New Zealand makes plotting terror attacks a crime

New Zealand's parliament has passed a bill to criminalize the plotting and preparation of terrorist attacks. The country has been tightening counter-terrorism measures after 51 people were killed in 2019 mosque attacks in Christchurch.

The legislation allows the detention of those suspected of plotting and preparing terror attacks if a threat is confirmed. Authorities can even launch searches without warrants.

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi stressed in a statement that New Zealand's security laws are now in line with those of other countries, such as Australia and Britain.

Faafoi warned that there are more lone-wolf attackers than larger organized groups. He added that his country will continue to beef up its anti-terror measures.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had been pushing the legislation after a man mounted a knife attack at a shopping mall in Auckland in early September. The Sri Lankan perpetrator, inspired by the Islamic State militant group, wounded several people in the assault.

Authorities had been closely watching the man for possessing extremist videos, but could not detain him before the attack due to a lack of legal grounds.