The New Zealand Police yesterday shot dead the author of a “violent terrorist attack” in a supermarket in the city of Auckland, where he had injured six people with a knife, reported the country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.
Also: Ten Years Since Osama bin Laden’s Death: What Happened To Al Qaeda?
“This afternoon at about 2.40 in the afternoon (local time) a violent extremist perpetrated a terrorist attack against innocent New Zealanders,” he said at a press conference in Wellington Ardern, who stressed that the “extremist” was known to the authorities of your country since 2016.
The attacker, a 32-year-old migrant from Sri Lanka, was killed by police.
The New Zealand president also pointed out that the motivation of the alleged terrorist, a 32-year-old man who migrated from Sri Lanka to New Zealand a decade ago, responded to a “violent ideology” and that he was “inspired by the Islamic State.”
“He has a knife!” Exclaims a woman before police shots are fired in footage from witnesses to the attack on a supermarket in western Auckland, with chaotic scenes of people running in panic and confusion.
“There was chaos, a woman came out and had her arm stabbed. I was going to help because I heard there was a knife, I was going to help by doing something, like throwing a bottle ”, recounted a witness to the incident that ended with the death of the aggressor, a minute after the police arrived.
Read here: ‘Lone wolves’ on the prowl
This attack left six supermarket customers injured, three of them in critical condition and one serious, apparently all of them from stab wounds.
Ardern stressed that this “abominable” attack was perpetrated “by an individual, not by a faith, not by a culture, not by an ethnic group, but by a person.”
“Person of interest”
New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster explained at the press conference that the alleged jihadist, who acted alone, was under constant police surveillance because he became a person of interest to national security five years ago. years.
Coster indicated that the attacker, who apparently took the knife in the supermarket itself, was gunned down about 60 seconds after the intervention of two tactical operations agents.
“The staff acted as soon as possible and prevented more people from being injured in this terrifying situation,” stressed Coster, admitting that the situation lends itself to questioning whether the police “could do more or act more quickly.”
A 2020 New Zealand intelligence service report, cited by the New Zealand Herald, indicated that in that year between 30 and 50 people were investigated for suspected extremist violence and warned that potential attacks would be perpetrated by lone wolves in New Zealand.