A man identifying himself as a suspect in the Christchurch mosque attackspublished a manifesto outlining his motivations in which he espoused far right and anti-immigrant ideology.
The man says he is called Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old born in Australia. The 74-page document, entitled The Great Replacement, consists of a rant about white genocide and lists various aims, including the creation of “an atmosphere of fear” against Muslims.
The document, which suggests an obsession with violent uprisings against Islam, claims that the suspect had “brief contact” with the Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik and that Breivik gave a “blessing” for the attack.
Police have not confirmed that Tarrant is one of the men in custody over the shooting. They say one man has been charged.
The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed that an Australian had been arrested in New Zealand, and said he had been briefed on the manifesto, describing it as “a work of hate”.
The manifesto does not identify the suspect as an Australian despite being born here. “The origins of my language is European, my culture is European, my political beliefs are European, my philosophical beliefs are European, my identity is European and, most importantly, my blood is European,” its says.
The document introduces its author as having grown up in a working-class, low-income family. “I am just a regular white man, from a regular family, who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people,” it says. “My parents are of Scottish, Irish and English stock. I had a regular childhood, without any great issues.”
In a question-and-answer section of the manifesto, the author claims he was not seeking fame and was actually a “private and mostly introverted person”.
He describes himself as an “ethno-nationalist” and a “fascist”.
The author says the attack had been planned for two years and that though New Zealand was not the original choice for the attack, the Christchurch location was scoped out three months in advance.
“I only arrived to New Zealand to live temporarily whilst I planned and trained, but I soon found out that New Zealand was as target rich of an environment as anywhere else in the West,” it says.
The suspect wanted to send a message that “that no where in the world was safe”, according to the manifesto, and the choice of weapon – firearms – was designed to gain maximum publicity.
“I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United States and thereby the political situation of the world,” it says.