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|“||All right, Let's get this party started.||„|
|~ Brenton Tarrant right before the Christchurch shooting.|
Brenton Harrison Tarrant (October 27, 1990) is an Australian white supremacist and convicted mass murderer responsible for the 2019 Christchurch, New Zealand mosque mass shooting. He committed two consecutive mass shootings at two mosques (Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre) in Christchurch, New Zealand; killing 51 and injuring 49 others. He is connected to the alt-right.
Brenton live-streamed the entire attack on Facebook, displaying his sheer depravity and heartlessness to the internet.
When he appeared in court he showed no signs of any emotion for his heinous crimes.
Prior to March 15th, 2019
Brenton Tarrant was born on October 27, 1990. He has a fascination with computers and spent a lot of time on them, according to accounts. At school, Tarrant was sometimes harassed because he used to be overweight, but he combated this by getting into weight lifting. Some time, Brenton Tarrant became obsessed with history, prominently in wars involving Muslims. Using finances from being a personal trainer and cryptocurrency investments, Brenton Tarrant traveled the world, visiting former Yugoslav republics, France, Turkey, North Korea, and allegedly Russia along the way. With his hatred of Muslims, he had eventually started planning his attack around two years prior. Tarrant moved to New Zealand in 2017 for the sole purpose of his upcoming attack, and went to a gun club for practice and lived in an apartment for housing. His neighbors described him as "bizarrely quiet". Tarrant chose the location of his attack roughly 3 months in advance.
March 15th, 2019
Tarrant uploaded a 74-page manifesto on 8chan displaying his xenophobic and prejudiced ideals describing himself as an "Ethno-nationalist, Eco-fascist" "Kebab removalist" "racist" who admired Oswald Mosley of the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, along with a promise saying that he'll livestream an attack against the "invaders."
March 15th, 2019 (Day of the shooting)
Al Noor Mosque
The live-stream began at 1:30, with Tarrant recording the interior of his Subaru Outback. Rays of light shone on three rifles laying on a passenger seat. As Tarrant drove towards the mosque, he put a Serbian nationalist song called "Karadzic, Lead Your Serbs" (commonly known on the internet as "Remove Kebab", "God is a Serb", or "Serbia Strong") celebrating Radovan Karadžić (a Bosnian Serb politician who was found guilty of committing numerous acts of genocide and war crimes during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s) on the van's speakers; a mixtape made specifically for the attack.
Five minutes into the livestream, Tarrant parked into a driveway on Deans Avenue, specifically positioning his car into a quick getaway. The British Grenadiers song was now playing on a portable speaker attached to one of his weapons at this time. The man then began readying his guns and magazines for the attack, with both firearms covered with references to various historical figures and battles between the Ottoman Empire and European nations, white nationalist/neo-Nazi symbolism and slogans such as the Fourteen Words and the Black Sun/Schwarze Sonne/Sonnenrad, Finsbury Park mosque van attacker Darren Osbourne, Trollhattan sword attacker Anton Lundin Pettersson, Macerata shooter Luca Traini and Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette. He left the car and crossed the street, towards the Al Noor mosque.
Few noticed him as he rushed towards the front entrance of the Al Noor mosque. Several figures met him at the entrance, one of them welcoming him in, saying "Hello brother." The nearest worshiper was looking away from Tarrant when he pointed his Mossberg 930 at the center of his back.
Near 1:40, just before regular Friday prayers, Tarrant opened fire. 3 people were killed near the entrance of the mosque, one of which crawled on the floor wounded before being shot again by Tarrant's M4E1. At first, people believed that the sounds of gunshots were just one of the mosque's speakers cracking, or someone banging on the window. However, people began hearing screaming, as one eyewitness reported.
Brenton's rampage was relentless once it started. He ran around the mosque, not hesitating to shoot anyone he saw. He would often return to the central prayer room, mowing down anyone who was hiding there. He used a strobe light to disorient victims. One person, later identified as Naeem Rashid, even ran straight into Tarrant, pushing him over, but was momentarily killed. During the shooting, he made multiple references to the genocide of Bosniaks during the Bosnian War.
When Tarrant had no more moving targets to shoot at, he began shooting at people who were down, making sure they were dead and leaving nothing but bullets and gore behind. Two minutes after shooting, when a man exited the women's prayer room and attempted to escape out the front door, he was noticed by Tarrant and immediately shot and killed.
Afterwards, he ran outside the mosque to shoot and kill a boy who just fled the mosque and also fired several shots at a car where 12 worshippers were hiding in, but hurt no one and damaged the car. He rushed back to his car and grabbed an Ruger AR 556, before returning to the area and killing anyone who had managed to survive his first attack.
When he left the mosque for the final time, he shot Ansi Alibava who had just fled the massacre. She fell to the ground, screaming for help, but her pleas of help were silenced by Tarrant.
The man soon left the scene, shooting anyone he saw on the road. He shot someone who had pulled in front of him, and fired a Remington 870 at someone else, shattering their passenger window. One of the people he shot was a man and his father who were running late for prayers, and CCTV footage showed Tarrant shooting at them from his window before speeding off. Tarrant then speeds off at dangerous speeds with broken windows, but still manages to go undetected by police.
Linwood Islamic Centre
Tarrant, unsatisfied with massacring 40 people, drove to another mosque located 4 miles away. This portion of the attack was not livestreamed. As the police arrived at the Al-Noor Mosque, Brenton busted into Linwood's prayer room and opened fire. He reportedly shot old men as they were praying, and was responsible for the deaths of a 4 and 12-year-old boy. When a lady cried for help, he shot her point-blank in the face.
A young man who worked as a caretaker in the mosque saw an opportunity to stop the killings and pounced on Tarrant, snatching his gun away. Brenton fled to his car, and drove away as fast as he could.
Footage shown after the Linwood Islamic Centre attack shows one of Tarrant's discarded guns on the floor, with struggling and grieving people surrounding.
Following a police chase shortly after, Tarrant's Subaru was rammed by police and forced against the wall near a curb. Officers dragged the superficially injured Tarrant from his seat, and was formally arrested.
When the day ended, Brenton Tarrant was responsible for 51 deaths, and injured 50 more. The age range of his victims was between 3 and 77.
March 16th, 2019
Tarrant appeared in court a day later. He was read his rights, and flashed an “OK” sign to the camera. In New Zealand, the footage of his face is censored, but it isn’t elsewhere.
June 13th, 2019
Tarrant pled not guilty to all charges of his heinous crimes, despite recording a significant portion of it.
October 3rd, 2019
Brenton Tarrant's legal team withdrew the plan to have the trial in Auckland. Instead, the trial will be held in Christchurch, much to the victims' families and friends, as well as survivors' satisfaction. The trial was earlier postponed to June of 2020 so that all Muslim witnesses and people affected may engage in Ramadan prior to the trial.
March 26, 2020
In a surprising turn of events, Tarrant pleaded guilty to all charges. For the first time since his court appearance on March 16, 2019 that was infamous for Tarrant flashing an “OK” sign, Tarrant appeared to the public via video link. He appears to have lost a significant amount of weight. Tarrant is facing a life sentence, and the judge overseeing the case will determine if there are mitigating factors or aggravating factors.
- Atta Elayyan, who was a goalkeeper in New Zealand's national futsal team, and a father.
- Mucad Ibrahim, who was only 3 and was separated from his father and his brother during the shooting.
- Sayyad Milne, who just turned 14.
- Lilik Abdul Hamid, who was an aircraft maintenance engineer with Air New Zealand for 16 years.
- Areeb Ahmed, who was an employee of Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
- Tariq Omar, who was a soccer player that coached Christchurch junior team.
- Shahid Suhail, an engineer from Pakistan with a wife and two daughters.
- Syed Jahandad Ali, who came from Lahore, Pakistan and worked at Intergen.
- Haroon Mahmood, who taught at a private school for international students.
- Farhaj Ahsan, who worked as an electrical engineer for 10 years.
- Maheboob Khokhar, who traveled to New Zealand to vist his son.
- Muhammad Haziq Mohd-Tarmizi, a Malaysian 17-year-old.
- Asif Vora, who died with his son in the shooting.
- Ramiz Vora, who was the son of Asif Vora and just recently became a father.
- Ansi Alibava, who had just completed her master's degree in agribusiness management.
- Ozair Kadir, who wanted to become a commercial pilot and moved to New Zealand to fulfill his dreams.
- Haji Daoud al-Nabi, who was a central figure in Christchurch's Afghan community and welcomed everyone.
- Ali Elmadani, who immigrated to New Zealand from UAE and told his family to stay strong.
- Husna Ahmad, who led a number of women and children to safety, and was shot when she returned to the mosque to check on her husband.
- Naeem Rashid, who tackled Tarrant as he began shooting the Al-Noor mosque.
- Talha Naeem, who was Rashid's brother and had just graduated from college.
- Amjad Hamid, who was a cardiologist that spent his recent years working with rural communities.
- Kamel Darwish, who traveled from the countryside because he didn't want to miss Friday prayers.
- Linda Armstrong, who grew up in Auckland and was always helping others unselfishly.
- Mohammed Imran Khan, who owned a restaurant called the Indian Grill.
- Mohamad Mossid Mohamedhosen, a citizen from Mauritius.
- Hamza Mustafa, a 16-year-old who called his mother for help before he died.
- Kahled Mustafa, Hamza's father who immigrated from Syria.
- Junaid Ismail, who was a Christchurch native and worked at a family business.
- Abdelfattah Qasem, a Palestinian who moved to New Zealand with his family after the First Gulf War.
- Ashraf Ali, a man from Fiji who lived in Christchurch for 17 years.
- Ashraf Ali Razat, who was visiting New Zealand when he was killed.
- Mathullah Safi, who was an immigrant from Afghanistan and was married with 7 children.
- Hussein Al-Umari, who used to work in the travel industry but recently lost his job.
- Musa Vali Suleman Patel, who traveled to New Zealand to spend time with children and friends.
- Ashraf al-Masri, who had two children and worked in a shop.
- Hussein Moustafa, who was an active member of the mosque and welcomed anyone there.
- Mounir Soliman, who was a design engineer and manager at Scotts Engineering.
- Zeeshan Raza, who was a mechanical engineer and was killed with his parents.
- Ghulam Hussain, Raza's father who traveled to New Zealand to visit his son.
- Karam Bibi, who was Hussain's wife.
- Abdukadri Elmi, who was reportedly a giant in his community and often played with children.
- Mohsin Al Harbi, who worked in water desalination for 25 years.
- Osama Adnan Youssef Kwaik, who was in the process of applying for New Zealand citizenship when he died.
- Mojammed Hoq, who moved from Bangladesh to study in Christchurch
- Mohammed Omar Faruk, who worked as a welder.
- Muhammed Abdusi Samad, who was a lecturer at Lincoln University and often led prayers in the Al Noor mosque.
- Muse Nur Awale, who was 77 when he died.
- Ahmed Gamaluddin Abdel-Ghany, whose described by his son as a great man with the purest of hearts.
- Zakaria Bhuiya, who was waiting for his wife to get a visa and come to New Zealand with him when he died.
His actions were univerally condemned at home and internationally, by political figures, civilians, and Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Many world leaders, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, officials engaging in foreign affairs to New Zealand, and other foreign heads of state and government issued statements condemning the attack and wishing New Zealand and those affected well. Many actions/interventions have occured, such as firearm regulation, attempts to combat hate, and prohibiting the livestream footage. Arthur Brown, and even Željko Grmuša, the singer of the highly xenophobic "Karadžić, Lead Your Serbs" condemned the actions of Tarrant upon learning that he had been listening to their music during his heinous crimes.
His family was appalled by his actions. In an interview with his grandparents, they said he was "quiet" and "awkward with girls", but still enjoyed himself doing things on computers. When asked what they would say if they saw him, his grandmother said "not anything nice". Brenton Tarrant's cousin even said that he deserves capital punishment for what he did.
However, the vanguardist faction of the white nationalist movement celebrated his actions with numerous 8chan users applauding his heinous crimes. It is almost regular to see extremely offensive internet memes of the massacre on websites like 4chan and 8chan's /pol/ discussion boards. He also appears to have inspired a cult following who have made recordings of verbal support, and made other forms of media praising him, and the cult has received a lot of backlash. For example, a video game developed by a group of alt right members titled Jesus Strikes Back: Judgement Day, which received an extremely high amount of controversy, had a playable character who was an obvious homage to Tarrant. A Doom level sharing website permanently banned a user and issued a blog post condemning their actions, because the user made a level which resembled the Al-Noor mosque, and also had UI with Tarrant's face and weaponry. Several Steam Workshop submissions that have themes regarding the Christchurch mosque shootings have been taken down.
Brenton Tarrant‘s Christchurch mosque shootings were a heavy influence on killers like Escondido mosque arsonist/Poway synagogue shooter John T. Earnest and El Paso Walmart shooter Patrick Crusius both of whom also uploaded manifestos of their own on 8chan and also had similar beliefs against specific groups (Jews/Muslims and Hispanics/Mestizos/Mexicans respectively). Earnest had even spray-painted "For Brenton Tarrant -t. /pol/" on the mosque he set on fire.
Brenton Tarrant, like many other criminals who committed heinous crimes, has received a lot of fan mail while in prison. However, he was scrutinized by the prison staff when he sent a letter perceived as hateful and inciting of violence to a man apparently named "Alan" in Russia.
Brenton Tarrant said "Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie" prior to the shooting, a reference to a subscriber battle between T-Series and PewDiePie that was occurring at the time. PewDiePie issued a statement on Twitter and YouTube condemning the statement, and offered his condolences to the victims of the shooting. PewDiePie said that having his name "associated with something so unspeakably vile" has caused him a significant amount of personal distress, and that he didn't address it in-depth right away due to him not wanting to make the situation all about himself. Tarrant's actions were also one of several reasons PewDiePie called on his fans to end the "subscribe to PewDiePie" meme.
- In his manifesto, Tarrant mentioned that his original plan was to assassinate Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London.
- He mentioned in his manifesto that Spyro 3 was an inspiration for his twisted views and Fortnite inspired him to be violent, as a sarcastic response to the possible question of if video games influenced him.
- 2 years before the shootings, he sent a death threat to an Australian man who was a criticizing a far-right group; "I hope one day you meet the rope." The man went to the police station with a copy of the conversation and alerted the police that Tarrant could be dangerous, but the police just told the man to block Tarrant.
- There is a movie based on the shooting that's currently in the works. The movie's title will be called "Hello Brother", named after the last words of the first victim in the shootings. It will be directed by Egyptian director Moez Masoud.
- Tarrant was also doing what he perceived as revenge for the death of Ebba Akerlund, an 11 year old Swedish girl who was killed in the Stockholm truck attack.
- Apart from "Karadzic, Lead Your Serbs", and The British Grenadiers' Song, Tarrant also played a remix of "Grün ist unser Fallschirm" by Grüne Teufel, "Fire" by Arthur Brown, and "Gas Gas Gas" by Manuel.
- Brenton Tarrant intended to burn down the mosque and play "Fire" with it, but abandoned the plan and fled the scene.
- When sirens were heard on the livestream, Brenton Tarrant, in a mumbled voice, can be heard comparing the scenario to Need for Speed.
- Several 4chan users used face recognition technology on a picture of Tarrant's face, and it resulted in a man from Russia.
- The man was wearing a Puma jacket and can be seen hanging out with a few girls. Many people have mistaken him for Tarrant, including news outlets, but it is not him.