A person claiming responsibility for the mass shootings at a pair of mosques in New Zealand described himself as a “regular white man” in a 74-page manifesto, which is also full of anti-immigrant rhetoric and an examination of his far-right ideologies.
The self-proclaimed gunman identified himself as 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant online and posted the lengthy document to various sites including Twitter and Scribd ahead of the mosque shootings, which unfolded during prayer services Friday afternoon.
Police have not confirmed that Tarrant, who was born in Australia, was among those arrested over the shooting. One person was charged with murder and another three detained in connection with what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
At least 49 people were killed — 30 of them at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque. At least another 10 were fatally shot at the Linwood Masjid Mosque. Ardern said more than 20 others were seriously wounded during the attacks in Christchurch, a city located on New Zealand’s South Island.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the shooter was Australian and described him as an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist.”
Tarrant’s manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement,” opens with a Dylan Thomas poem before launching into a rant about white genocide.
It also includes a series of questions and answers, the first of which is “Who are you?”
“Just a ordinary White man, 28 years old. Born in Australia to a working class, low income family,” he answered. “My parents are of Scottish, Irish and English Stock. I had a regular childhood without any great issues.”
He also describes himself as a “private and mostly introverted person.”
The rambling manifesto additionally outlined the shooter’s motivation in the deadly attack, which includes inciting violence and creating “an atmosphere of fear” for Muslims.
Tarrant in the text claims to have been inspired by Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who he said gave his blessing to carry out the Mosque shootings.
Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish National Defense College says the New Zealand shooter’s manifesto was “more sloppy” than the 1,500-page document published by Breivik, who killed 77 people
Breivik in July 2011 killed eight people with a car bomb in Oslo and then opened fire at an island summer camp run by the left-wing Labor Party’s youth wing, killing 69. He is currently serving a 21-year prison sentence.