By Oisin Sweeney • 08 December 2020 • 9:54
THE CHRISTCHURCH mosque attacks that took 51 lives in March 2019 was ‘unpreventable’ according to a recent inquiry.
The inquiry heard that Islamophobic terrorist Brenton Tarrant was able to build a massive cache of weapons thanks to New Zealand’s lax gun laws, and that police attention was exclusively focused on preventing Islamic attacks.
Following the shooting evidence emerged of the Australian gunman’s steroid abuse and hospital admission for accidentally shooting himself. It was also revealed that he had become radicalised to extremist Islamophobia online and during his travels in the Balkan region of Eastern Europe. However, the report concluded that these factors would not have been sufficient to prevent the attack had the police been aware of them.
‘The commission found no failures within any government agencies that would have allowed the terrorist planning and preparation to be detected’ said New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern, ‘But they did identify many lessons to be learned and significant areas that require change’.
She has pledged to establish a new intelligence and security agency, and to offer police more training in detecting radicalism. She added that ‘failures within the firearms licencing regime’ would be addressed.
The Imam of Al-Noor mosque, one of the places of worship attacked, said that ‘We’ve known for a long time that the Muslim community has been targetted with hate speech and crimes – this report shows we are right’.
On March 15h, 2019, Australian national Brenton Tarrant opened fire on worshippers in the Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, live-streaming the massacre on Facebook. He then drove to the Linwood Islamic Centre and continued his rampage before being arrested. As he was handed a life sentence without parole earlier this year, the judge described the killer as ‘inhuman’ and said he’d ‘showed no mercy’ to his 51 victims.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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