fooled airport X-ray machines and other screening by looking exactly like batteries for laptop computers.

The intelligence was so exquisite that it enabled the United States to understand how the weapons could be detonated, according to two American officials familiar with the operation. The information helped prompt a ban in March on large electronic devices in carry-on luggage on flights from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries to the United States and Britain.

The intelligence would have been shared with NZ so you have to wonder why our government has simply ignored it. Clearly, this expert isn’t ignoring risks, nor potential threats.

If we are so safe why is the newspaper of record and a counter-terrorism expert suddenly informing us of how to behave if we become part of a terror attack.  

It raises some interesting questions.

  1. Has the risk profile of New Zealand changed in the past six months significantly so that it warrants a news article and some advice about what to do?
  2. Irrespective of risk profiles, has the media,  and the NZ Herald in particular, become aware of a clear and present danger or threat of imminent attack, so much so that they feel the need to warn us via such an article?

It would be nice if the Prime Minister or the Minister responsible for our intelligence agencies could reassure us as well.

[G]lobally, we find ourselves in the current situation where rightfully, security is now seen as everyone’s responsibility, at an individual, community and national level.

We have now entered a time in history where security awareness is to become a constant, a major part of our culture, a base technique to be exercised as we go about our daily life.

Many years ago, Albert Einstein said something that is as relevant today as it was when said, just prior to the second world war. He said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”.

History has shown that evil individuals and groups have always existed and today is no different. We can’t change them but we can change the environment they need to operate in.

Which is precisely what I have been saying all along.

Given that a counter-terrorism expert says that we must all be vigilant, isn’t then incumbent on our government to act in our best interests for the security of the nation and its people to actually do something. It is after all so bad now an expert says we must take our own measures.

Surely one of those measures must be to restrict immigration/refugees from regions beset with or that harbour or aid and abet terrorism?

Surely we should be monitoring very closely those people in society most likely to succumb to radicalisation and who on the balance of probabilities more likely to commit terrorist acts?

New Zealand is yet to experience this sort of terrorism, wouldn’t it be wise to make sure we never do?

There are plenty of places these people can live in the world, why don’t we just say to them that New Zealand isn’t one of them and be done with.

There obviously is a clear and present danger, otherwise, this expert wouldn’t be writing articles for the NZ Herald telling us that we need to prepare.

Back in the day when Vikings were rampaging through Britain, it was Egbert of Wessex and then Alfred the Great who created fortified burghs to defeat Viking marauders. Well, we have a moat…a really big once called the ocean…now all we need to do is shut the gates and wait it all out.

The only problem seems to be our ruling classes, who don’t seem to see the problem, and worse want to let those who harbour the most terrorists into our country.

Instead of sitting by oblivious to our surroundings, we all need to be more aware, ask questions and pass on information as appropriate. Anyone who thinks this issue need not be addressed in New Zealand, is part of the problem.

The optimists among us will view what’s happening globally from a self-reassured perspective, believing that our neutral stance on many global issues, remote location, societal values and general way of life will ensure the violent issues affecting the rest of the world continue to evade us.

While it is true that New Zealand is a relatively safe environment, we must measure our use of this phrase as a safe environment for us.

Isn’t that what Winston Peters was saying…to speak out. David Seymour misconstrued it and accused Peters of racism, but what Winston Peters was saying was precisely what this expert is saying. Obviously, this terrorism expert thinks politicians like Peter Dunne, Labour and David Seymour are part of the problem. He’s an expert, far be it for me to argue with an expert on terrorism.

This is an expert and he is telling, via the newspaper of record, to prepare for terrorism. I think we should listen to him.

The first step in listening to him is to dramatically tighten up on who we want to come and live in this country and what we are prepared to put up with from those already here.

Global terrorism has many faces but pretty much only one religion.

 

-NZ Herald


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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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