Christchurch mosque threats: Sleepless night for neighbours of arrested man

By RNZ

The neighbours of a man charged with threatening to kill worshippers at the Linwood and Al Noor mosques say they are shocked at the allegations.

A 27-year-old man will appear in the Christchurch District Court this morning. Police said the charge relates to a car bombing threat, timed to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the 15 March terror attacks.

Both mosques were searched on Tuesday after a member of the public warned the police about a post on the website 4chan.

Police initially arrested two people after raids in Linwood and St Albans yesterday afternoon.

Neighbours living in the unit behind the St Albans house, who asked not to be identified, said they had hardly slept after returning late from work and reading the news.

They did not see their neighbour often and were not sure how long he had lived there.

Canterbury district commander superintendent John Price told a media briefing last night that any threat made on people and the community was not tolerated.

“We take all threats of this nature seriously and we are working closely with our Muslim community.

“Any messages of hate or people wanting to cause harm in our community will not be tolerated – it’s not the Kiwi way.”

The Muslim community was spoken to “pretty soon” after police were made aware of the threat, he said.

In a statement after the arrests, Muslim Association of Canterbury spokesperson Abdigani Ali said they appreciated police acting promptly on the threat and in consultation with the association and Muslim leaders in the community.

In another statement, Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand (IWCNZ) said the threats were “especially cruel” as the community approached the second anniversary of the attacks.

– RNZ

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