New Zealand teen arrested after threat to mosque
Wellington: New Zealand police arrested a 19-year-old man over an “abhorrent” threat made this week against one of the Christchurch mosques targeted in a mass shooting last year.
As New Zealand prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of the massacre by a self-avowed white supremacist that killed 51 Muslim worshippers, police condemned the threat and increased patrols at two mosques that were attacked.
The intimidating message made on an encrypted messaging app reportedly showed a man in a balaclava sitting in a car outside the Al Noor mosque accompanied by threatening text and a gun emoji. “This type of imagery has no place in Aotearoa New Zealand — it is abhorrent and will not be tolerated,” Canterbury police commander superintendent John Price said in a statement, referring to the country by both its Maori and English names.
He said the man, who has not been named, was arrested after police executed a search warrant at a Christchurch address and located several items, including a vehicle.
Price said the man had been charged on an unrelated matter, which was not disclosed, and police were still gathering evidence over the mosque threat. He said police had also increased patrols around the Al Noor and Linwood mosques and would be maintaining “a visible presence” as the March 15 anniversary approaches. – AFP