NSW counter terrorism estimates there are 15 active members of the far right wing “National Socialist Network” in NSW

October 1, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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NSW Police has estimated that there are 15 members of the far-right extremist National Socialist Network operating in NSW.

Walt Secord

On October 1, in response to a question on notice from the NSW Shadow Police Minister Walt Secord, NSW Police confirmed that “it is estimated there are 15 members in NSW”.

Mr Secord asked: “How many members (of the National Socialist Network) are believed to be operating in NSW?”

The questions were “follow-ups” to verbal ones asked in early September at Police Budget Estimates.

At that hearing, NSW Counter Terrorism confirmed that of the 1000 extremists across four tiers attracting some level of NSW police attention, it was monitoring 80 religious and far-right extremists in NSW. These 80 were considered to be capable of “tier one” and “tier two” threats to the general community.

There has been renewed attention on far-right wing activity after a joint investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and 60 Minutes.

At the September hearing, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said that right-wing extremism had grown over the last five years – although less significantly in NSW than other parts of Australia.

Mr Secord said: “These ugly elements have no place in our society.

Unfortunately, the filth that operates on the fringes of our society have surged in their activity during the COVID pandemic.”

Mr Secord said he would support tougher measures and more resources to combat these extremists. “Makes no mistake, these groups and individuals are threats to our democratic society and our unique quality of life in Australia.

“Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in conspiracy theories – especially antisemitic elements – in recent months and at recent anti-COVID lock-down rallies.”

Last month, Mr Secord announced that NSW Labor would introduce legislation to ban the public display of Nazi symbols – similar to a move in Victoria.

Last year, NSW Police reported 31 sightings of the Nazi flag in NSW, including Newtown and Wagga Wagga.

ASIO director-general Mike Burgess recently stated that ideologically motivated extremism was of “grave concern” and it now accounted for about 50 per cent of its priority terror investigations.

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