An Australian gunman involved in attacks on New Zealand mosques Friday that left at least 40 people dead published a racist manifesto on Twitter beforehand then livestreamed his rampage, according to an AFP online analysis.
A copy of the Facebook Live video, which shows a clean-shaven, Caucasian man with short hair driving to the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch, then shooting as he enters the building.
AFP determined the video was genuine through a digital investigation that included matching screenshots of the mosque taken from the gunman’s footage with multiple images available online showing the same areas.
The manifesto detailing motivations for the attack was posted on Friday morning onto a Twitter account with the same name and profile image as the Facebook page that streamed the attack.
Entitled “The Great Replacement”, the 73-page document said the gunman had wanted to attack Muslims.
The title of the document has the same name as a conspiracy theory originating in France that believes European populations are being displaced in their homelands by immigrant groups with higher birth rates.
The manifesto said the gunman identified himself an Australia-born, 28-year-old white male from a low-income, working-class family.
He said that key points in his radicalization were the defeat of the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in 2017 elections, and the death of 11-year-old Ebba إkerlund in the 2017 Stockholm truck attack.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday confirmed the attacker at the Masjid al Noor mosque was an Australian.
“We stand here and condemn, absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist,” Morrison told a press conference.
New Zealand authorities said that three people had been arrested, but their identities were not made public.
Source: Agencies and Twitter