Police ignored reports of suspicious behaviour in Christchurch mosque, imam claims

Fouda also claimed Tarrant visited the mosque, so what did he say in his message that triggered him?  Does Fouda also claim Tarrant was a Muslim??

Police ignored reports of suspicious behaviour in Christchurch mosque, imam claims

The leader of one of the mosques targeted in the Christchurch terror attacks says police dismissed his reports of suspicious behaviour at the premises in the years before the attacks.

The March 15 terrorist shootings at two Christchurch mosques killed 51 people and injured dozens more.

Speaking to Newshub, Al Noor Masjid Imam Gamal Fouda said police ignored his reports of concerning behaviour at the Deans Ave mosque, including one just three weeks before the attack, and assured him the mosque was safe.

Iain McGregor/Stuff
Al Noor Masjid Imam Gamal Fouda claims police ignored his reports of suspicious behaviour in the mosque.

Fouda said he believed the March 15 attack was “not planned by one person” but a group.

In late 2017, two Europeans came into the mosque and claimed they were Muslims, but the other people in the mosque were not. They swore at two worshippers and told them to go home, Fouda told Newshub

Fouda was concerned the pair had been radicalised to Islamic extremism, which claims all other Muslims are non-believers. He said he warned police but was ignored.

“I replied to the police and said ‘this is very dangerous, not only against Muslims but against New Zealanders, so be careful and check that’, and then they said ‘no, no, no, this is not serious, we have other things to do’.”

He said he had given police a photo of a suspicious man taken from mosque security footage just three weeks before the attacks.

Fouda told Newshub the man was looking around the mosque and would not give his name when asked.

“It was very strange.”

?He said he had raised issues of mosque security with police last year, but was told not to worry.

“They assured us that it is safe, the mosque is safe, everything is safe, but it turned out that this is not true.”

A police spokeswoman said their investigation team was considering a wide range of information as part of the inquiry into the March 15 attack, and would not discuss specifics.

“Prior to the 15 March attack no information was held by police of the threat posed by the man charged in relation to the attack,” she said.

“The purpose of the Royal Commission of Inquiry is to establish what information agencies were aware of, and whether they could have been alerted to the Christchurch attack.”

She said police believed the March 15 attacker acted alone.

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