New Zealand mosque shooting at Christchurch: Officials arrest 3; suspected shooter a white supremacist who live-streamed Friday attack

At least, 49 people were killed in two separate shooting incidents at two mosques in New Zealand, in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern termed a 'terrorist attack'. Officials said that three people were in custody, and that a number of explosive devices were found attached to vehicles that they had stopped.

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Even though there is no official confirmation about the motives of the suspects in the New Zealand mosque shootings, preliminary media reports and one of the suspects' 'self-declaration' of sorts suggests Islamophobic and anti-immigrant undercurrents to the deadly attack.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed 49 deaths so far in the twin shooting incidents at two mosques in the Christchurch city, and at least 20 are reported grievously injured. Ardern has confirmed three suspects have been held.

However, information about only one of the apprehended suspects have filtered through, who also reportedly live-streamed the dastardly attack and uploaded a 'manifesto' of sorts revealing details about himself.

The suspected shooter identified himself as Brenton Tarrant, from Australia, and uploaded a vile 26-page "manifesto" discussing at length, his background and why he committed such a crime. Describing himself as a 'white man from a regular family', the person claims he hails from a lower middle class family and is of Irish, Scottish, English decent. He reveals he is 28 and worked as a "kebab removalist".

Interestingly, soon after media reports picked up the 26-page report, the page was taken down and officials refused to make anything official. Firstpost could not independently verify the veracity of the document. According to reports, before the shooting, someone appearing to be the gunman publicly posted links to a white nationalist manifesto on Twitter and the online forum 8chan. The 8chan post included a link to what appeared to be the gunman’s Facebook page, where he said he would also broadcast live video of the attack.

Tarrant, in the document, acknowledges he had little interest in education as a child, and managed "barely passing" grades at school. He did not go to college because he had "no great interest" in anything offered at a University to study. He also declared himself fascist.

New Zealand mosque shooting at Christchurch: Officials arrest 3; suspected shooter a white supremacist who live-streamed Friday attack

This image taken from the alleged shooter's video, shows him as he drives and he looks over to three guns on the passenger side of his vehicle in New Zealand. AP

The 28-year-old said the he carried out the attack to "directly reduce immigration rates to European lands by intimidating and physically removing the invaders themselves" and to "show the invaders that our homeland will never be their lands."

Tarrant revealed he had been planning an attack for up to two years, noting he decided on Christchurch three months ago. He said New Zealand was not the "original choice for attack", but described it as "target rich of an environment as anywhere else in the West".

He labels the rampage 'revenge' for the thousands of European lives lost. Under a header titled "Why did you carry out the attack?" he says:

"To take revenge on the invaders for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history. To take revenge for the enslavement of millions of Europeans taken from their lands by the Islamic slavers. To take revenge for the thousands of European lives lost to terror attacks throughout European lands."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that one of the people taken into custody in New Zealand's mosque shootings is an Australian, calling him a 'right-wing terrorist'. However, no further information is available through official channels.

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Updated Date: Mar 15, 2019 15:15:53 IST

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