SECURITY at mosques around the world is being stepped up in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack. Muslims traditionally attend Friday Pray
SECURITY at mosques around the world is being stepped up in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack.
Muslims traditionally attend Friday Prayers at mosques and many countries have announced patrols as a precaution.
Armed police stand guard outside the Masijd Ayesha Mosque in Manurewa. Auckland[/caption]
What we know so far:
- At least one terrorist opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, at 1.40pm local time on Friday
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared the attack a terrorist attack
- 49 people have been killed – 41 were killed at Masjid Al Noor Mosque, seven at Linwood Masjid Mosque and one died at hospital
- 48 people were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds and 20 are in critical condition
- One of the gunmen live-streamed the deadly attack on Facebook using a GoPro in footage too distressing to show
- It was posted on a Facebook page belonging to Brenton Tarrant
- It is understood the killer is an Australian with British parents published a chilling 74-page manifesto before the rampage
- Cops have arrested three men and a woman
- It was believed one was wearing a suicide vest but police have now discounted that theory
- A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and will appear in court tomorrow
- Two others remain in custody and it is not clear if the fourth person was involved in the attack
- New Zealand and Australian authorities have confirmed the suspects were not any watch lists
Armed police were seen outside the Masijd Ayesha Mosque in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland.
Well wishers also left flowers outside after the attacks on the Masjid Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid Mosque in Christchurch.
London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, tweeted his condolences to the victims of the attack, and said there will be “highly visible” and armed police around mosques in the capital.
“I want to reassure the Muslim communities in London. I have been in touch with the Met Police,” said the Mayor.
“There will be highly visible policing around mosques today, as well as armed response officers, as Londoners go to pray.”
One man died and several others were injured in 2017 when Darren Osborne drove a van into people leaving evening prayers.
Prosecutors say Osborne was motivated by a hatred of Muslims and been radicalized by far-right propaganda he found online.
Elsewhere in the UK, police in Scotland and Wales also said they would step up patrols near mosques.
In France – which is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population – Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said he has ordered patrols and reinforced surveillance of places of worship “as a precaution”
We will be adding patrols around mosques here in the city
Los Angeles Police Department
In Australia, police said they will increase their presence near mosques and other religious buildings for the next two days to protect worshippers.
Queensland’s Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the force wanted to “reassure them that we are here for them, that we will do everything we can to ensure their safety, even though we know there is no credible threat at this point in time”.
He police were preparing for any backlash, comment or assaults that could arise in coming days.
“There will be a heightened police presence around religious buildings and religious ceremonies tonight and into the weekend while the situation still unfolds in New Zealand,” he said.
The commissioner said Mosques “will be primarily our main concern but we will also make sure other religious groups are watched”.
Police forces in the United States also said they would be enhancing security.
“The Los Angeles Police Department continues to monitor the events in New Zealand closely and the thoughts and prayers of the men and women of the LAPD go out to everyone affected by this horrific incident,” the force said in a statement.
“While this appears to be an isolated incident with no apparent threat to Los Angeles, out of an abundance of caution we will be adding patrols around mosques here in the city.
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“It is critically important that anytime anyone observes concerning behavior or potential criminal acts, they notify authorities as soon as possible.
“The LAPD ask the public to stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. As always, the LAPD is committed to keeping all our citizens safe.”
The New York Police Department said statement said that it is “closely monitoring events in New Zealand, and out of an abundance of caution is assessing security at locations around the city”.
One man wearing military fatigues was arrested outside a high school
The Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, which was the scene of one of the attacks
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