An Australian-born citizen has issued a 74-page “manifesto” saying he carried out the fatal shootings at Christchurch mosques claiming the lives of up to 49 people on Friday to avenge the deaths of thousands in Europe.
A further 50 people were also injured in the brutal attacks on two of the city’s mosques.
The man, who identified himself on Twitter as Brenton Tarrant from Australia prepared his manifesto titled “The Great Replacement” and posted it on a message board website.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed an Australian citizen is one of four in custody after describing the attack as a “callous right-wing extremist attack by terrorists”.
A total of three men and one woman have been arrested over the attack.
New Zealand Police confirmed on Friday evening a 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court Saturday morning.
It is not known if the man is the Australian reportedly involved in the massacre.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said of the three other people apprehended, one, who was armed when arrested, may have nothing to do with the incident.
“With the two others, who were also armed when they were arrested, we are working through what their involvement is,” Commissioner Bush said.
“We have recovered a number of firearms from both of the scenes.”
It’s believed Tarrant, of Grafton, in the New South Wales Northern Rivers, is the man who live streamed himself performing a massacre inside the Masjid Al Noor in Hagley Park as hundreds gathered for Friday morning prayer.
He describes himself as “just an ordinary White man, 28 years old. Born in Australia to a working class, low income family”.
He said he had a regular childhood but had little interest in education and has recently worked as a “kebab removalist”.
Why he carried out Christchurch mosque attack
Under a heading “Why did you carry out the attack?” he says it was to avenge “thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders.”
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“To take revenge on the invaders for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history.”
“To avenge those European men and women lost in the constant and never ending wars of European history who died for their lands, died for their people only to have their lands given away to any foreign scum that bother to show up.”
Prime Minister Morrison said he was shocked, appalled and outraged by the attack.
Mr Morrison said he met with agency chiefs on Friday after the attack.
“I can confirm that the individual who was taken into custody, I have been advised, is an Australian-born citizen,” he told reporters in Sydney, without naming the man.
“Obviously that element of the investigation Australian authorities are involved in and they will be proceeding with their investigation.”
Mr Morrison said he was being kept abreast of developments in New Zealand, as federal and state police along with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation investigated.
“I want to assure all Australians that the immediate responses that are required to ensure the security and safety of Australians have already been actioned,” he said.
Australia’s terrorism alert level has not been lifted.
Mr Morrison said he had heard nothing to suggest any Australians were affected by the shooting.
NSW police have offered assistance to their NZ counterparts, Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed on Friday.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said Australia and New Zealand are family.
“There is so much we still do not know about this senseless evil act of murder but it is chilling in its callous preparation, it is horrifying in the scale of death and injury,” he said.
He also urged people not to watch or share the footage taken by the alleged shooter.
“Evil is never normal, evil is never part of daily life. We must do everything we can to unite and prevent this happening again.”
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