THE New Zealand ISIS terrorist stabbed six people despite being under constant surveillance by cops after reportedly planning a lone wolf attack.
Shoppers fled for their lives and screamed in horror in Auckland after six people were hurt in the "extremist" terror attack.
The ISIS-inspired knifeman was shot dead by cops during the rampage at a supermarket.
He had previously been arrested for allegedly planning a "lone wolf" knife attack, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The man – known only as "S" due to legal reasons – is a 32-year-old who has been watched by cops for several years.
He was considered a threat to the public after he was twice caught buying large hunting knives and owning ISIS videos.
"S" had recently been released from prison before today's horrific attacks, and was reportedly under constant surveillance from armed tactical cops and national security agencies.
The Crown had tried to prosecute "S" under terrorism charges last year but a New Zealand High Court judge ruled that preparing a terrorist attack wasn't an offence.
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The man was instead prosecuted on lesser charges, and on May 26 he was found guilty of possessing propaganda supportive of ISIS.
According to a sentence report written just months ago, "S" had "the means and motivation to commit violence in the community".
He was sentenced to a year's supervision, served at a mosque in Auckland.
"S" told the jury during his trial: "You're worried about one knife, I am telling you I will buy 10 knives.
"It's about my rights."
Six people were injured in the attack on Friday 2.40pm local time – with three in critical condition after suffering neck and chest wounds.
Two others are in "moderate" conditions and one person injured is in a serious condition.
New Zealand police said they shot the 32-year-old man dead within a minute after he injured several people at the Countdown supermarket in the city's New Lynn suburb.
The terrorist was considered one of the nation's most dangerous extremists – and was previously under "constant" surveillance.
Videos posted on social media show terrified shoppers in the LynnMall Shopping Centre shortly after the attacker struck.
One witness said "people were panicking" as officers swarmed on the mall and rushed to the scene of the terror attack.
Another shopper who was in the mall when the chaos unfolded, Michelle Miller, said the attacker was "running around like a lunatic" and described hearing screams.
A woman can be heard saying in one video: "There's someone here with a knife … he's got a knife."
At least 10 police units could be seen swarming the surrounding streets as shoppers ran to safety.
Speaking this morning, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "What happened today was despicable, it was hateful, it was wrong.
"A violent extremist undertook a terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders.
"He was gripped by violent and ISIS-inspired ideology that is not supported here.
What we know so far…
- The 'lone wolf' attacker stabbed multiple people in the supermarket in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn
- It's believed he obtained the knife from within the supermarket
- Six people have been injured in the rampage, including three in critical condition
- The 32-year-old knifeman known as 'S' was shot dead by police 60 seconds after the attack started
- Jacinda Ardern confirmed it was an 'extremist terror attack'
- New Zealand's Prime Minister said the knifeman was 'gripped by violent and ISIS-inspired ideology'
- The violent attacker was on the country's terror watchlist and was known by authorities since 2016
"It was carried out by an individual, not a faith."
She described the 32-year-old "lone wolf" attacker as a Sri Lankan national who arrived in New Zealand in 2011.
Ardern added that the man was a "supporter of ISIS" and had previously been under constant surveillance by police before the attack.
He was known to the authorities since 2016, the Prime Minister confirmed.
She said: "This was someone who was known to our national security agencies and was of concern and was being monitored constantly.
"There are very few that fall into this category."
New Zealand's Prime Minister reiterated that if the offender had committed a crime in the past that would have allowed authorities to put him in prison, "that's where he would have been."
She said: "The reason he was in the community is because, within the law, we could not put him anywhere else. His past behaviour was, within the threshold of the law, not enough to put him in prison."
The knifeman was shot dead within 60 seconds of the terrifying attack starting – and two officers were involved in the shooting.
It is understood the man obtained a knife from within the store, New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster confirmed.
Police were following the man after he left home and walked into the New Lynn Countdown – before he carried out the terror attack.
In a statement, officers said: "Police can confirm that a man has entered a New Lynn supermarket and injured multiple people.
"Police have located the man and he has been shot. He has died at the scene."
The shopping mall said in a statement: "The matter is now in the hands of the police and we'll continue to provide them with our full assistance.
"LynnMall is now closed and we will update once we know more."
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown supermarket's general manager of safety, released a statement on Friday afternoon stating her "heart was heavy knowing what our team and customers have witnessed."
She said: "We are particularly devastated that something like this has happened again in one of our stores.
"It's difficult to comprehend and the events of today leave our whole team in deep shock.
"The safety of our team, and our customers, is always our priority, and this is at the heart of our Covid-19 response as well.
"We will cooperate with the Police in any way we can to understand what's happened, and at this point we're unable to provide any further details."
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