Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Is it terrorism?

Is the threat to release Foot & Mouth disease on Waiheke Island terrorism? The Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 legally defines a terrorist act" as an act intended to cause certain specified outcomes, carried out in order to advance a religious, political or ideological agenda, and with the specific purpose of inducing terror in the population or compelling action or inaction from the government or an international organisation. But while "introduction or release of a disease-bearing organism, if likely to devastate the national economy of a country" is one of those specified outcomes, and demands (relating to the payment of money and changes to the tax system) have been made (meaning an intent to compel), political or ideological purpose may be lacking. It really depends on whether the demands are being made because the authors of the demands are ACT voters disgruntled at their party's poor showing in the polls - or whether they're just greedy arseholes.

The second point to note is that it's only terrorism (or rather, conspiracy to commit terrorism) if the threat is real. If it is simply a hoax, an attempt to extort money with an empty threat, then it is technically "threats of harm to people or property" instead. This carries a penalty of seven, rather than yen, years in jail - but that's probably sufficient.

Either way, I'm hoping that the people responsible are caught and subjected to the full penalty of law.


ACT voters and greedy arseholes can seldom be discerned as seperate entities.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/11/2005 09:05:00 AM

Being a Waihekean, there are other issues on the island that may have caused people to bear a grudge against the island. Recent massive development proposals have been scaled down and frustrated (the main one involved former Mayor and ACT darling John Banks). If you want to kick anti-development greenies in the gut, just attack their economic base as you would with any other adversary. Mind you, a quarantine exclusion of ACT members from the island to prevent foot in mouth disease would be a good idea.

Posted by Hans Versluys : 5/11/2005 10:22:00 AM

Its actually a Labour Party member seeking to divert attention away from the Beloved Divine Heavenly Leader who will declare they are an Act supporter if or when caught.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/11/2005 03:10:00 PM

I see now in the Herald online that the PM and Minister of Agriculture are both treating this as an instance of bioterrorism. I haven't seen the argumentation for how they reach that conclusion, but evidently they, ad the police, think it's supportable.

On another point, why is it that anonymous comments are always the most worthless and ridiculous?

Posted by Anonymous : 5/11/2005 08:18:00 PM