Monday, January 28, 2008

NZ has terrorists... ?

I mean, how paranoid should I be??

You and your wife take a late afternoon walk along a beach in the Far North. You are about 4 hours drive north of Auckland. There are the usual family groups and couples scattered along the beach. At the end of the beach there are a few rocks that buttress the hill and lead into the next stretch of sandy beach. Between them is a little cove barely 10m long, a slot in the rocks.

On the other side is a nice sandy beach, littered with interesting rock reefs and backed by cliffs. As you walk, the conversation turns to quenching two thirsts and the preferred means of achieving that end.

You turn and slowly retrace your steps, looking forward to a quiet ale at the hotel on the main beach. As you walk along, you notice two people snorkelling out from the rocks at the headland.

Then as you climb between the rocks on the headland you come across a man. He is dressed in "middle eastern" clothing - the kind of "pyjamas" that you sometimes see people wearing in Auckland. We speak, briefly, and he replies in a very heavily accented english. I ask him where he is from. He says that he is working at the hotel. I ask where he was before that, intending to try and establish his nationality. He gets quite agitated and replies, without providing any detail, that he is also from Auckland.

We left him there.

Now the question is;

"What would you do in those circumstances?"


T. F. Stern said...

Insufficient data to make a reasoned answer; however, it would seem to be within reason to pay closer attention to anything he did given that the internal mechanism, sometimes called a hunch, has raised a red flag. While hunches are not the same as probable cause, they often times are the difference between avoiding danger and being overcome by it.

Eugene Tan said...

A serious case of double over-reaction, I guess.

Eugene Tan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Justus said...

The only thing you have is that he is from the Middle East? I would do nothing.

Now, if I felt some sort of concern and he was in a more potentially dangerous location (say a nuclear power plant or something) maybe I would take some steps, but being Arab on a beach is not even worth paying attention to.

The probligo said...

OK, I appreciate the thoughts.

Let me add a little more...

The general area (not the specific location) was used by a gang of terrorists about 25 years ago, to set themselves up to sink Rainbow Warrior. That particular gang were members of the French Secret Service rather than Islamists.

The combination of frogmen and suspicious characters does add something...

So that you know -

I did report the incident to Police in Auckland before putting this thread up. I have not lost any sleep over it. If the Police want to go chasing terrorist shadows among the Tuhoe, they deserve another aniseed trail in the Hokianga.

Dave Justus said...

You Kiwis really need to get over the whole Rainbow Warrior thing.

And it wasn't an act of terrorism by any meaningful definition of the term, it was an act of sabotage that went wrong.

David said...

I report it to the police every time I bump into anyone who appears to be from New Zealand or Australia round my neck of the woods.

Sadly, they all still seem to be at large.

The probligo said...

Dave J, I will, someday. But, can I reverse the statement to a question -

"When will America "get over" 9/11?"

David!! Hey they let you out of the Zone!!! Great to see ya!

Dave Justus said...

Yes, 9-11 and the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior are very similar. After all, NO New Zealanders lost their lives when the Rainbow Warrior sunk, and the one death that occurred, of a Dutch photographer, was not intended by the perpetrators.

9-11 on the other hand results in the loss of life of over 3000, the majority of which were Americans and was intended by the perpatrators to cause as many casualties as possible.

I can see how you would say the two are just alike.

Even then though, seeing a someone who was obviously Muslim, engaging in doing nothing but being Muslim, in an airport would not prompt me to inform the authorities in anyway. I wouldn't even inform the authorities if it was a French person.