On Security

What the New Zealand Attack Tells Us About the State of Terrorism

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Mar 19, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would be looking for answers from Facebook and other social media firms about how an attack was livestreamed on their platforms.

People place flowers in a tribute after a white supremacist shot and killed 49 civilians at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019.

(DAVID MOIR/AFP/Getty Images)

A 28-year-old Australian citizen (who I will consciously refuse to name) livestreamed a video of himself opening fire on two different mosques March 15 in Christchurch, New Zealand -- taking the lives of approximately 49 civilians. The assailant behind the deadly shootings had been plotting an attack for two years, which underlines that terrorist attacks do not occur in a vacuum -- rather, they are the result of a methodical process, which makes perpetrators vulnerable to detection each step of the way. Because of this, it is important to focus on indications that attacks are being planned regardless of the actor's race, ethnicity or ideological bent in an effort to prevent future atrocities. ...

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