Tag Archives: Christchurch

Alleged Christchurch gunman sends letter from prison cell

Alleged Christchurch gunman sends letter from prison cellNew Zealand officials admitted Wednesday that they made a mistake by allowing the man accused of killing 51 people at two Christchurch mosques to send a hand-written letter from his prison cell. The six-page letter from Brenton Tarrant was posted this week on the website 4chan, which has become notorious as a place for white supremacists to post their views. Much of it appears to be relatively innocuous, discussing a one-month trip Tarrant says he took to Russia in 2015.



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New Zealanders have turned in more than 10,000 guns after mass shooting in Christchurch

New Zealanders have  turned in more than 10,000 guns after mass shooting in ChristchurchMore than 10,000 firearms have be turned in as part of an effort to buy back guns after the deadly Christchurch shooting in March, police said.



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From El Paso to Christchurch, a Racist Lie Is Fueling Terrorist Attacks

From El Paso to Christchurch, a Racist Lie Is Fueling Terrorist AttacksJoel Angel Juarez/GettyIt’s the meme behind the massacres. In El Paso this week and across the globe this year, white supremacists have left manifestos referencing a racist conspiracy theory to justify slaughtering religious and ethnic minorities.Alleged killers in Christchurch, New Zealand; Poway, California; and El Paso, Texas believed a theory that claims white people are being “replaced” by people of color through mass immigration. Conspiracy theorists often falsely claim this is a deliberate effort by any number of groups demonized on the far right: liberals, Democrats, Jews, Muslims. It’s the theory peddled by white supremacist groups seeking recruits and the torch-bearing marchers in Charlottesville two years ago. It’s also a thinly disguised—and often not disguised—talking point by some conservative politicians and pundits, experts say.By leaving these conspiratorial manifestos, white supremacists are trying to add to a long and growing library of terror, and get others to follow their examples.“They’re also trying to inspire others about the urgency of the moment. In particular with the New Zealand shooter, the Poway shooter, and this guy in El Paso, you see these ideas building on each other,” Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project told The Daily Beast.“There’s no question these people are feeding off each other because they’re referencing prior manifestos. In the Poway case and the El Paso case, they both referenced Christchurch.”Accused El Paso Walmart Shooter Apparently Posted Racist Manifesto Before AttackIn name alone, the conspiracy theory began in 2011, with the book The Great Replacement, by French author Renaud Camus. The anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant text likened the growth of non-white populations to the genocide of white people in European countries. This supposed genocide is non-existent. White supremacists use it as an excuse for violence anyway. On August 11, 2017, white supremacists led a torchlit march on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia. The marchers chanted “you will not replace us,” or sometimes “Jews will not replace us,” in a callout to the conspiracy theory. The torchlit rally, the first event of the two-day “Unite the Right Rally,” was intended as a coming-out moment for America’s increasingly visible white supremacist movement. On the second day, a neo-Nazi drove a car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, murdering one.The conspiracy theory continued to gain traction with white supremacists. The Christchurch shooter referred to the “replacement” in the title of his manifesto before he allegedly massacred 51 people at a mosque in March—and live-streamed it on Facebook for propaganda. White supremacists online glorified the Christchurch attack. The alleged shooter at a Poway, California synagogue in April cited the Christchurch manifesto as his motivation for murdering Jews. The alleged shooter at a Walmart in El Paso on Saturday also cited the Christchurch manifesto as inspiring him to murder Hispanic people.Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and current distinguished research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said the alleged attackers were mobilizing each other.“They all cite each other,” Watts, a distinguished research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told The Daily Beast. “Yesterday’s El Paso shooter cited Christchurch. Then he talked about how a month ago, he started to think about an attack. That’s really a short time, which makes it even more impossible for law enforcement to get in front of it.Mass Shooting Kills 20 at El Paso Walmart: Gunman ‘Started Shooting Everyone, Aisle by Aisle,’ Witness SaysWatts likened the attacks to terror campaigns by organized groups like ISIS, which touched off a series of attacks across the world in the summer of 2016, with new violence inspiring new violence.“Because of those successful attacks, you’d see a wave of inspired attacks, meaning that there are often one, two, three people already thinking about doing an attack,” Watts said. When those people see a violent incident, “they mobilize because they want to get into the media storm. They want to be part of that phenomenon. It becomes a contagion.”ISIS terror and white supremacist terror both require a wide network of online extremists potentially ready to commit violence for the cause. The difference with the current wave of white supremacist violence, Watts said, is that white supremacists are decentralized and do their organizing through a leaderless online movement, rather than following orders from recognized leaders.Media treatment of ISIS and white supremacist violence are also different, he noted. “What’s remarkable that our response is just, ‘eh, this guy is a bad apple; he’s crazy,” he said. “But in the summer of ‘16, I would be on Morning Joe every single day talking about an attack that would be the equivalent in Bangladesh.”Sometimes, the white supremacist rhetoric actually comes from conservative media and politicians, Beirich said.These figures are “not always using the term ‘Great Replacement,’” she said, but “even from Trump and others, there’s a lot of talk about Latinos ‘invading’ the United States, about the idea that Democrats like immigrants because they’re going to vote for the Democratic Party, the idea—which we’ve heard from Trump, Tucker Carlson, and others—that white people are basically being pushed out of their areas by these new populations.”On his Twitter, Trump has repeatedly described Hispanic immigrants as “invading” the U.S.—the same terminology the alleged El Paso shooter used—and in a campaign speech last year said migration from Central America was “like a war” on America. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has gone further, promoting explicit white nationalists and writing that “we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies” in a tweet defending a racist Dutch politician’s stance on “demographics.”Fox New personalities have also invoked similar terms, with pundit Laura Ingraham recently claiming that Democrats support “replacing the current American population, or swamping the current American population, with a new population of people.”The line could have belonged in one of the emerging manifestos, according to Beirich.“They’re not calling it ‘white genocide,’ per se, but it’s the same idea,” she said.America Under Attack by White Supremacists Acting Like ISISRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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El Paso shooting: 21-year-old suspect Patrick Crusius ‘espoused racist tropes and voiced support for Christchurch mosque gunman’

El Paso shooting: 21-year-old suspect Patrick Crusius ‘espoused racist tropes and voiced support for Christchurch mosque gunman’The suspected gunman behind the El Paso shooting that has left at least 20 people dead is believed to be a 21-year-old white man called Patrick Crusius. Though Crusius was not named by law enforcement as the shooter, local media reported his name and published what it said were CCTV images of the suspect armed with a rifle.The Texas city’s police chief said the assault on a Walmart store on Saturday, which left another 26 people wounded, was being investigated as a potential hate crimePolice officially identified a 21-year-old white male from Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb some 650 miles east of El Paso.The attack came just minutes after a far-right manifesto appeared online. Senior law enforcement officials told NBC News they were “reasonably confident” the document had been posted by the shooting suspect on online message board 8chan. If authentic, it would make it the third mass shooting this year announced in advance on the website, which often features far-right and racist content. El Paso police chief Greg Allen said authorities were examining the manifesto, which indicated “there is a potential nexus to a hate crime”. Officials declined to elaborate and said the investigation was continuing.The racist four-page document, titled “The Inconvenient Truth”, calls the Walmart attack “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas” and expresses support for the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier this year.He rails against automation, the “destruction of our environment” and immigration, and says his views were influenced by the so-called “Great Replacement”, a white supremacist conspiracy theory that claims people of European descent are being overwhelmed.The 2,300-word diatribe expresses hatred of “race mixing” and suggests the US should be split up into different regions for different ethnicities.His opinions on immigration, he writes, predate “Trump and his campaign for president”, though the author repeatedly uses talking points often wielded by the US president, including the claim “illegals” are “invading” the country, and that the mainstream media publishes “fake news”. CNN reported the FBI has opened a domestic terror investigation into the shooting.At least two Democratic presidential candidates, Pete Buttigieg and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, drew connections to a resurgence in white nationalism and xenophobic politics in the US.“America is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism,” Mr Buttigieg said at a candidates forum in Las Vegas.Mr O’Rourke partially blamed Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric, which “fundamentally changes the character of the country – and it leads to violence”.On Twitter, Mr Trump branded the shooting “an act of cowardice”, adding, “I know that I stand with everyone in this country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people”.The carnage ranked as the eighth-deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, after a 1984 shooting in San Ysidro, California, that claimed 21 lives.It came just six days after the last major outbreak of US gun violence in a public place – a food festival in California where a teenager killed three people with an assault rifle and injured a dozen others before taking his own life in a hail of police gunfire.Just hours after the El Paso attack, a gunman shot dead at least nine people outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday morning.“We are going to aggressively prosecute it both as capital murder but also as a hate crime, which is exactly what it appears to be,” Texas governor Greg Abbott told reporters of the Walmart attack, adding, “I don’t want to get ahead of the evidence”.Refusing to call for tightening gun control measures, Mr Abbott said it was time to “focus more on memorials before we start the politics”. In an emotional statement, El Paso county sheriff Richard Wiles railed against those “jumping in front of the cameras and offering prayers and condolences as things just keep getting worse”. “It’s time to rise up and hold our representatives accountable at all levels. I want representatives who will stand up to racism. Who will stand up and support the diversity of our nation and our state,” he said. Additional reporting by Reuters



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I Am the Rabbi of Tree of Life Synagogue. Here Is a Simple Thing We All Can Do to Help Stop the Next Christchurch

I Am the Rabbi of Tree of Life Synagogue. Here Is a Simple Thing We All Can Do to Help Stop the Next ChristchurchA reflection on pain and the power of goodness



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Christchurch survivor tells remembrance service: 'I choose peace'

Christchurch survivor tells remembrance service: 'I choose peace'A Maori lament echoed across Christchurch Friday as a survivor of the New Zealand mosque attacks told a national remembrance service he had forgiven the gunman responsible for the racist massacre that shocked the world. Wearing a traditional Maori cloak, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by representatives from nearly 60 nations, including her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison. Ardern, who has been widely hailed for her response to the tragedy and received a prolonged standing ovation when she took the stage, praised the way New Zealanders had embraced their devastated Muslim community since the attacks.



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Thousands attend NZ vigil, rally to fight racism, remember Christchurch victims

Thousands attend NZ vigil, rally to fight racism, remember Christchurch victimsAbout 15,000 turned out for an evening vigil in Christchurch in a park near the Al Noor mosque, where a suspected white supremacist killed more than 40 of the victims. Many non-Muslim women wore headscarves at the vigil, some made by members of Christchurch’s Muslim community, to show their support for those of Islamic faith as they had at similar events last week. Ardern said on Sunday that a national remembrance service would be held on March 29 to honor the victims, most of whom were migrants or refugees.



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Family of slain boy visits Christchurch mosque as it reopens

Family of slain boy visits Christchurch mosque as it reopensCHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — A Jordanian prince and the family of a slain 3-year-old boy and were among those who visited a New Zealand mosque Saturday when it reopened for the first time since a terrorist killed dozens of people there.



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Mueller report, March Madness, Christchurch mosque reopens: 5 things to know this weekend

Mueller report, March Madness, Christchurch mosque reopens: 5 things to know this weekendThe biggest news to start your day.



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Christchurch mosques reopen after attacks as New Zealand 'marches for love'

Christchurch mosques reopen after attacks as New Zealand 'marches for love'Smelling of fresh paint, the two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch where a gunman killed 50 worshippers last week reopened their doors on Saturday, with many survivors among the first to walk in and pray for those who died. At the Al Noor mosque, where more than 40 of the victims were killed by a suspected white supremacist, prayers resumed with armed police on site, but no graphic reminders of the mass shooting, New Zealand's worst. Aden Diriye, who lost his 3-year-old son, Mucad Ibrahim, in the attack, came back to the mosque with his friends. "I am very happy," he said after praying. "Allah is great to us. I was back as soon as we rebuilt, to pray." Most victims of the shooting, which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern quickly denounced as a terrorist attack, were migrants or refugees and their deaths reverberated around the Islamic world. Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, who visited the Al Noor mosque, said the attack assailed human dignity. "This is a moment of deep anguish for all of us, all of humanity," he said. Police said they were reopening the nearby Linwood mosque, the second to be attacked during Friday prayers last week, as well. New Zealand has been under heightened security alert since the attack with Ardern moving quickly with a new tough law banning some of the guns used in the March 15 shooting.  Ashif Shaikh, who was in the Al Noor mosque on the day of the massacre in which two of his housemates were killed and who came back on Saturday, said he would not be deterred. "It is the place where we pray, where we meet, we'll be back, yeah," he said. A woman embraces a boy at the "March for Love"  Credit: Mark Baker/AP Earlier on Saturday, about 3,000 people walked through Christchurch in a "march for love" as the city seeks to heal from its tragedy. Carrying placards with signs such as "He wanted to divide us, he only made us stronger", "Muslims welcome, racists not", and "Kia Kaha" – Maori for 'stay strong', people walked mostly in silence or softly sang a Maori hymn of peace. "We feel like hate has brought a lot of darkness at times like this and love is the strongest cure to light the city out of that darkness," said Manaia Butler, 16, one of the student organisers of the march. New Zealand and Ardern have been widely praised for the outpouring of empathy and unity in response to the attacks. Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, thanked Ardern on Twitter late on Friday. He posted a photo of Dubai's Burj Khalifaworld, the world's tallest building, lit up with an enlarged image of Ardern embracing a woman and the Arabic word "salam" and the English translation "peace" above them. "Thank you @jacindaardern and New Zealand for your sincere empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world," he said on Twitter. New Zealand today fell silent in honour of the mosque attacks' martyrs. Thank you PM @jacindaardern and New Zealand for your sincere empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world. pic.twitter.com/9LDvH0ybhD— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) March 22, 2019 Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's 4.8-million population, a 2013 census showed, most of whom were born overseas. On Friday, the Muslim call to prayer was broadcast nationwide on television and radio and about 20,000 people attended a prayer service in the park opposite Al Noor mosque in a show of solidarity. Many women have also donned headscarves to show their support. In Mecca, Islam's holiest site, a special prayer was held after the Friday sermon for the victims of the attack, according to the Saudi news website Sabq. Most of the dead were laid to rest at a mass burial in Christchurch on Friday, when 26 victims were interred. Others have been buried at private ceremonies, or repatriated to their home countries for funerals. Shahadat Hossain, whose brother Mojammel Haque was killed in the attack, told Reuters he would bring his body back to Bangladesh. "I don't know when our family will be able to come out of this grief," he said.



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