New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised on Saturday to tighten anti-terrorism laws in the country in September this year after a person attacked with a knife in a supermarket and injured a total of seven.
A law that would criminalize the planning of a terrorist attack is currently in parliament, for which Ardern has stressed that “it will work to pass this law as soon as possible, by the end of this month at the latest.”
Regarding the attack on the supermarket in the city of Auckland, the head of government announced in a press conference that the number of people injured had risen to seven, one more than initially reported yesterday. Of the total of three are in critical condition, reports the ‘New Zealand Herald’.
The assailant, a 32-year-old Sri Lankan citizen whose identity was not disclosed, was classified as a terrorist because he was in fact under police surveillance because he was known to be “inspired” by an attack. the jihadist group Islamic State could prepare.
Since 2016, under police surveillance as a “known threat to the country”, the attacker was followed by the authorities for 53 days, although the agents were unable to get into the supermarket with him. At the scene of the crime, the person took a kitchen knife from the shelves and carried out the attack, which lasted between “60 and 90 seconds,” after which he was killed by police shots.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the terrorist was “very paranoid” and “uncooperative”. He was arrested at Auckland Airport in 2017 when they believed he was going to Syria and has been charged several times with possession of knives. He was released in July of that year after resources were exhausted to hold him in custody.
“During this period, officials met several times to consider ways to deal with the risk posed by this person and to prepare for the possibility of the legal possibilities for arrest running out,” the minister said.