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New Zealand PM: I'll never utter accused gunman's name

By Darryl Coote
New Zealand PM: I'll never utter accused gunman's name
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she will never say the name of the man suspected of killing 50 people during a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch. EPA-EFE/SNPA / POOL NEW ZEALAND OUT

March 19 (UPI) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Parliament Tuesday that she will never utter the name of the man who killed 50 people and injured 50 others during last week's shooting at two Christchurch mosques.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with one count of murder for the Friday shootings. More charges are expected to follow.

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Ardern told Parliament that the person behind the Friday shooting sought to achieve many goals from his act of terror including notoriety, and that is why she will never say his name, urging others to instead remember the names of those who were killed.

"You will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist but he will, when I speak, be nameless and others I implore you, speak the names of those who are lost rather than the name of the man who took them," she said. "He may have sought notoriety but here in New Zealand we will give him nothing -- not even his name."

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She acknowledged that Friday's shooting has raised many questions over why the attack wasn't thwarted by law enforcement during its planning and she assured the public that they will get answers.

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She said that Monday the cabinet approved a wide-ranging inquiry into what government agencies could have done to stop the shooting.

"We will examine what we did know, could have known or should have known. We cannot allow this to happen again," she said.

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On Monday, she said the inquiry will focus on Tarrant's travel history, his move to New Zealand from his native Australia, his use of social media and his relationships.

Law enforcement in New Zealand has come under scrutiny following the attack as Tarrant was not on any government watchlist.

Following Tarrant's arrest, reporters asked New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush how was it possible that he was unknown to authorities.

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Bush said that they will examine all available evidence to see if they missed anything.

He added that Tarrant was also not on any Australian watchlist either.

Ardern had previously said that government agencies should have known about the suspect.

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"This individual should have been someone that the authorities were aware of and were proactively already focused on," she said.

Details of the inquiry were vague, but she said more information would be available soon.

She also said Tuesday that her government will also examine the role of social media in the shooting.

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"There is anger that it has happened here," she said Tuesday. "There are many questions that need to be answered and the assurance that I give you is that they will be."

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