An ‘ISIS-inspired’ terrorist was reportedly shot and killed by New Zealand police on Friday after he stabbed six people at an Auckland supermarket. The man, a Sri Lankan national, had been under 24-hour surveillance by state authorities who, because of that fact, were able to respond within 60 seconds after he began his frenzied attack.
Of the six victims, three are said to be in critical condition, another in serious condition and two in moderate condition, according to the New Zealand outlet, Stuff.
Had he previously been mask-less or exhibiting behavior that flew in the face of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s admonishments from August, the assault may have been prevented altogether as he would currently be serving a life sentence in prison. The despot herself had instructed the populace of New Zealand to avoid interaction with anyone, be it family, friend or foe.
“A violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders,” Ardern said in the briefing, BBC News reported. “What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong. It was carried out by an individual, not a faith.”
Ardern has customarily rushed to defend Islam in the past – usually with draconian measures and empty gestures – specifically in the wake of the infamous Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019.
The now-dead terrorist had been surveilled around-the-clock after he was sentenced in August to one year of supervision for possession of ISIS propaganda, specifically a video of people being murdered, according to Stuff. He had been in the country since 2011, Reuters reported.
Shoppers flee a mall after multiple people stabbed by ‘ISIS-inspired’ knifeman in New Zealand pic.twitter.com/RXjln1jAoS
— The Sun (@TheSun) September 3, 2021
#BreakingNews : *Stabbing* New Zealand police shot dead a man after he entered an Auckland supermarket and stabbed multiple people, with at least six reported injured#NewZealand #Auckland #Stabbing #Woolworths pic.twitter.com/f4NWgxDevY
— 5 News Australia (@5NewsAustralia) September 3, 2021
With no sense of irony at her own executive overreach into the lives of New Zealanders, Ardern said on Friday, “Had he done something that would have allowed us to put him into prison, he would have been in prison.” The government had tried to sentence him under the Terrorism Suppression Act but was denied, according to the outlet.
At his sentencing, NZ Justice Sally Fitzgerald said the suspect had both an “operative interest” in ISIS and “the means and motivation to commit violence in the community.”
If there were ever a case for prior restraint, this might have been it.
The subsequent surveillance ended on Friday shortly after the onset of the rampage. Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said a police surveillance team and a special tactics group had followed the man from his home to the supermarket, and that when the commotion started, two police from the special tactics group rushed over. He said the man approached police with the knife so they shot and killed him.
“It’s obviously a very big shock, completely unexpected,” the husband of a woman in her 50’s who was stabbed in the hip told the outlet. Asking not to be identified, he called the attack “a bit of a nightmare.”
A 19-year old woman saw the man’s wife and rushed over to her, using the woman’s sweater to apply pressure to her wound.
“She was on the phone with 111 [New Zealand’s emergency number], and then she was talking to them and then when I got to her she just dropped her phone and that’s when she sat down and she was just saying ‘I’m so scared, I’m so scared,’” Monica Seve said.
“I was about to wrap her wound with her sweater and then people started screaming there’s a gun there’s a gun and as soon as she heard that she just ran for her life.”
Imam Gamal Fouda, a Muslim leader who survived the attack on his mosque, told Stuff that Friday was the country’s “darkest day” since the Christchurch massacre.
“This person is brain-washed,” Fouda said. “Terrorists who do such inhumane and vile acts do not belong to any religion. They act out of sheer hate, and they have no place in our country. Our first thoughts and prayers are for the victims and their families.”
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