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New Zealand Knife Attack Speeds Overhaul of Counterterrorism Laws

WELLINGTON, New Zealand—A suspected Islamist extremist’s knife attack has prompted New Zealand authorities to accelerate an overhaul of counterterrorism laws, including by criminalizing the planning of an attack for the first time.

The stabbing of supermarket shoppers on Friday was the first act of terrorism in New Zealand since a white supremacist murdered 51 people at two mosques in the southern city of Christchurch in March 2019. Five of the stabbing victims are hospitalized, three in critical condition. The attacker, Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, a 32-year-old Sri Lankan man who authorities said was inspired by Islamic State, was shot and killed by police.

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