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New Zealand Prime Minister apologizes: after revealing a security failure in an attack on two mosques

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with relatives of victims of the two mosques attack in Christchurch - 29 March 2019 - REUTERS
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A report on the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand last year revealed that the country’s security agencies “were almost entirely focused on the threat of terrorism from Islamic militants” before a fanatic killed 51 Muslims in the worst massacre in the country.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry criticized the police in New Zealand for failing to conduct the necessary examination when issuing a firearm license to Australian Brenton Tarrant, who issued a racist statement shortly before the attack and filmed the shooting in a live broadcast on Facebook.

After the report was published, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her apology in a statement, saying: “The commission has not reached conclusions that these matters would have prevented the attack. But these are failures for which I apologize.”

Despite the shortcomings, the commission stated that there were no failures within government agencies that would prevent the attack on the two mosques on March 15, 2019.

The report pointed out that the Royal Commission of Inquiry received reports submitted by various Islamic organizations, in which they described how they feel that they are being targeted by the security services, while the threats against them are not taken seriously, indicating that “there was no logical way to monitor Tarrant’s plans, except by chance.”

The Islamic Council of Women said in a statement, “We found it disturbing that the investigators saw a systematic flaw and an inappropriate focus of resources towards Islamists’ terrorism, despite this that this would not have made a difference about monitoring the terrorist before the event.”

The government accepted all 44 of the report’s recommendations, including creating a new national intelligence and security apparatus and the appointment of a minister to coordinate the government’s response to the report.

According to the statement, the New Zealand government said it would form a ministry for ethnic minorities, tighten firearms licensing and anti-terrorism laws, and make changes that would enable police to better deal with hate crimes.

Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, last August, after he confessed to carrying out the attack, which also wounded dozens of people.

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