Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Looking the other way

In the wake of Friday's terrorist attack, the SIS has been quick to disclaim responsibility, making increasing claims that they were looking at Nazis, really. Perhaps then they'd care to explain why there's absolutely no mention of the issue in ten years of documents from them:

There is not one specific mention of the threat posed by white supremacists or right-wing nationalism in 10 years of public documents from the Security Intelligence Service or the GCSB.


RNZ has examined ten years of annual reports and ministerial briefings and the threat of right nationalists is never specifically mentioned.

There is a heavy focus on Islamic fundamentalists, in the context of several terrorist attacks in other countries and conflict in the Middle East and parts of Africa.

The latter makes it clear that this is not about a reluctance to broadly identify target communities for "security reasons". They have been quite happy to publicly identify Muslims as targets of security interest for the past fifteen years. So again, you'd expect that if they were really paying attention to Nazis, they would have made similar mention. They didn't. The first public mention they make of the issue was last month, as an afterthought.

Their silence speaks volumes. In the face of an increasing international campaign of Islamophobic terrorism by Nazis, the SIS looked the other way. While they are now, finally, paying attention to the real threat against our society, their leadership needs to be held accountable for that failure. And that process can start by the director of the SIS offering her resignation.