Christchurch shootings: Far-right attack ‘could happen in UK too’

policeman stands outside a Christchurch mosque Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, was one of two to be targeted

It is “perfectly possible” that a far-right attack like that seen in New Zealand could happen in the UK, security minister Ben Wallace says.

He told the Commons the UK was seeing a “growing threat” from the far right.

He added the attack must be a “wake up call” for social media firms, who should be “ashamed” they enabled the shootings to be live-streamed and shared.

The attack on two mosques in Christchurch killed 50 people.

It was live-streamed on Facebook by the gunman, with the footage lasting for 17 minutes.

Despite the original video being taken down, it was quickly replicated and shared widely on other platforms, including You Tube and Twitter.

“We’ve been clear that tech companies need to act more quickly to remove terrorist content and ultimately prevent new content being made available to users in the first place,” Mr Wallace said.

All of the social media firms sent messages of sympathy to the victims of the attack and said they acted quickly to remove inappropriate content.

Mr Wallace said the government took all forms of terrorism and extremism seriously and had a counter-terrorism strategy “designed to address all forms of terrorism, whatever the ideology, be it Islamist, far right, neo-Nazi or extreme left wing”.

“Government and law enforcement will direct its funding wherever the threat emerges,” he said.

“If we are to stay one step ahead, as the threat changes, so must the funding.”

He added that the extreme right was “the pool that terrorists of the future will recruit from.”



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