NZ Police Hold 17 in Terror Raids

October 15, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: BBC News

New Zealand police have arrested 17 people and seized a number of weapons during a series of anti-terror raids.

More than 300 police were involved in the operation, reportedly targeting Maori sovereignty and environmental activists - not foreign groups.

Police Commissioner Howard Broad said those arrested had used firearms and other weapons at military-style training camps.

Among those held was the prominent Maori rights campaigner, Tame Iti.

The North Island raids were the first use of the country's Terrorism Suppression Act.

The people targeted were from "a range of motivations" and from various ethnicities, the police chief said.

"Based on the information and the activity known to have taken place, I decided it was prudent that action should be taken in the interests of public safety," Mr Broad said.