‘Absolutely his intention’: Christchurch gunman planned further attacks, had other firearms

Lamar Ellis
March 16, 2019

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said authorities were investigating their ties to shootings that occurred as Muslims convened for Friday prayers, the busiest time for many mosques around the world.

At least 49 people were killed and dozens injured in the unprecedented attack that stunned the nation and the world.

"It brings actually a feeling of fear that we hope we can actually overcome and try to avoid by spreading more awareness, by educating our community and the larger community that these things shouldn't be an obstacle in front of us to enjoy the freedom of religion", said Wahb. The semi-automatic rifles used in the shooting were plastered with hand-written white supremacist slogans. He did not apply for bail or to have his name suppressed and has been remanded in custody without plea until April 5.

Authorities implemented extra security measures.

Outside the court, the son of 71-year-old Afghan victim Daoud Nabi demanded justice for his late father, who believed New Zealand to be a "slice of paradise".

He says there is also a heightened police presence around the country, including at mosques and community events.

The New Zealand premier was showered with vast praises internationally for the gesture, which made it clear that New Zealand stood by the Muslim community that was the centre of Friday's horrifying terror attacks rooted in racial as well as religious hatred.

Numerous victims hailed from around the world.

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan. A four-year-old girl has been transferred to the Starship Hospital in Auckland. He was shot in the abdomen and the leg.

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Ardern said Tarrant was a licensed gun owner who allegedly used five weapons, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, which had been modified.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also condemned the fatal shootings, saying the attack on people during prayers is "absolutely appalling".

On Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the man was an Australian-born citizen while describing him as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist".

Footage of the attack on one of the mosques was broadcast live on Facebook, and a "manifesto" was also posted online that denounced immigrants as "invaders".

None of those arrested had a criminal history or was on any watchlist in New Zealand or Australia. Thirty-six people were still being treated on Saturday, 11 of whom remained in intensive care.

Ardern said the suspect traveled around the world and was in New Zealand sporadically. Moreover, the person charged with murder had not been "on the radar" of the intelligence community for extremism, the prime minister explained.

Tarrant was one of three people arrested in connection with the shootings. It was still unclear whether any other shooters were involved in the attacks.

Trump said: "I don't really. There are obviously questions being asked of how this person was able to enter the country and undertake this act of terror", the premier said.

Mosques across Victoria have planned a community open day for this Sunday and were keen for them to go ahead, Steendam said while asking people to go and support the Muslim communities, and maintaining vigilance.

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