A 28-year-old Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, is believed to be the gunman behind the horrific attack that left 49 persons dead in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday.
The suspect invaded two mosques during a coordinated and unprecedented attack. Tarrant reportedly worked as a personal trainer at Big River Gym in the northern New South Wales city of Grafton.
He left his job after making some money from Bitconnect, a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, and then used the money to fund his travels. He is known to have travelled to Europe, South-East Asia and East Asia.
In a 74-page manifesto, believed to have been written by him, Tarrant described himself as a “regular white man, from a regular family” who was born in Australia to a “working class, low-income family”.
“My parents are of Scottish, Irish and English stock. I had a regular childhood, without any great issues. I had little interest in education during my schooling, barely achieving a passing grade,” he said.
“I am just a regular White man, from a regular family. Who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people.” He cites ‘birthrates’, mass immigration and ‘white genocide’ as his motivations.
The author of the manifesto went on to describe himself as “a private and mostly introverted person” and admits he is racist, adding that he is an “Eco-fascist by nature”.
He described himself as an ethnonationalist and a fascist, who was inspired by Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik who murdered 77 people in terror attacks in 2011.
He spent three months on the specifics of the Christchurch attack, having abandoned an earlier choice of target in Dunedin.
He denied being ordered to carry out the attack, saying he acted alone.