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New Zealand was warned a terror attack was possible

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Before the attack in Christchurch, very few people expected New Zealand would witness a terror incident of such magnitude. To all outward appearances, we were a very safe and tolerant society. The Global Peace Index had New Zealand as the second most peaceful country on the planet. Our terror rating was "low" (meaning attacks were believed to be unlikely) and we had a national homicide rate by firearms (about 10 per year for the whole country) that was insignificant by international standards.

Despite these considerations, at the end of August 2016, I warned a select committee of the New Zealand government which was looking into gun regulation legislation that the risk of a mass shooting in the country was rising due to the growing threat from extremists and the possibility of "lone wolf" attacks following recent incidents in Europe and the United States. To me, it was foreseeable that there would be an atrocity in my country. Yet my predictions were laughed off and I was perceived as being melodramatic.

The reason why I believed a major attack was inevitable in was that I could see two major factors related to mass shootings and terrorism taking shape in the New Zealand context.

Attackers often profess extremist views or follow an........

© Al Jazeera