New Zealand to outlaw attack planning after stabbings

New Zealand will tighten its counter-terrorism laws after a stabbing spree at a supermarket in Auckland left several injured.

That attack was carried out by what authorities have called an 'extemist' that was known to them.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed on Saturday to pass legislation as soon as possible.

"And no later than by the end of this month."

Just moments after he began his attack on Friday, police shot dead the assailant - a Sri Lankan national who had been convicted and jailed for three years until July.

Ardern said he came to police attention years ago for sympathising with militant group Islamic State online.

The 32-year-old was monitored constantly but could not be kept in prison by law.

"Based on the level of offending we had, those legal avenues were all used, everything available to us was used."

Now the Counter Terror Legislation Bill will outlaw any preparation that might lead to a terror attack, closing what critics have said has been a loophole allowing plotters to stay free.

Ardern however said that law may not have made a difference in this case.

"This was a highly-motivated individual, who used a supermarket visit as a shield for an attack. And that is an incredibly tough set of circumstances."

She also refused to give more details on the individual.

"No terrorist whether alive or deceased deserves their name to be shared for the infamy they were seeking."

Countdown, which owns the supermarket where Friday's attacks occured, said on Saturday it had removed knives and scissors from its shelves.

It said it's considering whether it would continue to sell them.

Local media have reported that other supermarket chains have followed suit.

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