Auckland teen terrorist thwarted

NZ Police don’t realise that while this Auckland teen terrorist, thwarted not a moment too soon, is just one of the thousands here in NZ that see the hypocrisy of this government and label all westerns like Jacinda – hypocrites. These are the people, backed by the trade unions here in NZ, that march the Auckland streets calling and singing for the destruction of Israel in Arabic.

We have previously offered to run a de-radicalisation programme for the NZ govt using the same material that prevented us from joining whanau recruited over a decade ago.

We must all remember that Education easily defeats Islamic ideology, and there has never been a time in history when more Muslims are becoming literate, reading the Quran and source literature for the first time themselves, and leaving Islam. Islamic scholars are unable to plug the holes in the standard narrative.

This from NZ herald:

About four years after he took an interest in Middle East conflicts and subsequently became radicalised online, a North Shore teen confided to a person he had recently met on social media that he was ready to take the next step – an attack in Auckland that he hoped would kill 20-30 non-Muslims.

The ongoing conversation, with what turned out to be an undercover police officer, lasted about a month and included the teen sharing a list of his potential attack sites and extensive details about how he might carry it out.

But police brought what was known as Operation Strand to a quick conclusion in September last year, just days after an unrelated terror attack in a New Lynn supermarket saw several shoppers stabbed.

“The defendant messaged [undercover officer] Ozarikon and stated that he felt inspired by the attack and wished to bring the attack forward,” according to court documents released to the Herald today, shedding new light on what has until now been a secretive case.

The man, now 20 and with ongoing name suppression, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of threatening to kill, two counts of supplying objectionable publications and six counts of possession of objectionable publications.

He faces up to 14 years in prison when he is sentenced in the High Court at Auckland next year before Justice Rebecca Edwards.

Police executed a search warrant at the teen’s home on September 8, 2021, confirming many of the details that had been discussed by the defendant in previous weeks of online chats.

In his bedroom was found one of the ingredients used to make triacetone triperoxide – better known by the acronym TATP – an unstable explosive compound often favoured by suicide bombers.

Police also gained access to his Google Cloud account, which included folders titled “Terror plot Recons” and “ISIS supporter-recruit”.

In the recruit folder were videos in which the teen swore allegiance to the Islamic State and claimed “Jihad and retribution against the New Zealand government and New Zealand Society and in general against the West”.

“The defendant states that he is ready for martyrdom and will commit a terror attack after he has done more research,” court documents indicate.

The “Terror plot Recons” folder included photos, seemingly taken from the internet, of locations such as Auckland Town Hall, Spark Arena, SkyCity and multiple restaurants. The folder also included diary entries in which the teen referred to having visited Auckland Airport, Albany Westfield mall and other locations for reconnaissance purposes.

“Throughout the diary entries the defendant states his intent to kill multiple people by committing a terror attack in Auckland City,” court documents state.

Additional folders were titled “3D Firearms Manufacture”, “Bomb Instructions” and “Knives and Knife combat training”.

Police were first made aware of the teen in June 2021 due to his social media behaviour. One account showed he was following accounts known to share ISIS material.

Posing as a fellow ISIS sympathiser under the screen name Ozarikon, authorities quickly appeared to obtain the teen’s trust and get him to open up about his plans.

“In those conversations, the defendant expressed a desire to travel to Syria and support the Islamic State,” court documents state. “On the 5th August 2021, the defendant shared … that he had a plan B. If he could not travel overseas, he wanted to do an attack in Auckland.

“The defendant discussed at length various options around committing an attack. These included a knife attack, vehicle attack or an explosive attack using TATP.”

He also revealed that he already had instructions to build a bomb and could easily obtain the materials.

“Between the 5th of August and the 7th September 2021, the defendant discussed in numerous messages … his desire to commit an attack to kill non-Muslims,” documents state. “He stated that he wished to kill between 20 – 30 non-Muslims.

“The defendant messaged that he had been researching locations that he could potentially target. He had systematically identified a list of 80 possible locations in which to carry out the attack.”

The teen also revealed that he had put together a tactical gear kit including camouflage clothing, flip knives, gloves and a baseball cap. Police would later find the kit as they searched his home.

After the search warrant was executed, police took a deeper look into his online files, resulting in the six charges of possession of objectionable publications. In all, there were 360 videos found in his files that were thought to be related to ISIS, including graphic, banned footage of terror attacks and child soldiers carrying out an execution. He also had a banned copy of the Christchurch mosque attacker’s racist manifesto.

The two distribution of objectionable material charges against him related to a publication produced by Al-Qaeda that he forwarded, as well as a video that included an instructional video on decapitation using a live subject.

Despite the concerning content, advocates for the defendant have expressed hope over the past year that there may still be hope for rehabilitation and de-radicalisation.

His former lawyer, Peter Syddall, noted in court last year that the teen was not a member of the Muslim community but he hoped his client might be helped by Muslim community leaders.

Continued name suppression, Syddall argued, presented the best chance for his rehabilitation prospects.

“[He] is not yet in the same boat as Mr [Ahamed Aathil Mohamed] Samsudeen, the LynnMall attacker,” Syddall said. “We have a chance here and we need to do everything we can to make sure that chance bears fruit.”

He described his client, who has autism, as having felt “alone and anti-social” as he was held in a maximum-security cell for 23 hours a day.

Police and prosecutors have not opposed the ongoing requests for interim name suppression.

Crown prosecutor David Johnstone said in September 2021 that the offending appeared to result from the man’s social isolation in relation to cognitive difficulties.

“The prospect of being named may [send] him down what he regards as a black hole to which the only exit is violence,” he said.

The man’s current defence lawyer, Annabel Cresswell, indicated yesterday that she may seek permanent name suppression depending on the outcome of medical reports that are to be filed before her client’s sentencing in March.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked about the case by journalists today and said the Government “did as much as it could to intervene early and prevent harm”.

Teen who threatened to kill non-Muslims had plan to attack Auckland, documents show