Authorities in New Zealand shot and killed an Islamic terrorist who went on a stabbing spree at a grocery store Friday afternoon.
The suspect, a Sri Lankan national, stabbed six people, three of whom are in critical condition, two are in moderate condition, and one was serious. Police responded within 60 seconds of the attack.
According to authorities, the terrorist had been under constant surveillance when the ISIS-inspired attack took place.
“A violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a briefing. “What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong. It was carried out by an individual, not a faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity, but an individual person who is gripped by ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community. He alone carries the responsibility for these acts; let that be where the judgment falls.”
The prime minister said the suspect, who came to New Zealand in 2011, had been known to security forces since 2016. She described him as a lone actor who had been under constant monitoring because of concerns about his ideology.
“This was a violent attack,” she said. “It was senseless, and I’m so sorry it happened.”
Surveillance teams were as close as they could possibly be at the time of the stabbings, said Andrew Coster, New Zealand’s police commissioner.
“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,” Commissioner Coster said. “The staff intervened as quickly as they could, and they prevented further injury in what was a terrifying situation.”
Ms. Ardern added, “We used every element and lever in the law that was available.” (NYT)
The supermarket stabbing marks the first terror attack in the country since Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant shot and killed 51 people and injured 40 others in 2019.
Author: Leah Barkoukis
Source: Townhall : New Zealand Police Shoot Islamic Terrorist in Grocery Store Attack
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