Christchurch suspect: Europe investigates possible far-right links

Authorities in are working to establish whether the man suspected of carrying out the most deadly terrorist attack in New Zealand’s history had any links to far-right groups on the continent.

Since Friday, officials in Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece have begun formal investigations into the alleged gunman’s extensive travel through Europe in the years before he moved to New Zealand.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, appears to have travelled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including to Turkey, France, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Hungary and North Korea.

The “manifesto” published online in the minutes before Tarrant’s alleged attack on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, which left 50 people dead, claimed that it was while travelling through western Europe in 2017 that his views on immigration “dramatically changed”.

Tarrant wrote that while traveling through France, Portugal and Spain he was horrified by the killing of Ebba Åkerlund, an 11-year-old girl, when an Uzbek man, Rakhmat Akilov, rammed his truck into a group of pedestrians in Stockholm in April 2017.

Two of the rifles used in the Christchurch shooting had references to Åkerlund scrawled on them, among other messages.


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