Friday, 15 Oct 2021

Man charged with threatening to kill over messages about Christchurch mosques

A man has been charged with threatening to kill over messages posted online about two Christchurch mosques.

The 27-year-old man is due to appear in Christchurch District Court tomorrow.

Canterbury district commander superintendent John Price said police arrested two people today following threats made on 4chan about Christchurch mosques. The other man was released this evening without charge.

Price said it was “always a concern” something like this comes up every anniversary of the mosque shooting.

Fifty one people were murdered and a further 40 injured at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques on March 15, 2019 in the worst-ever terror attack in New Zealand’s history.

“Any message of hate or people wanting to cause harm, they will be held to account,” Price said.

Police were notified through a member of the public coming forward, he said.

The only charge the man is facing right now is the threatening to kill charge, but Price anticipates there will be more charges laid.

Price couldn’t comment on the nature of the threat.

“It’s very concerning for me and for New Zealanders as a whole. Most New Zealanders are peace-abiding. Any threat…is not the New Zealand way”

He said police are not looking at anyone else in regard to the matter

Police raided a property in the Christchurch suburb of St Albans. Officers could be seen taking computer equipment from the property and loading it into police vehicles.

The second anniversary of the attack on the mosque is approaching later this month.

About the police response at the memorial event, Price said there will be visible staff at the mosques and in the wider context of the event and police “out and about” on the streets.

Brenton Tarrant, 30, admitted murdering 51 men, women and children at two mosques. He also admitted 40 charges of attempted murder relating to the two attacks – and pleaded guilty to one charge of engaging in a terrorist act laid under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.

He was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole.

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