New Zealand Terrorist Attack Sees Six Stabbed, Suspect Shot Dead

Multiple people in New Zealand were stabbed in a terrorist attack on Friday, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

A man, inspired by Islamic State ideology, entered a Countdown supermarket in Lynn Mall, New Lynn, Auckland, on Friday and stabbed and wounded at least six people. Police shot and killed the suspect within 60 seconds of starting the attack, Ardern said.

Dramatic social media footage shows shoppers fleeing out the mall for their lives, moments after the terrorist began their attack.

"A violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders," Ardern told a press briefing on Friday.

"This was someone who was known to our national security agencies and was of concern and was being monitored constantly. There are very few that fall into this category," Ardern said, adding that she was personally gutted to have heard about the attack.

The suspect was a Sri Lankan national and had been living in New Zealand since 2016. He was described by the prime minister as a "lone wolf" who was inspired by extremist ideology.

"It was hateful, it was wrong. It was carried out by an individual, not a faith," Ardern said. "He alone carries the responsibility for these acts."

"We were doing absolutely everything possible to monitor him and indeed the fact that we were able to intervene so quickly, in roughly 60 seconds, shows just how closely we were watching him," Police Commissioner Andrew Coster told the briefing.

Coster said police were confident there was no further threat to the public.

The last terrorist attack in New Zealand was in the city of Christchurch, on the country's east coast. That devastating incident in March 2019 saw a white supremacist terrorist kill 51 worshippers at a city mosque and injured 50 more.

Less than a week later, Ardern announced that all weapons considered military-style semi-automatic guns and all assault rifles would be banned in the country.

Asked in Friday's press conference whether the Auckland attack could have been revenge for the Christchurch attack, Ardern said that it was not clear.

Newsweek has contacted the police for comment on the incident.

The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) condemned the attack in a statement, saying it has "resurrected the trauma" of the Christchurch attack.

"Terrorists who do such inhumane and vile acts do not belong to any religion," Ibrar Sheikh, President of FIANZ said.

"We condemn this act of terror. They act out of sheer hate, and they have no place in our country. Our first thoughts and prayers are for the victims and their families. We sympathise with their trauma and that of the bystanders who witnessed the evil act of terror.

"We thank the NZ Police for their bravery and all the work they are doing to keep us safe. The first responders, including the medical and ambulance staff have our deepest admiration.

"At this time, we again repeat our sense of sorrow for those who are in hospital and the others who are suffering from trauma. We pray for their wellbeing."

Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at a press conference on August 17, 2021, in Wellington, New Zealand. She said on Friday in a press conference that there had been a terrorist attack in the city of Auckland that has seen at least six people stabbed. The suspect was also shot dead. Hagen Hopkins/Getty