Darkness befell the nation of New Zealand after a known “violent extremist” launched an attack on innocent souls at a marketplace and stabbed 6 people in the process. Since the police forces have files on people of “interest,” the attacker was classified as a violent person who was explicit about his beliefs. His ideologies were described as unique and based on intense extremist movements, and they formed the basis of his radicalism. Living like an ordinary citizen among others might have fuelled his rage because of his lifestyle and aspirations, eventually leading him to snap and injure ordinary people.
Reports from police forces in New Zealand noted how a man carried out various stabbings in a supermarket. According to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the man had a profile at numerous security agencies where he was put under violent individuals. This proved to be accurate, considering his heinous act against innocent bystanders. Jacinda Ardern outlined how the now-deceased attacker was inspired by Isis ideology and faithfully followed in their footsteps. Such extremist groups tend to have a strong clutch on their followers, and their teachings force them to outbursts, especially those who do not conform to their beliefs.
The aftermath of the incident outlined that the man was shot and killed by police at the scene “within 60 seconds of beginning his attack”, and this unfortunate incident took place at a Countdown store in Auckland [Source]. Multiple security agencies had this man in their records since 2016, and he was a Sri Lanka national who had been living in New Zealand since 2011. Due to a suppression order rolled out, the identity of this man was not revealed to the public. Arden addressed the public pertaining to this sad event on Friday and said, “A violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders.”
Ms. Ardern cited that she was aware of this man and saddened upon hearing what he had done out of the blue to her citizens. She added that “This was someone who was known to our national security agencies and was of concern and was being monitored constantly. There are very few that fall into this category.”
Her description of the deceased perpetrator shows the serious nature of conduct and lifestyle, which finally landed him 6 feet below. Police agents revealed that the man appeared to have walked into the New Lynn supermarket to buy certain goods, but witnesses around him said he pulled out a large knife and began stabbing people with it. In a video of the attack posted online, a woman who was in the shop is heard shouting that “There’s someone here with a knife … he’s got a knife’ [Source]. In another video, the sound of rapid ten shots being fired is heard, and that the shower of bullets eliminated the criminal.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster commented on the brutal attack and said, “We were doing everything possible to monitor him, and indeed the fact that we were able to intervene so quickly, in roughly 60 seconds, shows just how closely we were watching him.”
He added that “The reality is that when you are surveilling someone on a 24/7 basis, it is not possible to be immediately next to them at all times. The staff intervened as quickly as they could, and they prevented further injury in what was a terrifying situation” [Source].
However, the quick reaction did not deter the stabber from injuring six people, in which three victims are reported to be in a critical condition. The other victim is in a serious condition, and another is said to be stable now at a local hospital. Arden posited that authorities allowed the terrorists to roam the streets because the prison law did not permit them to put him behind bars. She explained that “Had he done something that would have allowed us to put him into prison, he would have been in prison.” Other political analysts have raised questions regarding the government’s ability to keep dangerous individuals off the streets in order to prevent such occurrences [Source]. Security and Defence Editor, Deborah Haynes, noted that the government failed to find legal ways to imprison him, but at least he was stopped before causing more damage, and this shows that indeed he was being monitored.
PM Arden urged people not to blame the Muslim community because this attack was purely based on an individual’s actions.
Comforting messages have been pouring in from various leaders in neighboring countries and government officials for the victims.