Report into NZ mosque attack faults focus on Islamist terror risks, firearms licensing

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A report into last year's Christchurch mosque massacre said New Zealand security agencies were 'almost exclusively' focused on the threat from Islamist terrorism, and the police had failed to enforce proper checks on firearm licenses.

Reuters December 08, 2020 07:10:19 IST
Report into NZ mosque attack faults focus on Islamist terror risks, firearms licensing

Report into NZ mosque attack faults focus on Islamist terror risks firearms licensing

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A report into last year's Christchurch mosque massacre said New Zealand security agencies were "almost exclusively" focused on the threat from Islamist terrorism, and the police had failed to enforce proper checks on firearm licenses.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry, however, said despite the shortcomings, there were no failings within government agencies that would have alerted them to the imminent attack by the white supremacist, who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019.

"The commission made no findings that these issues would have stopped the attack. But these were both failings and for that I apologise," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement after the report was released.

The government accepted all 44 recommendations made by the report including to establishing a new national intelligence and security agency, and appointing a minister to coordinate the government's response to the report.

The government said it would also act on a proposal for the police to better identify, record and respond to hate crime, and deliver services more responsive to victims.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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