NSW Counter Terrorism Is tracking 80 people, NSW parliamentary hearing told

September 5, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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A NSW Parliamentary hearing has heard that NSW Police Counter Terrorism are tracking about 80 people considered to be capable of “tier one” and “tier two” threats to the general community and it was split between religious and political extremism.

Walt Secord holds image taken at the Tweed-Gold Coast rally

NSW’s Investigations and Counter Terrorism chief, Deputy Commissioner Dave Hudson made the comments at NSW Police Budget Estimates last week at State Parliament. It was in response to questions from Shadow Police Minister and Counter Terrorism Walt Secord via a zoom hearing.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller also told the parliamentary hearing that the monitoring of right-wing extremism now occupied 20 per cent of counter terrorism operations by NSW Police.

 

Mick Fuller said: “I think over the last five years it’s fair to say there has been a progressive increase in right-wing, extremism, other states around Australia have probably seen a more significant increase. It probably consumes around 20% of the time of our counterterrorism team more broadly, versus other types of extremism. But nevertheless, it is certainly increased during COVID, and again I think online vitriol, the number of protests we’ve seen around Australia. The number of protests we’ve seen around Australia. I know this is a New South Wales question but certainly some of the violence that we have seen during protests, is unusual for Sydney,”

After the hearing, Mr Secord said: “The tragic events in New Zealand on Friday show who important it is to closely monitor those who swim in this filthy pond of religious and political extremism.”

Last month, NSW Police Counter Terrorism at the launch of a facility to train officers in tactics during terrorist attacks, said it was tracking more than 1000 people of interest at all four tier levels.

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

“If the Berejiklian Government has plans or proposals to counter these groups, I stand ready to support any sensible and tough plans that will drive them out of their dark caves,” Mr Secord said.

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

In response to Mr Secord at the parliamentary hearing asking about an increase in activity during COVID, Mr Hudson said: “We have seen more activity in that space, a lot of the activity in relation to ideological extremism is conducted electronically over the internet, engaging with people overseas, engaging in chat rooms, engaging in different forms of social media, meeting their particular viewpoints of the world, and what their solutions to that particular situation is. We monitor that environment. We have seen a greater number of people come in from the periphery of that environment to engage in conversations and to engage in what I would say undesirable behaviour. “

 

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