Christchurch shootings: It’s turning point in New Zealand politics, society, says security analyst
Christchurch, March 15: As shootings took place in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, March 15, leading to multiple fatalities, a security analyst has said the country has been "infected with the virus of homicidal politics" by extremism that yet hasn't been an issue big enough for the intelligence agencies.
Paul Buchanan, director of the 36th Parallel Assessments, a non-partisan, non-governmental geopolitical risk and strategic assessment consultancy, said the attacks in Christchurch were "a turning point in our politics, and for society in general," New Zealand Herald reported.
The twin shootings took place at Masjid al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue and Linwood Masjid in Linwood.
"We have now been infected by the virus of confrontational, to the point of homicidal, politics that is seen all too often in the United States and Europe. And it has now come home."
"This is big trouble. This is a watershed moment for us."
Buchanan said since the 9/11 attacks in the US, the New Zealand intelligence and security services focused on the threat from Islamic extremism and limited resources meant that not much attention was given to the right-wing extremist threat.
"Right-wing extremists have been very visible, very vocal in Christchurch and have carried out attacks on minority communities regularly over the past decade or so. This is not surprising, as terrible as it is, because of that."
A manifesto penned by one of the gunmen was "straight out of the white supremacist playbook," Buchanan said.