Some affected whānau, survivors and witnesses we met with asked us questions about or shared their views on the individual who carried out the terrorist attack. They believe that the individual visited Masjid an-Nur and the Linwood Islamic Centre before the terrorist attack on 15 March 2019. They described a man, who they believe to have been the individual, engaging in evasive conversation at Masjid an-Nur, including with the Imam, and said that his practices in the masjid, including during prayer time, suggested he was not a regular masjid attendee.
Most affected whānau, survivors and witnesses could not comprehend how the individual was able to carry out the extent of preparation and planning activities that he did without being detected. They believe he must have had support from friends or online groups to carry out the terrorist attack. They also believe that more than one person must have been involved in the terrorist attack due to the planning that it would have required, and some people reported hearing the individual talking to others during the terrorist attack.
Affected whānau, survivors and witnesses who spoke to us about the individual convicted of the terrorist attack had specific questions they wanted answered through the Royal Commission’s report, including:
- Did he have direct or indirect support to carry out the terrorist attack?
- How could he afford to buy all the weapons and equipment needed to carry out the terrorist attack?
- How did he accumulate so much ammunition without drawing the attention of authorities?
- Given the fact that he had visited countries with travel advisory warnings, why was he not checked more thoroughly by immigration on entering New Zealand?
- How did he know the ‘perfect time’ to enter either Masjid an-Nur or the Linwood Islamic Centre?
These and other questions raised by communities about the individual and what Public sector agencies knew about him are answered in our report.