This week, the entire world was shaken by the tragic attack that took place in Christchurch New Zealand. At least 50 people lost their lives when white nationalist opened fire on two separate mosques. The man identified himself as a 28-year-old Australian white nationalist and said that he was seeking to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims. Before the attack, the gunman also said that he was inspired by Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik.
The attacker left behind a 73 page manifesto
Tarrant published the lengthy manifesto titled ‘The Great Replacement’ on the morning before he carried out the attacks and live- streamed the carnage to Facebook.
Tarrant also made the following post to 8chan before carrying out the attacks, in which 49 people were slain and many others injured. In addition to the shooting, police also disarmed two bombs that were attached to a pair of cars which were allegedly tied to the attacker.
Tarrant’s manifesto was steeped in the “white genocide” narrative, which insists that white people are being oppressed and that they will be replaced by darker skin cultures if races mix and intermarry. Tarrant also pointed to a number of alleged attacks by Muslims in Sweden and said that his actions were acts of defense or revenge against what he called an invading force. Tarrant says that he has just been radicalized in the past few years, noting that a terrorist attack in Stockholm in 2017 sparked his transformation.
This week, the Atlantic pointed out that the New Zealand attackers manifesto is basically an elaborate troll.
Significant portions of the manifesto appear to be an elaborate troll, written to prey on the mainstream media’s worst tendencies.
As the journalist, Robert Evans noted, “This manifesto is a trap … laid for journalists searching for the meaning behind this horrific crime. There is truth in there, and valuable clues to the shooter’s radicalization, but it is buried beneath a great deal of, for lack of a better word, ‘sh*tposting.’”
Even the alleged white power hand symbol that the suspect displayed in court was an attempt to troll. In fact, the hand sign actually originated on 4chan.
Attacker wanted to spark a civil war
The attacker wanted to use trending media topics to gain viral attention for his cause, and spark further division between left and right groups.
Tarrant mentioned a number of high profile names in his manifesto, to add to the media frenzy. In addition to Candace Owens, Tarrant also mentioned PewDiePie, who is a video game live streamer that is sometimes controversial but not affiliated with any political or cultural movements. Tarrant knew exactly how to manipulate a media that has been working to divide the world for years. According to his manifesto, Tarrant wanted to carry out his event to influence the media to create even more division and create more violence.
There were other arrests made related to the attack
Four other arrests were made in the case, and while there was speculation early on that they were accomplices or suspects, police insist that those arrests are not related to the case. One of the people was arrested with a gun, but it was reported that they were trying to help the situation and stop the attacker. However, police still arrested them because they were breaking firearms laws.
The Prime Minister of NZ vows to increase gun control
Prime Minister Ardern detailed the suspect’s arsenal in a statement and promised stricter gun control laws in response to the attack.
“While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now — our gun laws will change. As is the entire nation, we are all unified in grieving together,” Ardern said.
Critics of gun control policies were quick to point out that it was actually people with guns who scared the attacker away at the second mosque, forcing him to retreat. It is not clear if the person who returned fire was one of the people who was arrested on gun charges unrelated to the shooting. Considering those other charges, it is assumed that police in the area conducted random searches on citizens while hunting down the attacker, and may have caught some other unrelated people in the process.