Behind The Shroud Director Selwyn Manning Talks To Karyn Hay & Andrew Fagin About His New Feature Doco

In The News:

On Monday, December 4 2012 RadioLive hosts Karyn Hay and Andrew Fagin talked to Selwyn Manning about the making of his doco Behind The Shroud.

RadioLive: Selwyn Manning talks to Karyn Hay & Andrew fagin about his documentary film Behind The Shroud that looks at why suspected security threat Ahmed Zaoui was set free, and how testimony in the documentary indicates why the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service got this case so wrong.

Click here to listen to this interview via

Decade Since Zaoui Sought Asylum In NZ – Have We Learned From SIS’s Mistakes?

Investigative Documentary: Behind The Shroud Released.

December 04, 2012: Ten years has now passed since Algerian politician Ahmed Zaoui arrived in New Zealand seeking asylum. But what assurances have we been given to ensure our intelligence agencies do not fail tax payers again?

Journalist and director of the investigative documentary film Behind The Shroud, Selwyn Manning, said after ten years since Zaoui arrived at Auckland International Airport claiming to be a legitimate refugee – where he was accused by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) of being terrorist – the public is none the wiser as to why he was finally allowed to live freely in this country.

Ahmed Zaoui arrived in New Zealand on December 2, 2002 and was immediately detained under terrorism suppression laws.

In 2003, the SIS issued New Zealand’s first security risk certificate deeming Ahmed Zaoui a threat to New Zealand’s national security. He was then imprisoned for almost two years (including ten months in solitary confinement in Paremoremo maximum security prison). He experienced years of being vilified in the Parliament by Cabinet Ministers and MPs, and he was considered a dangerous extremist by thousands of Kiwis.

Suddenly in 2007, the Director of Security Dr Warren Tucker informed New Zealanders Zaoui was no longer a threat.

“But after costing tax payers in excess of $4million, what the Director of Security did not tell New Zealanders was why the intelligence agency got this asylum seeker case so wrong,” Selwyn Manning said.

“The way this case ended left a raft of unanswered questions.

“Why was it that in 2007 the New Zealand Government canceled its security risk certificate against the refugee? Why after years fighting in the High Court and Court of Appeal the SIS and the Government dropped their case? Who or what caused the Government to back down?

“In short, officially, the public were denied an explanation as to why Ahmed Zaoui and his family were suddenly invited to live in peace in New Zealand,” Selwyn Manning said.

Finally, after five years of investigation, the documentary film Behind The Shroud answers many of the unanswered questions and has now been released to the public.

The documentary goes deep into the backstory of Zaoui’s experience, investigates why the NZSIS cancelled its security risk certificate, and makes public for the first time interviews with two secret witnesses who each gave testimony at classified hearings held by Justice Paul Neazor, New Zealand’s Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.

“The revelations of Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Samraoui, the Algeria regime’s former head of intelligence and counter-espionage in north Europe, and Professor George Joffe, the UK’s expert on north Africa affairs from Cambridge University, both reveal why Zaoui was considered an enemy of his homeland, why Algeria launched a black-flag operation against him, and why he would likely be executed should he return to Algeria,” Selwyn Manning said.

He said: “The testimonies offer compelling evidence of how totalitarian regimes work to destroy or neutralise their opponents.

“The testimony presented in this documentary also lays bare how our intelligence agencies in New Zealand failed to accurately assess whether information supplied by France, Belgium and Switzerland could be relied on, or whether it had been corrupted by disinformation created by Algeria’s military intelligence agency the DRS,” Selwyn Manning said.

The documentary Behind The Shroud presents a critique as to whether New Zealand’s intelligence agencies’ external assessments are serving our public and national interest.

Experts interviewed include: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wilkie, former senior intelligence officer and adviser to prime minister John Howard; Dr Paul Buchanan, former US security analyst; and the late Graeme Hunt, journalist and historian. These three men argue intelligence agency reform is necessary.

Others, like former politicians Hon Matt Robson and Green MP Keith Locke give a commanding appraisal of how the New Zealand Government became compliant to a disinformation campaign masterminded by Algeria, a foreign authoritarian regime.

“Surely, after ten years, the New Zealand public deserves to know why tax payer money to the tune of over $4million was wasted. Additionally, Kiwis deserve to be assured that such a huge mistake in both fiscal and human terms will not and can not happen again,” Selwyn Manning said.

For more on the documentary Behind The Shroud, including a list of the full cast and trailer, see

Public Release: Behind The Shroud – the true story of why Ahmed Zaoui was set free

Behind The Shroud – the true story of why Ahmed Zaoui was set free

New Release Documentary – 90 minutes: Includes revelations from secret witness Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Samraoui – Algeria’s former head of intelligence and counter-espionage for north Europe.

The complete inside story on why the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service got this case so wrong.

Behind The Shroud examines the Ahmed Zaoui case. It analyses why after years of the New Zealand Government stating Mr Zaoui to be a risk to the nation’s security, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, Justice Paul Neazor, found in Zaoui’s favour and set him free. This documentary unearths information that has been cloaked in secrecy. It takes the viewer on a journey into that shadowy world of spies and espionage, and resolves the mystery of the Zaoui case through interviews with key players in the great game, including two secret witnesses who each testified at the Inspector General’s hearings in Auckland, New Zealand.

Ahmed Zaoui successfully stood as a candidate for the Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du Salut or FIS) in the Algerian 1991 general election. After Algeria’s military overturned the elections, a civil war ensued. By 1993, Zaoui fled to Europe. The Military-led Regime tried and convicted him in absentia and sentenced him to death for allegedly “establishing a terrorist organisation to destabilise state institutions and terrorise the population… inciting armed rebellion and assassinations.”

Behind The Shroud investigates: what was found to be an Algerian intelligence service black-flag operation against Zaoui. It reveals new testimony, and concludes with a thought provoking critique of New Zealand’s intelligence apparatus and paves the way for a debate into how western nations can learn from their external assessment failures to ensure they are not used as instruments of third party oppressive regimes.

This documentary features: Two secret witnesses Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Samraoui – Algeria’s former head of intelligence and counter-espionage for north Europe; Prof. George Joffe – UK’s authority on north Africa affairs; Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wilkie – former security intelligence advisor to the Australian prime minister; Dr Paul Buchanan – former US Pentagon security analyst; the late Graeme Hunt – historian and politics commentator; Gerry Cunneen – former New Zealand Police intelligence unit head; Hon Matt Robson – former New Zealand Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs; Keith Locke – former New Zealand Green Party Member of Parliament.

Behind The Shroud includes: interviews with Ahmed Zaoui; and previously unreleased information and footage of the Ahmed Zaoui defence team – Dr Rodney Harrison, Deborah Manning, Richard McLeod – people who took on the establishment and won.

Copyright 2012, Selwyn Manning & Multimedia Investments Ltd. 16:9 PAL, 90 minutes, formatted for all regions. Parental Guidance Recommended.