Christchurch mosques bomb threat: Man charged with threatening to kill appears in court

A man has been given initial name suppression after being charged with threatening to kill, over messages posted online about attacking Christchurch mosques.

The threats were made just ahead of the anniversary of the terror attack that killed 51 people, at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques on March 15, 2019.

The 27-year-old made his first appearance on Friday morning in the Christchurch District Court.

Judge John Walker granted interim name suppression until his next court appearance on March 19.

He will remain in custody until then.

Dressed in a white shirt, the man often had his head down. His father was in attendance in the back of the court.

Police arrested two people on Thursday night following threats made on internet site 4chan about Christchurch mosques.

The other man was released that evening without charge.

Canterbury district commander superintendent John Price said he understood the message had been removed from 4chan.

“I just want to reinforce we take these matters extremely seriously and we are also working very closely with our Muslim community.

“Any threat made on our community and our people is a threat on our society and will not be tolerated.”

He said the Muslim community was spoken to “pretty soon” after police were made aware of the threats.

Fifty-one people were murdered and a further 40 injured at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques on March 15, 2019, in the worst terror attack in New Zealand’s history.

Al Noor Mosque Imam Gamal Fouda said he was sad to hear of allegations of a New Zealander thinking of harming people.

“This is not us. The big majority of us are lovely and peaceful people. I am glad that members of the community acted very carefully and reported to the police in a timely manner.

“Don’t be a bystander to hate.”

Police were notified through a member of the public coming forward a couple of days ago, Price said.

He said an “intensive investigation” happened between when the tip came in and the arrests.

“We had a full time dedicated team working on that from a technical perspective and an enquiry perspective.”

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