New Zealand Passes Law Criminalizing Plotting of Terror Attacks

New Zealand ratified a new law that criminalizes plotting a “terrorist” attack after a violent knife attack occurred in Auckland on September 3. 

The new law was approved on Thursday, September 30, after a man linked with the ISIL (ISIS) group stabbed shoppers in an Auckland supermarket, leaving six casualties on the scene. The law was planned for months but was hastened through the parliament due to the incident. 

Authorities said that the suspect was Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, a  Sri Lankan national who went to New Zealand in 2011 and became a person of national security interest from 2016. He was shot dead after the supermarket stabbing incident.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the move was inspired by the IS group, but he was a lone wolf. Ardern said, “What happened today was despicable. It was hateful, it was wrong, it was carried out by an individual, not faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity, but an individual person who was gripped by an ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community.”

Police commissioner Andrew Coster said that the suspect is already in custody and that he was acting alone based on the authorities’ extensive monitoring. 

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