New Zealand Tightens Anti-Terror Law Within a Month of Auckland Stabbing
After a mass stabbing in the Auckland supermarket, New Zealand passes stricter anti-terror law.
On 30 September, New Zealand passed an anti-terror law that allows security officials to enter, search and conduct surveillance without warrants in an attempt to prevent planning of terrorist activities.
The law was initiated in light of the recent stabbing of six persons in an Auckland supermarket. The incident was considered a "terrorist attack" and the attacker was inspired by the Islamic State.
The police shot down the accused following the attack, however, also maintained that he was suspected to be an extremist and "dangerous" man long before the attack.
In spite of this information and a prior arrest, there were no legal grounds to detain the 32-year-old Sri-Lankan national, and the attack lay bare the loopholes in the New Zealand law.
Amid heightened fears of "lone wolf" terror attacks, New Zealand has worked to beef up its laws, but rushed the new law through parliament after the Auckland attack, unleashed by an assailant authorities said had been inspired by Islamic State, Reuters reported.
A day after the supermarket attack, PM Jacinda Ardern vowed to tighten the anti-terror laws and on Thursday, the Counter Terror Legislation Bill was passed by the country's politicians.
The law specifically criminalises plotting of terror attacks, training in militia and brings New Zealand's security laws in line with most other countries.
"The nature of terrorism has changed. Across the world there are more lone actors, rather than larger organised groups," Kris Faafoi, New Zealand's Minister of Justice, said in an emailed statement, as per The Hindu.
While the law was in works for months, it was hurriedly passed due to the early September attack.
(With inputs from Reuters and the Hindu)
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