New Zealand PM received gunman’s ‘manifesto’ minutes before Christchurch terror attack

“I was one of more than 30 recipients of the manifesto that was mailed out nine minutes before the attack took place,” Ms. Ardern said.

March 17, 2019 10:27 am | Updated November 28, 2021 10:05 am IST - Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her office received a “manifesto” from the gunman suspected of killing 50 people in two Christchurch mosques minutes before Friday’s attack.

“I was one of more than 30 recipients of the manifesto that was mailed out nine minutes before the attack took place,” Ms. Ardern told reporters on March 17.

Also read | Christchurch shooting: death toll rises to 50

“It did not include a location, it did not include specific details,” she said, adding that it was sent to security services within two minutes of receipt.

Ms. Ardern said she had read “elements” of the lengthy, meandering and conspiracy-filled far-right “manifesto”.

“The fact that there was an ideological manifesto with extreme views attached to this attack, of course, that is deeply disturbing,” she said.

Gun laws to change: Ardern

Ms. Ardern has reiterated her promise that there will be changes to the country’s gun laws in the wake of the terrorist attack on two mosques and said her Cabinet will discuss the policy details on March 18.

At a Sunday news conference, Ms. Arden used some of her strongest language yet about gun control, saying that laws need to change and “they will change”. New Zealand has fewer restrictions on rifles or shotguns than many countries, while handguns are more tightly controlled.

Unlike the U.S., the right to own a firearm is not enshrined in New Zealand’s constitution.

Ms. Ardern declined to discuss more details until she’d talked to her Cabinet, the group of top lawmakers that guides policies.

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