One of 17 suspects rounded up in nationwide police anti-terror swoops last week is a member of a Palestinian rights group and the founder of an anti-capitalist organisation.
Omar Hamed's identity was revealed late yesterday after a deadline for a High Court appeal against a ruling lifting suppression passed without any application being filed.
He faces three charges of illegal possession of a firearm. It is alleged Hamed - a 19-year-old Greek-born part-Palestinian - was twice in possession of a firearm in Tauranga between January 10 and January 14 this year, then in possession of a semi-automatic rifle in Auckland between September 13 and September 16.
He is in custody until his next appearance in Auckland District Court next week.
Hamed, 19, was profiled in an interview with young activists by the AUT student newspaper Te Waha Nui last year. He said he was inspired to activism after "seeing my mum involved in those struggles to keep part of the welfare state".
Hamed - then a first-year history student at Auckland University - said most of his fellow students were "rich, white and privileged - the sons and daughters of the guards of the system".
"They have a lot to lose from activism. They are very under-politicised."
Hamed grew up on the North Shore, attending Devonport Primary and Takapuna Grammar.
The newspaper described Hamed as instrumental in setting up Radical Youth, "an anti-capitalist organisation for young people".
From October last year, he became involved mainly with Students Justice for Palestine, a group aiming "to disseminate information, enlightening students and community members of the sufferings of the Palestinian people, of their struggles for liberation, whilst attempting to give voice to the Palestinian aspirations for justice and equality in Palestine".