Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

New Zealand PM's office received shooter's 'manifesto' minutes before attack

New Zealand PM's office received shooter's 'manifesto' minutes before attack

Brenton Harris Tarrant, 28, appeared in court Saturday charged with one count of murder.

Brenton Tarrant, formerly of Grafton, was led into the court barefoot in a prison robe and handcuffs, and was not required to speak during his brief three-minute appearance.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush on Sunday told reporters four other people arrested during Friday's police operation attack have either been released or charged with "tangential" offences.

Court photos of the man accused in the Christchurch mosque terror attack have been altered not to show his face due to an order from a New Zealand judge.

Mr Bush, who had earlier called the attack a "very well-planned event", said the suspect was not known to police either in New Zealand or Australia.

New Zealand has raised its security threat level to the highest.

Police said two other people were in custody.

From time to time people outside the cordon came to place flowers under a tree to express their condolences to the victims. "But police have said that at least 17 persons were missing".

Police were able to neutralize two devices: an improvised explosive device at one of the mosques and another device found in the suspect's vehicle, which was also rendered safe.

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Before entering two mosques Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand, and opening fire on the unsuspecting worshipers, a man who made public his extreme white supremacist views had posted a 70-page anti-immigrant, Islamophobic "manifesto" on "white genocide", attempting to justify a massacre which is considered the worst in the country's history.

One person died in Christchurch hospital last night and staff are treating 42 patients, ranging from young children to adults, with gunshot wounds. "The people of New Zealand are in our thoughts and prayers".

Speaking to the Indian Express, Ehsan's father Mohammed Sayeeduddin said, "Authorities at one hospital where injured are admitted told her [Ehsan's wife] that he was not there".

"I still don't know where he is", she said. Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country that has had low levels of gun violence.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ms Ardern said in Wellington.

Ardern said the main suspect was a licensed gun owner who used five weapons during his rampage, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns.

Hagen Hopkins via Getty ImagesPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on Friday.

'But the Prime Minister has signaled that we are going to look at that issue [banning semi-automatic weapons]'. Neighboring Australia has virtually banned semi-automatic rifles from private ownership since a lone gunman killed 35 people with assault rifles in 1996.

President Donald Trump, who has a record of Islamophobic rhetoric, online behavior and policies, tweeted out his "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to the people of New Zealand.

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