One of the four suspects in the New Zealand mass shooting had uploaded a document called the ‘Great Replacement Manifesto’ online before going on a shooting rampage that killed at 49 people and left several others injured at a crowded mosque.
Brenton Tarrant, an Australian who carried out the deadly attack in the city of Christchurch, had live-streamed the attack and was later taken into custody after he was identified in the video, AFP reported.
According to the report, the 74-page manifesto claimed that the European population was being displaced in their homelands by immigrant groups with higher birth rates. The gunman said the “key points in his radicalisation were the defeat of the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in 2017 elections, and the death of 11-year-old Ebba Akerlund in the 2017 Stockholm truck attack”.
In the video live-streamed later, according to the news agency, a Caucasian man with short hair was seen driving to the mosque and entering a building before opening fire at worshippers. The accused can be seen changing cartridges three times in just under two minutes.
YouTube, however, later pulled down the video. The Facebook account and the Twitter handle of the alleged shooter were also suspended.
Hours after the attack, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the attacker was an Australian. “We stand here and condemn, absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist,” Morrison said.
Suspending the Facebook account, the social media site said, “Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video.”
A spokesman for New Zealand’s interior ministry said the video is likely to be classified as objectionable content under local law and could be illegal to share. “The content of the video is disturbing and will be harmful to people to see,” he said. “This is a very real tragedy with real victims and we strongly encourage people to not share or view the video.”