Brenton Tarrant, 28, from Australia, has been named as the suspected gunman who appeared to have live-streamed the mass shooting in Christchurch on Facebook. The footage showed him shooting at men, women and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque. And the 28-year-old, who is suspected of carrying out the attack, also appears to have published a document before the attack outlining his intentions and in which he espoused far right ideology.
The suspect in the Christchurch mosque terror attack was said to have revealed in his manifesto he was briefly in contact with Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.
Breivik, 40, is a Norwegian far-right terrorist who committed the 2011 Norway attacks and murdered 77 people.
The mass murderer claimed in the 74-page long manifesto he was “inspired” by the Norwegian and had some contact with him ahead of the devastating mosque shootings.
However, the Australian said he made the decision alone and was the one behind the attack.
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In the manifesto, Tarrant is said to have written: “No group ordered my attack, I made the decision myself.”
He also claimed to have contacted and received a “blessing” from the “Knights Templar” – a secret order Breivik has previously said he is the commander of but later admitted it doesn’t exist.
The Australian wrote: “I just had brief contact with Knight Justiciar Breivik and received a blessing for my mission after contacting his knights.”
In the manifesto – where Tarrant appears to be interviewing himself – he asked whether his faith was influenced by other attackers.
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The Australian replied to himself: “I have read scripts by Dylann Roof and many others, but the one I was truly inspired by was Knight Justiciar Breivik.
Dylann Roof is an American white supremacist and mass murderer convicted for perpetrating the Charleston church shooting on June 17, 2015 in the US state of South Carolina.
However, Tarrant’s claims of having been in contact with Breivik has been dismissed by the Norwegian terrorist’s lawyer who said any contact at all was “highly unlikely”.
Breivik is currently serving his 21-year jail sentence under a strict regime in Skien prison, Norway.
His lawyer, Øystein Storrvik, told Norwegian paper VG the mass murderer only has contact with professionals such as prison officers, prison priests, psychiatrists and his lawyers.
Mr Storrvik said: “He has very limited contact with anyone outside the prison walls, so it seems unlikely that he has had any contact with people in the outside world as far as I know.
“Breivik is in practice completely cut off from the outside world.”
Since Breivik was moved to Skien prison in July 2012, letters he has sent and received have all been firmly looked through and analysed by officials.
The Norwegian mass murderer has previously tried to send out letters to his supporters asking them to “continue the fight” and spread the content of his letters through fascist blogs.