Jack van Tongeren
|Peter Joseph Van Tongeren|
|Other names||Jack van Tongeren|
Peter Joseph "Jack" van Tongeren (born 1947) was the leader of the Australian Nationalist Movement (ANM), a white supremacist and extreme right group. He served thirteen years, one month, and six days in prison from 1989 to 2002 for grand theft and arson, after robbing and firebombing businesses owned by Asians in Western Australia. He was tried in absentia.
Van Tongeren was initially involved with the Sydney based National Action (NA) neo-Nazi group in the early 1980s. He later left to form his own organisation. He ran, unsuccessfully, for the Senate in the 1984 election on an independent ticket, attaining 1,077 votes (0.13%).
In publicity material produced in the 1980s Van Tongeren described Adolf Hitler as the "great one" and referred to himself as simply "leader". Throughout the 1980s the ANM scattered Western Australia with racist posters. The campaign of racial vilification increased in severity when the group began firebombing Asian restaurants and carried out burglaries to finance their operations. During this period, ANM member David Locke was murdered by two associates after he was suspected as being a police informer.
In July 2004, Van Tongeren reportedly sent a videotaped message to media outlets, attacking people he believed supported multiracialism. These included Western Australia Attorney-General Jim McGinty, Prime Minister John Howard, ASIO head Dennis Richardson (diplomat) "and all MPs who actively support Asianisation and multiracialism and the destruction of our Australian constitution and Aussie way of life". This tape, and police intelligence, prompted protective details for the figures named and a wide ranging manhunt.
In August 2004, Van Tongeren was re-arrested and charged with plotting to commit four arson attacks and 19 counts of criminal damage.
On 20 February 2006, Van Tongeren, out on bail pending his trial, failed to report to Police and was believed to be at large and travelling with former ANM member Matthew Billing.
On 23 March, a letter was received by staff at ABC Television Studios, purporting to be from Van Tongeren. It claimed that charges against him were a conspiracy created by the WA Government, and indicated that they would need to be dropped by Attorney-General Jim McGinty, in order for Van Tongeren to return from hiding.
On 4 April, Van Tongeren and his co-accused Matthew Billing were found and arrested in the Boddington area south-east of Perth.
Both men once again faced the courts over the 2004 arson plots.
Van Tongeren was released from jail on the condition that he leave Western Australia. He currently resides in the eastern states.
- Van Tongeren Stella The West Australian 20.10.1990, The Age (Melbourne) 20.10.1990
- "Threat to kill WA attorney". The Age, 31 July 2004
- "Supremacist leader in court". The Age, 7 August 2004
- "Anti-Asian campaigner Van Tongeren unrepentant upon release". abc.net.au, 20 September 2002
- The Van Tongeren Case 2004. Dr. Jim Saleam and others
- "Jack van Tongeren arrested". The Australian. 5 April 2006.
- "Race-hate fanatic hiding out in sleepy town". news.com.au, 30 March 2007