SIS issues guide to identifying violent extremism
seen since Covid-19 measures and restrictions.
New Zealand’s threat level is currently at medium, with a terrorist attack considered feasible and could well occur.
Kia mataara ki nga¯ tohu – Know the signs: a guide for identifying signs of violent extremism, contains almost 50 indicators, grouped into seven themes: mindset and ideology, associations and relationships, research and planning, gathering knowledge and resources, preparation, security awareness, and unusual behaviour change.
‘‘We want to help New Zealanders feel reassured that their concerns are also likely to be our concerns. We hope they will then feel health confident enough to share their information with us,’’ Kitteridge said.
‘‘We know lone actors pose the most likely violent extremist threat. The public may be better placed than authorities to see that threat, particularly at its early stages.’’
Examples of indicators include: praising known violent extremists, displaying imagery and symbols from violent extremist groups, developing a hostile ‘‘us vs them’’ world view, paying particular attention to security, and accessing instructional videos on making weapons.
The guide is focused on behaviours and activities rather than ideologies, as the terrorist threat in NZ is constantly evolving, the spy agency said.
The terrorism indicators were one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attacks on Christchurch masjidain, after 51 people were killed by a lone terrorist on March 15, 2019.
More than 20% of the SIS’ investigations came from public tips, and Kitteridge previously told Stuff contact from the public was now regular. ‘‘That suggests that there has been extremism of motivation towards violence.’’