New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern vows to tighten counter …

Posted: September 6, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Days after a 32-year-old man stabbed and wounded seven people in a supermarket, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday promised to tighten counter-terrorism laws this month. This assurance from the Prime Minister came after Ahmed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, an extremist, was shot and killed by police after he attacked people in an Auckland supermarket on September 2, Thursday. While addressing a press conference in the national capital, Ardern promised to enact a law that would tighten the terrorist activities in the country. She assured the people of passing the law as soon as Parliament resume. "I am committing to pass the law as soon as possible. It would be pass no later than by the end of this month," stated Ardern. Further, she reiterated that the man involved in the mall stabbing incident came from Sri Lanka in 2011 on a student visa and was not known to have held any extreme views.

"The man was monitored constantly by at least 30 undercover agents after being freed from jail this year as he could not be kept in prison by law any longer," explained Ardern. The explanation from Ardern came after the Opposition parties alleged the Prime Minister could have saved the people from the brutal attack. He was first noticed by police in 2016 when he started posting support for terror attacks and violent extremism on Facebook. During the investigation, police found the man was allegedly inspired by the Islamic State group and recovered several videos showing ISIS terrorists, said, Ardern.

In 2017, New Zealand police arrested him at Auckland Airport when he was heading for Syria. According to the police sources, he was presumably going to join the Islamic State insurgency. During the search operation, police found a hunting knife and some banned propaganda material in his bag. As the video did not contain any violent footage, he was released on bail. In 2018, he bought another knife, and police found two Islamic State videos. Since then, he was facing a three-year jail term after pleading guilty to various crimes and breaching bail. In May this year, a jury found him guilty on two counts of possessing offensive videos, which showed Islamic State group imagery.

However, the videos didnt show brutal murders like some Islamic State videos and werent classified as the worst illicit material. High Court Judge Sally Fitzgerald described the contents as religious chants sung in Arabic. According to the judge, the videos showed obtaining martyrdom on the battlefield by being killed for Gods cause. However, the judge rejected the defence claim that the man was trying to improve his Arabic. The court noted that he had the motivation and means to commit violent acts in the community and posed a high risk.

The court directed the authorities to monitor his activities closely. However, the judge decided to release the accused with several terms and conditions. He was kept at an Auckland mosque where a leader had confirmed his willingness to help. I am of the view that the risk of you reoffending in a similar way to the charges upon which you were convicted remains high, the judge concluded. Your rehabilitation is accordingly key.

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New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern vows to tighten counter ...

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