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On March 22, 2019
When, on Friday 15th a terrorist attacked two mosques in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand, 50 innocent lives were lost and at least another 50 were left with life threatening injuries. The death toll may rise. Worshipers were shot at close range as the murderous 28 year old Australian listened to his sadistic music and rearmed from his killer-van. He leisurely parked his van in the street without any worry. He had a semi-automatic weapon and in a live-stream took more than 10 long minutes shooting at the worshipers. The terrorist later drove to another mosque to continue his murder spree. He was a foreign national who managed to buy 5 guns and explosives. Police had earlier said four people – three men and one woman – had been taken into custody in relation to the devastating shootings.
Women and children were among the dead and injured. Horrified witnesses have described seeing bodies everywhere, with one grieving man reportedly heard wailing: “My wife is dead.”
While New Zealand was ranked the second safest country in the world Christchurch has been labelled the hot bed of white supremacist. This would have alerted and kept security agencies on their toes as experts have been suggesting for quite awhile that far-right extremism has been rising in New Zealand.
This attack was not out of the blue as reports would like the world to believe. According to Anjum Rahman the spokesperson of Islamic Women Council, for the last 3 years representatives have held meetings with New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Services and department of Prime Minster and cabinet to express concerns at growing hostility against the Muslim community and immigrants. The terrorist has been planning for at least 3 months to commit the atrocities and massacres of innocent worshipers that finally happened on Friday. After killing almost all the worshipers in the Al-Noor mosque, the gunman drove 5 km to another mosque in Linwood to commit more murders.
Terrorism experts say the Christchurch attack is an indication of police failure. ”There exists an institutional culture within security and intelligence community that focuses on Muslim, Indigenous and activist individuals as the greater threat to national security than right-wing extremism” says Jose Sousa-Santos, director of Strategika Group, a consultancy.
Scandal of enormous proportion
The Prime Minister has today acknowledged her office receiving the ‘Manifesto’ said to have been written by the terrorist minutes before the attack. Warnings delivered to senior officials long before the attack about the threats faced by the Muslim community has been ignored but the Prime Minister said the security has been very active in monitoring extremism before the Friday attack. One would be forgiven to ask were the security ”active in monitoring” as the PM said only at ‘Islamic extremism’? isn’t this a failure of the security and intelligence community? Mustn’t her administration take at least some responsibility for failing the people of New Zealand and the Muslim community in particular?
It is shocking that the police failed to get a whiff of what the terrorists have been planning. There response to the massacre in the middle of the day was too late and too little. Christchurch is not a back of the woods remote location, the New Zealand secret services has its regional offices there.
This is nothing short of a scandal and I am surprised and shocked no one has claimed responsibility for failure to protect the security and ensure the safety of New Zealanders. Neither the Police Minister nor the Police Commissioner or even the heads of intelligence have offered to resign or asked to resign. This is a tragedy beyond comprehension and the kid gloves treated with those responsible to prevent the carnage is shocking.
The least the police commissioner should do is resign. The people of New Zealand should call for public inquiry into how this could happen.
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