Law enforcement officers in New Zealand stopped a violent terrorist attack in Aukland on Friday by fatally shooting the Sri Lankan migrants identified as the assailant.
Reports indicate the suspect is believed to have been inspired by the Islamic State extremist network and was “known” to police for several years.
“Not supported here by anyone or any community”
According to Breitbart, investigators had placed him under monitoring and surveillance prior to the stabbing spree at a grocery store this week.
Thanks to that constant surveillance, officers were able to respond to the violent attack within about one minute from the time he first began slashing innocent shoppers.
Of the six victims, all were transported to a local hospital. Three individuals were listed in critical condition, two in serious condition, and the last one in moderate condition.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden condemned the incident in a press conference, going on to emphasize that the attacker is believed to have acted alone.
She went on to assert that it was “not a faith, not a culture, not an ethnicity” that led to the suspect’s actions, “but an individual person who was gripped by an ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community.”
Prior run-ins with police
Arden defended the decision to allow the individual to remain free while under surveillance because he had not yet committed a crime. She noted that the reasons behind the decision to monitor him had been sealed by a court.
A report by the New Zealand Herald, on the other hand, determined that the 32-year-old man identified only as “S” had been arrested multiple times in the past and was even sentenced for a terrorism-related conviction.
He had reportedly been on the radar of police since repeatedly threatening to carry out a terrorist attack in 2016. On multiple occasions, he reportedly purchased or attempted to purchase large hunting knives — and his computer was allegedly full of Islamic State propaganda.
Authorities attempted to prosecute him under a strict 2002 anti-terror law, but a court ruled that planning and threatening such an attack did not constitute a crime, leading to his prosecution on lesser charges and being released under supervision.
He reportedly went on to issue threats while expressing no remorse for his prior statements and actions. Tragically, it appears that the bloodshed this week at an Aukland supermarket could have been prevented with a more proactive response to the clearly dangerous individual.