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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Sri Lankan man shot dead by NZ police after ‘terrorist attack’ in Auckland that injured six

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An attack at a New Zealand supermarket was “a terrorist attack” by a “violent extremist” who follows Islamic State ideology and who had been under heavy surveillance by police, prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said.

A man was shot dead on Friday afternoon by police after entering a West Auckland supermarket and stabbing at least six people, who are now in hospital.

The alleged terrorist was a Sri Lankan national who arrived in New Zealand in 2011 and became a person of national security interest from 2016, authorities said.

Ardern said his ideology was IS-inspired, but he was a “lone-wolf”.

“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 was gripped by ideology that is not supported here by anyone or any community.

By the time he entered the supermarket, he was being watched and followed. The police were with him at the time this happened, that level of surveillance was being provided because of the concerns that we had,” Ardern said.

“The detailed reasons he is known to the agencies is the subject of suppression orders made by the court. In my view, it is in the public interest to hear as much as we can, in this case, I’m seeking advice on what we can do to facilitate that sharing of information as soon as possible,” Ardern said.

“Of all of the tools that we have, constant monitoring and surveillance is – outside someone being in prison – one of the strongest we have, and that is what was attached to this individual,” she said.

The attack is the second terror attack in recent New Zealand history. On 15 March 2019, a white supremacist terrorist killed 51 worshippers at a mosque in Christchurch.

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