The man who perpetrated the worst ever terror attack in New Zealand has been identified as an Australian citizen who became obsessed with far-right and Neo-Nazi ideology during his travels around the world.
Brenton Tarrant, 28, who killed at least 49 worshipers at a mosque with a semi-automatic shotgun and a rifle during Friday prayers will appear in a Christchurch court on Saturday.
Tarrant live-streamed his heinous act in a sickening 17-minute footage in which he can be seen opening fire at about 100 defenseless people.
After the tragic incident, several countries which were visited by Tarrant have started investigations to find the reason behind his travels.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the police are trying to ‘build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event’.
Bush added: ‘There is no guarantee the risk is limited to Canterbury and we need all New Zealanders to be extra vigilant.
‘Police is aware there are distressing materials related to this event circulating widely online. We would urge anyone who has been affected by seeing these materials to seek appropriate support’.
The details about Tarrant’s background are surfacing from various sources.
He was brought up in the rural New South Wales town of Grafton and he left it in his 20’s after his father Rodney died of cancer.
From 2011, he spent around seven years traveling to several countries including Pakistan, Bulgaria, North Korea, and Turkey.
A woman who knew Tarrant from Grafton told Daily Mail Australia that ‘something happened to him’ during his travels.
Tarrant posted a so-called ‘manifesto’ on social media before the massacre, a document which is filled with hatred for Muslim people as well as with Neo-Nazi ideology.
In the manifesto, he said he was as an ‘ordinary, white man’ who was born into a low-income family.
He wrote he was born to ‘working class, low-income family… who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people.’
‘My parents are of Scottish, Irish and English stock. I had a regular childhood, without any great issues,’ he wrote.
He said that he had ‘little interest in education’ growing up so he didn’t attend college. The gunman claimed he was able to travel around the world using the money he made by trading Bitcoins.
Tarrant inherited a passion for physical fitness from his father and went on to become a personal trainer.
A woman who claims to know Tarrant through the gym told Daily Mail Australia that he always ‘threw himself into his own personal training’ before becoming a qualified trainer.
The woman, who sought anonymity, said Tarrant was extremely dedicated to his own training as well as to training others.
‘He was in the gym for long periods of time, lifting heaving weights. He pretty much transformed his body,’ she said.
The woman said she never had any conversation with him about his religious or political beliefs.
‘From the conversations we had about life he didn’t strike me as someone who had any interest in that or extremist views,’ she said.
‘But I know he’s been travelling since he left Grafton. He has been travelling overseas, anywhere and everywhere.
‘I would say it’s something in the nature of his travels, something he’s been around.
‘I know he’s been to lots of different countries trying to experience lots of different things in life and I would say something’s happened in that time in his travels,’ she said.
In his manifesto, Tarrant reveals how he got inspired by other shooters who carried similar attacks in Europe including Anders Breivik who murdered 77 people in Oslo, Norway in 2011.
He said he hated Muslims, especially those who convert to Islam, calling them ‘blood traitors.’
Tarrant said he planned to kill the ‘invaders.’ Initially, he wanted to target a mosque in Dunedin, south Christchurch.
‘But after visiting the mosques in Christchurch and Linwood and seeing the desecration of the church that had been converted to a mosque in Ashburton, my plans changed,’ he wrote.
‘The Christchurch and Linwood mosques had far more invaders.’
As per his political affiliations, he supported Donald Trump as a ‘symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose’.
Tarrant said he carried out the attack to ‘directly reduce immigration rates to European lands’.
He also revealed that New Zealand wasn’t his ‘original choice’ for carrying out the massacre but said the location would show ‘that nowhere in the world was safe’.
‘We must ensure the existence of our people, and a future for white children,’ he wrote.
In his manifesto, the gunman said the shooting was an ‘act of revenge on the invaders for the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history’.
‘For the enslavement of millions of Europeans taken from their lands by the Islamic slavers… for the thousands of European lives lost to terror attacks throughout European lands,’ he wrote.
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