Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, is responsible for murdering 49 people in his assault on two mosques in New Zealand.

Christchurch terror attack

The South Pacific Island nation of New Zealand is still under the shock of attacks by right-wing extremists on two mosques in Christchurch, where at least 49 people were shot dead on Friday. According to the latest information, there were several children among the victims. The white terrorist culprit, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, was indicted on Saturday for a court hearing in Christchurch on the South Island. He faces life imprisonment. According to current knowledge, he seems to have fired the shots in the mosques alone. He transferred his action via a helmet camera for 17 minutes on the Internet.

To what extent two other detainees were involved is unclear for the time being. On Saturday, 39 people had gunshot wounds in hospitals, 11 of them in intensive care. In response to the most serious bloodshed since New Zealand’s independence in 1907, the government wants to tighten arms legislation. Tarrant, a native of New South Wales, Australia, has been living in New Zealand for years, had a gun license, and was in a shooting club. Shortly before the attack, he had spread on the Internet a 74-page “manifesto” in which he explained his motives. At its core, these are partly confused thoughts from the extreme-right and racist milieu of the “White Power” movement, which assumes the superiority, but also endangerment of the white “race”, for example, by blacks and Muslims.

We know that he had not noticed the authorities so far. He is said to have grown up as a working-class child in Grafton in northeastern New South Wales. After graduation, he trained as a fitness trainer and began in 2009 in Grafton a job in a fitness center. His father died of cancer in 2010. In 2011 he quit and undertook long journeys in the following years, including to Pakistan, North Korea, and Europe, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Turkey, and France. The money came partly from the inheritance, partly from proceeds from Bitconnect, a fraudulent pyramid scheme with cryptocurrency that collapsed in 2018.

After his return he was changed, says the owner of the gym. Obviously, according to observers, he was deeply disturbed by the extent to which Muslims spread throughout the Western world, whereupon, as he writes, in spring 2017 in Western Europe, he had the idea to send a message. He described in the manifesto his “shock” in the face of the “invasion” of French cities by immigrants. The Turkish and Bulgarian authorities now want to investigate his stays there. New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said on Saturday that Tarrant wanted to kill elsewhere as well, had he not been confronted by two policemen ramming his car in their car.

“We still love this country,” said Ibrahim Abdul Halim, imam of the mosque in Linwood, a suburb of Christchurch. There seven believers died in a hail of bullets. “Extremists will never shake our confidence.”