New Zealand has tightened its anti-terrorism laws after seven people were injured by an ISIS-inspired knife-wielding terrorist at a mall in Auckland last month.
On 30 September the country’s parliament passed the Anti-Terrorism Law Bill with the support of Labor and National. This act was opposed by the Green Party and the Māori Party.
The bill, amending the Terrorism Suppression Act of 2002 and other related laws, makes terrorist attack planning and preparation a crime and gives enforcement agencies more powers to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity.
Specifically, it allows enforcement agencies to implement warrantless powers of entry, search and surveillance, and to update the definition of a terrorist to improve clarity.
It also criminalizes travel through New Zealand with the intention of carrying out weapons or combat training for terroristic purposes, as well as committing an offense under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
Finally, it extends the financing of terrorism offenses to broadly providing support to terrorist individuals or groups, such as goods and services, while also taking measures to control the movements and activities of those individuals. Those who have been convicted and imprisoned. For offenses related to terrorism in the country.
The new law had been under planning for months, but it was pushed through parliament after August’s violent knife attack at the Linmall Countdown supermarket in New Lynn, Auckland.
New Zealand officials confirmed on 4 September that 32-year-old Ahmed Athil Mohamed Samsudin was the attacker behind the devastating incidents.
An ethnic Tamil Muslim from Sri Lanka, Samsudin came to New Zealand 10 years ago on a student visa to seek refugee status, having been “fraudulently obtained” in 2013.
Police were monitoring Samsoodin at the time of the attack on Facebook activity in which he posted support for terror attacks and violent extremism. They shot him within about a minute of entering the Countdown supermarket and picked up a knife on display, but he had already stabbed five people. Two more shopkeepers were injured in the scuffle. All still doing well.
After the attack, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to pass the new law by the end of September. But Ardern also noted that Samsudin would still have attacked even if the new law was in place.
New Zealand Justice Minister Chris Fafoi has welcomed the Anti-Terrorism Law Bill, saying it fills long-standing loopholes in the country’s anti-terrorism law.
“The nature of terrorism has changed. Actors are more lonely than in large organized groups around the world; As we saw two years ago with the March 15 attack on mosques in Christchurch and earlier this month with the attack on shoppers in West Auckland supermarkets,” Fafoi said.
“The process of developing this important piece of legislation has been meticulous and considered. This included full opportunity for the public to offer their views to the selection committee,” he continued.
“New Zealand is not untouched by this loss, and I want to acknowledge the trauma to the victims, families and communities affected by those terrorist attacks.”
The Auckland supermarket attack was the second terrorist attack in the country in as many years as the massacres at two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019 that claimed 51 lives and injured dozens more.
The new law brings New Zealand in line with Australia and the UK, where authorities already have the power to arrest individuals planning and preparing for a terrorist attack.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times