New Zealand police on Tuesday filed a terrorism charge against the man accused of killing 51 people at two Christchurch mosques. Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, was already facing murder and attempted murder charges from the March 15 shootings. The new charge comes with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment upon conviction and will be a test case for New Zealand’s terrorism laws, which came onto the books in 2002 following the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. The New Zealand law defines terrorism as including acts that are carried out to advance an ideological, political, or religious cause with the intention of inducing terror in a civilian population. New Zealand joined together in prayer one week after an attack on two mosques killed 50 people and injured dozens more. (Published Friday, March 22, 2019) Just before the attacks, Tarrant emailed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and others a manifesto outlining his white supremacist beliefs and his detailed plans for the shootings. From the outset, Ardern has described the attacks as terrorism. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said in a statement they wouldn’t be commenting on the new charges as the case was before the courts. Cohen… Read full this story
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