(EDITOR’S NOTE, 3/15/19, 12:40 PM ET: This article has been updated to account for reports that there are now 49 reported dead in the New Zealand terror attack as of this writing. We will update this article as more information comes to light.)
At least 49 people are dead (but possibly many more) after mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand. Possibly more are reportedly injured, though casualty reports are expected to change as more information becomes available.
40 people killed, at least 20 injured in New Zealand https://t.co/M48vyvrCUc
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) March 15, 2019
The Guardian reported that both the Al Noor and Linwood Masjid mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand — the largest city on the nation’s Southern island — were full of worshippers when gunmen opened fire around 1:40 PM local time. Up to 300 people were reportedly inside the Al Noor mosque at the time of the shooting for Friday prayers, which is typically the day Muslims go to their local mosque for prayer services.
Local police have four people in custody, according to Vox, but say that there could be more suspects involved. the identities of the victims have not been released as of this writing.
One of the suspects behind the shooting posted his plans to the image board 8chan — an affiliate of extremist right-wing anonymous trolling community 4chan — where anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, racist, and fascist activists share hate speech and hate-filled content. Journalist Nick Monroe tweeted the archived link to the post on Thursday night.
“Well lads, it’s time to stop shitposting and make a real life effort post,” read a post to 8chan on Thursday night, which included the shooter’s manifesto. “I will carry out and attack against the invaders, and will even live stream the attack via facebook.”
“Godspeed anon,” read one reply.
“Holy fuck,” one 8chan poster responded after clicking the link to the Facebook livestream. “[Original poster] fucking delivered I just saw him kill so many fucking hajis.”
“That video is so goddamn good,” another post read.
— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) March 15, 2019
The author of that post followed through on his threat to post a livestream of the shooting to Facebook. New Zealand police urged social media users to not share the terrorist’s video, calling it “extremely distressing footage.” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Grit Post has reviewed the video of the killings to verify the accuracy of reports, but will not link to it in this article. We encourage everyone to not view the footage, and for anyone who sees it in their timeline or news feed to immediately report it. We will also not link to the shooter’s manifesto, as it is our editorial policy to not publish the names or likenesses of mass shooters, or to provide a platform for their propaganda.)
At least one of the shooting suspects posted a manifesto complaining about how immigrants and people of color were raising larger families than whites, fearing white people would eventually be “replaced.” While the manifesto was filled with obvious trolling likely inspired by time spent on the 8chan board — like statements saying he was radicalized by the video games Spyro the Dragon 3 and Fortnite — he said that while he didn’t view President Trump as an effective policymaker and leader, he did see him as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
Ironically, the manifesto’s author is reportedly a white Australian citizen, meaning he’s the product of illegal 13th century-era European immigration when white settlers killed Aborigines in Australia and Polynesians in New Zealand.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.