Our Terms of Reference required us to make findings on:
- whether there was any information provided or otherwise available to relevant [Public] sector agencies that could or should have alerted them to the terrorist attack and, if such information was provided or otherwise available, how the agencies responded to any such information, and whether that response was appropriate; and
- the interaction amongst relevant [Public] sector agencies, including whether there was any failure in information sharing between the relevant agencies.
Underlying these issues is a concern that the relevant Public sector agencies may have missed opportunities to disrupt the 15 March 2019 terrorist attack and were therefore at fault.
We asked all 217 agencies from the wider New Zealand Public sector (see the appendix) to give us any information they held about the individual and his activities before 15 March 2019. We assessed and tested this information against that received from other sources, including from submissions and our community engagement process, and meetings with experts.
The next four chapters of this Part concern a range of issues:
- In chapter 2, we discuss reports of suspicious behaviour at masajid around New Zealand made before 15 March 2019. We conclude that none of these reports related to the individual.
- In chapter 3, we discuss the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service’s investigation into a New Zealand-based IP address that accessed suspicious files in August and September 2017. We are uncertain whether this IP address activity was associated with the individual. If it was, it occurred in ways that made it impracticable for him to be linked to it.
- In chapter 4, we discuss whether an employee of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service saw social media posts made by the individual before 15 March 2019. We conclude that it is more likely than not that these posts did not come to the attention of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.
- In chapter 5 we review reports about the individual’s conduct at the Bruce Rifle Club. We conclude that no information about the individual’s behaviour at the Bruce Rifle Club was known by New Zealand Police before 15 March 2019.
Ten of the 217 agencies from the wider New Zealand Public sector held information about the individual before the terrorist attack. We list this information in chapter 6. In summary:
- Only three of the agencies involved in the counter-terrorism effort held any information about the individual – New Zealand Police, Immigration New Zealand and New Zealand Customs Service.
- With the possible exception of the IP address, neither of the two intelligence and security agencies had any information about the individual before the terrorist attack.
- Seven other Public sector agencies had information about the individual before the terrorist attack – the Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Post, the Southern District Health Board, the Accident Compensation Corporation, the Ministry of Health, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Parliamentary Service.
In chapter 7, we evaluate the actions taken by the Public sector agencies in response to the information they held about the individual. Other than the email sent by the individual to the Parliamentary Service immediately before the terrorist attack, none of the other information known by Public sector agencies could or should have alerted them to the terrorist attack. Some of that information related, or may have related, to the individual’s planning and preparation for the terrorist attack, but this could not have been known by the Public sector agencies at that time.
We set out our findings in chapter 8 on whether there was any information that could or should have alerted Public sector agencies to the terrorist attack and whether their response to that information was appropriate.
Chapter 9 provides answers to specific questions asked by the community about what Public sector agencies knew about the individual before the terrorist attack and what they did with that information.