Royal Commission of Inquiry into security agencies

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the country’s security agencies, in response to the Christchurch terror attacks.

RNZ:  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces details of inquiry into security services

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced details of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into security agencies after the Christchurch mosque attacks.

She said, while New Zealanders and Muslim communities were still grieving, they were also quite rightly asking questions about how the terror attack was able to take place.

The inquiry will look at what could or should have been done to prevent the attack, Ms Ardern said.

It will look at the Government Communications Security Bureau (GSCB), the Security Intelligence Service (SIS), police, Customs, Immigration and any other relevant agencies, Ms Ardern said.

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GSCB) and the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) have been criticised over an apparent lack of monitoring of right-wing extremists.

It may be that there was little or nothing that could have been done to protect against this month’s attacks, but it is good to check out the performance of the security agencies, the GCSB, the SIS and the Police. It should ensure that the chances of a repeat are lessened.

 

Dunedin vigil and 2 minutes silence for Christchurch terror attacks – video record

Video coverage of the Dunedin vigil on Thursday 21 March, where 15-18,000 people gathered to pay their respects to those killed in the Christchurch terror attacks on Friday 15 March 2019.

Part 1:

Part 2:

 

About a thousand people gathered at Dunedin’s Al Huda mosque in Friday 22 March 2019 for two minutes silence to remember those who fell victim to the  terror attack in Christchurch a week earlier.

Otago Daily Times coverage:

The call to prayer echoed across a packed Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin last night.

As the sun set, members of Dunedin’s Muslim community knelt in silent worship, surrounded by the flickering candles of a city united in support.

About 15,000 people have turned up to Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin tonight to pay their respects to those affected by the Christchurch terror attacks.

Close to 1000 people gathered outside Dunedin’s Al Huda mosque were welcomed with a karakia ahead of a national call to prayer and two minutes silence’ to remember those killed in one of New Zealand’s darkest days.

Dunedin’s Muslims gathered at the mosque in Clyde St for Friday prayers today, exactly one week after the Christchurch mosque shootings, in which 50 people died, while others are gathered outside.

Friday prayers were held as usual at Dunedin’s mosque yesterday, but on the street outside about 1000 supporters stood silent.

The crowd gathered outside the Al Huda mosque to join others throughout the country in listening to an Arabic call to prayer, which was broadcast on television and radio at 1.30pm, followed by two minutes of silence.

Fifty candles, one for each person killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks last Friday were lit on the footpath outside the mosque’s gate.

In Dunedin, the Al Huda mosque, in Clyde St, quickly become the focal point for an outpouring of both grief, and a support for the city’s Muslim community, that grew as the week went on.

Golriz Ghahraman speech on the Christchurch terror attacks

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman gave a speech in Parliament yesterday on Christchurch Mosques Terror Attack—Condolence

The truth is, also, that we as politicians bear a little bit of the responsibility. There sit among us those who for years have fanned the flames of division, who have blamed migrants for the housing crisis. There sit among us those who have fanned the hysteria around the United Nations Global Compact for Migration.

Those words were written on the butt of his gun, the gun that killed little Mucad. We have pandered to gratuitous racism by shock jocks to raise our profile.

None of us are directly responsible for what happened on Friday, we are all horrified, but we are also on notice now: we have to change the way we do politics.

I think that all of us should take note of what she said, and I hope that our politicians will change how we do politics.

And that also applies to us, the people, in forums like this. We need to do better in how we discuss politics, and how we treat our politicians.

GOLRIZ GHAHRAMAN (Green): Assalam o alaikum. Our nation’s heart is broken and my heart is broken today. Five days on, as that wound is still so fresh, we find comfort in all the love—all the love—pouring across this beautiful country. I’ve felt the grief as a member of that affected community and as a Kiwi as we gathered at mosques, as we held each other at vigils, as we held our little ones a little tighter when we remembered that little three-year-old Mucad Ibrahim was one of the victims.

The city of Dunedin ran out of flowers on Saturday because they were all at the mosques. That is the New Zealand that welcomed my family and I here when we escaped oppression at the risk of torture. We had lived through a war, and I will never forget being that nine-year-old girl on the escalator at Auckland Airport with my frightened parents. We weren’t turned back. We were welcomed here. So I want to thank every single New Zealander—hundreds of thousands of people—who came out over the last three days, who stood on the right side of history for our values of inclusion and love. It matters to our communities, as we are frightened, and I will never forget that among the victims on Friday was a Syrian family—refugees like my family, who had escaped the harrowing war, the unthinkable. They found freedom here, but they died on Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand.

We owe those victims the truth: this was terrorism. It was terrorism committed by a white supremacist. It was planned at length, and gone unchecked by authorities because white supremacy was not seen as a pressing threat, even as some in the Muslim community were.

Although this man happened to have not been born in New Zealand, we do need to acknowledge the truth that his ideology does exist in pockets here. Our ethnic communities, refugees, and tangata whenua have been telling us this for years; they’ve been reporting this for years. I know it as my daily truth as a politician.

I receive all the barrage of hate online. I receive the threats: the death threats, the rape threats, and the threats of gun violence, online. Every minority in New Zealand knows this as a little bit of our truth. So now we have to pause and listen.

We can’t pretend that this was an aberration from overseas; that would be irresponsible. The truth is that this happened here, and it began with hate speech allowed to grow online. History has taught us that hate speech is a slippery slope to atrocity, and New Zealand must address that now.

The truth is, also, that we as politicians bear a little bit of the responsibility. There sit among us those who for years have fanned the flames of division, who have blamed migrants for the housing crisis. There sit among us those who have fanned the hysteria around the United Nations Global Compact for Migration. Those words were written on the butt of his gun, the gun that killed little Mucad. We have pandered to gratuitous racism by shock jocks to raise our profile. None of us are directly responsible for what happened on Friday, we are all horrified, but we are also on notice now: we have to change the way we do politics.

Our most vulnerable communities are hurt and we are scared. White supremacists want us dead. Those incredible people who poured out into those vigils are watching; they will hold us to account. The world is watching. We have to get this right.

We have to demonstrate to the rest of the world that the values of love and peace and compassion will win over hate and division. We must be brave and have those important and difficult conversations that are long overdue in our country. We must shine a light on the pockets, those shadows of racism that do exist in our country.

We must weave that incredible outpouring of love for our Muslim communities that we’ve seen over the past few days; we have to weave that into an enduring fabric of our society. We owe that to the families who lost loved ones, we owe it to little Mucad.


NOTE:

Golriz has been a controversial MP. I have been critical of her at times, I think especially early in her first term she struggled to work out how to do things – as almost all new MPs do, but her struggles were more on show through social media than most.

But I think what she said here ins important and worth taking notice of.

I don’t want people dredging over what has happened. I want comments to focus on what Golriz says here.

I will have no tolerance for personal or political attacks or general criticisms, name calling, dissing, dragging up past stuff, diversions, religion bashing, sexism, racism, any other ism.

Comments that I deem inappropriate on this thread may be deleted in whole.

 

London Bridge terrorist attack

BBC summarises yesterday’s terror attack in London:

  • Seven people have been killed in a terror attack near London Bridge. Police shot dead the three attackers
  • Ambulance service says 48 patients were taken to five hospitals; 21 are in a critical condition
  • Four police officers were injured, two seriously
  • Eight armed officers fired a total of 50 bullets at the three attackers
  • One member of the public suffered gunshot wounds and is receiving treatment in hospital
  • 12 people have been arrested during police raids in Barking, east London
  • It’s understood one of the attackers lived at the address in Barking; neighbours say he was married with two children
  • PM Theresa May condemns the “single evil ideology of Islamist extremism,” saying “enough is enough”
  • The general election will go ahead on 8 June
  • All major political parties suspend national campaigning, except UKIP

Updates from Missy:

* 12 people have been arrested in Barking, East London (Essex), this morning. Some of the residents at the apartment block where the raid took place claim that one of the terrorists lived in the block. Four women are believed to be amongst those arrested.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/04/exclusive-video-police-arrest-12-people-barking-connection-terror/

* A second address in Barking has also been raided.

* The first on duty police officer on the scene was from the British Transport Police, their job is primarily to deal with crime on public transport – railway mainly, they are not armed. The officer only had his baton, he confronted all three terrorists alone with his baton, he has been in the job for less than 2 years. He is seriously injured, but stable. He also managed to provide a statement last night despite his injuries, (the police referred to it as giving his account of events). *I say on duty as it is unclear if he was the first, or if an off duty was first, but he was the first on duty officer.

* An off duty police officer who was one of the first on scene was stabbed as he rugby tackled one of the terrorists. He is in critical condition after sustaining knife wounds.

I know many will say that these two men were doing their job, but lets think about this for a moment.

One, on duty – so yes it can be argued he was doing his job, but he ran in & took on three men with hunting knives (possibly machetes) who were also wearing what he would have believed was a suicide bomb vest, and he had a baton. Many of us would not do that.

The second, was off duty & essentially a member of the public, no weapons of any sort – not even a baton, ran towards a man with a hunting knife, and probably suicide bomb vest, and rugby tackled him.

It is hard to know exact numbers, but between these two – and the other police, a lot of lives would have been saved.

I remember being told once that bravery is ‘being scared, but still doing what you need to because you know and believe it is the right thing to do.’ On that definition the first responders last night are all incredibly brave people. I know I wouldn’t be able to do it.

* The police have confirmed this afternoon that a member of the public was shot and injured in the crossfire – this confirms the previous reports in the DM and the Sun. The Police apparently fired unprecedented number of rounds to stop the terrorists.

* Also, apparently it has been suggested that Trump might make a visit to London this week to show solidarity with the UK. Reportedly Fox News are saying it is the right thing to do and he can walk defiantly across London Bridge. Not sure that will work, the last time someone walked defiantly across a bridge was Phillip Schofield after the Westminster attack & he was mercilessly ridiculed for it. Also, with the election having Trump in country would be a massive distraction, and not what the country either needs – or would want.

Other detail from BBC:

12 arrested in Barking after van and knife attack

Twelve people have been arrested after the London terror attack which left seven people dead and 48 injured.

The arrests in Barking, east London, followed a raid at a flat belonging to one of the three attackers.

A van hit pedestrians on London Bridge at 21:58 BST on Saturday. Three men then got out and stabbed people in nearby Borough Market.

The attackers were shot dead by eight officers who fired 50 bullets. A member of the public was accidentally shot.

The member of the public remains in hospital in a non-critical condition, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said.

Thirty-six people are in hospital with a “range of injuries”, he said, and 21 are in a critical condition.

General election will go ahead on 8 June, says May

The prime minister has confirmed the general election will take place as planned on 8 June, despite another terrorist attack in London.

Speaking outside Downing Street, she said: “Violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process.”

Political campaigning would resume in full on Monday, she said, after most parties suspended national campaigns.

Muslim terrorists create a lot of tensions and problems for other Muslims in Britain.

Muslim Council’s new campaign to report terror

Harun Rashid, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), has expanded on his earlier condemnation of the attack.

He backed Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for change, echoing her remark that “enough is enough”.

“We are ready to have those difficult conversations, as equal citizens with an equal stake in this fight,” he said.

“I am pleased that the Prime Minister is speaking about conversation, it implies that we must listen to one another and work together to be part of a truly United Kingdom.”

He said the MCB would now launch a new campaign with mosques to report suspicious activity.

“We want to turn people’s minds away from this death cult,” he said.