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    People visit a memorial site for victims of Friday's shooting, in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 March 2019

European countries are investigating whether the Christchurch mosque shooter had any links with far-right groups in Europe. 

European authorities are investigating whether there are any links between far-right groups on the continent with Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old who carried out the attack on two mosques killing 50 worshippers.

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Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece have started formal investigations since Friday into the extensive travel of the shooter throughout Europe before he moved to New Zealand. He traveled through Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including Turkey, France, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Hungary, and North Korea.

The manifesto published by the shooter claimed that his views on immigration changed drastically when he was traveling through Eastern Europe.

He wrote that he felt “fuming rage and suffocating despair” at “invaders.”

Experts believe that he had been influenced by the far-right “identitarian” movement.

The “movement” claims that the European culture is in the process of being replaced with a non-European culture.

According to the counter-terrorism expert Greg Barton, from Deakin University in Melbourne, Tarrant shared similar ideologies with the movement.

“It’s just speculation of course, but it would make sense in that context that he has picked up on those ideas while traveling in Europe at that time,” he said.

He was never before featured in any intelligence report and now all the countries are investigating his travels and where he went while traveling.

Tarrant said while traveling through France, Portugal, and Spain, he was horrified with the killing of Ebba Akerlund when an Uzbek man rammed a truck onto pedestrians in Stockholm.

Two of his rifles used in the shooting had Akerlund’s references on them. A Serbian nationalist song was also heard in the background during his live stream of the attack.


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