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White supremacist hunt continues

Herald Sun, Australia
July 31, 2004 • Monday August 2, 2004

West Australian police are still hunting the leader of the white supremacist Australian Nationalists Movement (ANM) after he allegedly threatened to harm a number of high profile people.

A statewide alert remains for Jack van Tongeren, who was not at home when armed police raided his house at Gingin earlier this week.

A police spokesman today said they had not yet found Van Tongeren.

He would not comment further on the investigation.

Van Tongeren spent 12 years behind bars after being convicted of 53 charges, including conspiracy to drive Asians from the state, false pretences, breaking, entering and stealing, illegal use, theft, arson, causing an explosion, wilful damage, attempted arson and assault.

Van Tongeren released a video to media outlets on Wednesday in which he named people who he believed opposed him including West Australian Attorney-General Jim McGinty and Prime Minister John Howard.

In the video, van Tongeren reportedly warned politicians who “actively support Asianisation and multiracialism and the destruction of our Australian Constitution and Aussie way of life… would be found guilty of treason and dealt with accordingly”.

One of his alleged targets, Mr McGinty, said the threats had strengthened his commitment to fight racism.

Mr McGinty abandoned an interstate meeting fearing for his family after police told him of the alleged threat made by Van Tongeren.

Mr McGinty said he was taking the threats seriously, but they would not diminish his commitment to fighting racism.

“I have more resolve than ever now to use my time as minister to make sure we have the toughest laws possible to deal with this type of lunacy,” he said today.

“I have now seen firsthand the effect of this racist criminality … and if our laws need strengthening in any way we will be doing it.”

Police told Mr McGinty on Wednesday night that they had information that the white supremacist leader, who was released from jail in 2002, had threatened violence against him.

“They said that this came from a very significant source … therefore it should be taken seriously,” Mr McGinty said today.

Since then police have informed him that the immediate threat to his life had diminished, he said.

“Police have said that Jack van Tongeren is on the run and many of his associates are locked up in jail and the immediate risk has significantly diminished,” Mr McGinty said.

Police are conducting surveillance on Mr McGinty’s home and have also warned him, his wife Heather and three adult children to report any suspicious behaviour, he said.

Police are also believed to be investigating links between racist graffiti in Perth which includes a wave of graffiti attacks two weeks ago, vandalism of Mr McGinty’s electoral office last year and the firebombing of three Perth Chinese restaurants in February.

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