Advertisement
Sunday, Nov 28, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Killed IS Inspired Man In New Zealand Was Released Despite Concerns

The fears of New Zeland authorities were borne out Friday when the man walked into an Auckland supermarket, grabbed a knife and stabbed six people, critically injuring three.

Killed IS Inspired Man In New Zealand Was Released Despite Concerns
Police forensic staff stand outside a supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand. | AP
Killed IS Inspired Man In New Zealand Was Released Despite Concerns
outlookindia.com
2021-09-04T11:01:50+05:30

A court report about a man in New Zealand who was inspired by the Islamic State group warned he had the motivation and means to commit violent acts in the community and posed a high risk.

The report described the man as harbouring extreme attitudes, living an isolated lifestyle, and having a sense of entitlement.

However, a judge's job in July was to sentence the man for the relatively minor crimes he had committed at that time, not for potential future crimes. She decided to release him under the supervision of a mosque leader who promised to try and help.

The fears of authorities were borne out Friday when the man walked into an Auckland supermarket, grabbed a knife and stabbed six people, critically injuring three.

Because police continued to have deep concerns about the man, they had been watching him and following him around the clock. They were able to intervene and shoot him dead within 60 seconds of him beginning his attack.

The court documents begin to tell the story of why the man that authorities feared so much was able to roam free.

However, much of the man's legal history — including even his name — remains subject to court orders preventing publication.

More pieces of the puzzle likely reside within that hidden legal history, including shortcomings in New Zealand terrorism laws, which experts believe are too focused on punishing crimes and inadequate in dealing with plots.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she is seeking to make the man's full legal history publicly available as soon as possible.

Ardern said the man, a Sri Lankan national, first moved to New Zealand in 2011 and that security agencies began monitoring him in 2016.

According to a sentencing report from July, the man spent three years in prison for unspecified reasons.

This year, a jury found him guilty on two counts of possessing objectionable videos, both of which showed Islamic State group imagery, including the group's flag and a man in a black balaclava holding a semi-automatic weapon.

High Court Judge Sally Fitzgerald described the contents as nasheeds, or religious hymns, sung in Arabic. She said the videos described obtaining martyrdom on the battlefield by being killed for Allah's cause.

The judge said she rejected arguments the man had simply stumbled on the videos and was trying to improve his Arabic. She said an aggravating factor was that he was on bail for earlier, similar offenses and had tried to delete his internet browser history.

However, the videos didn't show violent murders like some Islamic State videos and weren't classified as the worst kind of illicit material.

The judge noted the extreme concerns of police, saying she didn't know if they were right, but “I sincerely hope they are not.”

In the end, Fitzgerald sentenced the man to a year's supervision at an Auckland mosque, where a leader had confirmed his willingness to help and support the man on his release.

The judge also banned the man from owning any devices that could access the internet, unless approved in writing by a probation officer, and ordered that he provide access to any social media accounts he held.

“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.”

Two months later, the man traveled from the mosque to the Countdown supermarket in the suburb of Glen Eden, tailed at a distance by police special tactics officers. Then he unleashed an attack that shocked a nation. (AP)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Ordinary People And Their Tales Of Incredible Courage

Ordinary People And Their Tales Of Incredible Courage

In ordinary people live extraordinary tales of courage that speak truth to power

Uttar Pradesh: One Week On, Mystery Shrouds Death Of 3 Dalit Girls

Uttar Pradesh: One Week On, Mystery Shrouds Death Of 3 Dalit Girls

The post-mortem report said that the three girls died 'when they got crushed after coming in front of a train that was passing through'.

ISL: ATK Mohun Bagan Hammer East Bengal 3-0 In Kolkata Derby

ISL: ATK Mohun Bagan Hammer East Bengal 3-0 In Kolkata Derby

Three first-half goals proved more than enough for ATK Mohun Bagan to beat East Bengal in the first Kolkata derby of ISL 2021-22.

‘Clock Can Be Reversed In J&K After Farm Laws Repeal’

‘Clock Can Be Reversed In J&K After Farm Laws Repeal’

Former Chief Minister and Member Parliament Dr Farooq Abdullah:'The restoration of early statehood and Article 370 is the only way forward. Otherwise, Kashmiris will continue to bleed and there will be hardly any progress in this part of the world'.

Advertisement