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New Zealand tightens terror law after recent IS-linked attack By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A man was shot to death by police in New Zealand after inflicting injuries on several people. This happened at an Auckland shopping centre, September 3, 2021. Stuff Limited/Ricky Wilson via REUTERS

By Colin Packham

(Reuters) – New Zealand on Thursday passed a new security law to criminalise preparing a terror attack, tightening a loophole that was exposed by a man who went on to conduct a mass stabbing in the country’s most populated city.

New Zealand had been working for months to improve its security laws in the face of rising terror threats from lone-wolf terrorists. However, this new law was passed quickly by its parliament following an attack in which Aathil Mohammed Samsudeen attacked and injured seven people at a Auckland supermarket earlier in March.

The plotting and preparation of a terrorist attack is now a crime. Kris Faafoi (New Zealand’s Minister for Justice) said that this brings New Zealand’s security laws into line with those in most other countries.

“The nature and purpose of terror has changed.” Faafoi stated in an email that there were more “lone agents” than large organized groups around the globe.

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Just a month ago, Samsudeen (a 32-year old Sri Lankan national) was killed by police.

Samsudeen was convicted in 2012 and held for three years. He was released on July 7.

New Zealand tried unsuccessfully to accuse Samsudeen of terrorist offenses in 2020 after Samsudeen bought a hunting blade and was discovered with Islamic State videos.

Samsudeen was not charged with New Zealand’s terrorist laws. However, the judge found him to be innocent. Although he was freed, he was under 24-hour surveillance by police.

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