The main suspect accused of carrying out a massacre in two New Zealand mosques Friday was described by officials as a “right-wing extremist terrorist,” and appeared to post a lengthy manifesto before the attack detailing his white-supremacist worldview.
Authorities charged a 28-year-old Australian national with murder after dozens of people were killed during Friday prayers in the city of Christchurch.
Police sources told NBC News’ Australian partner Channel 7 that the suspect’s name is Brenton Tarrant.
Three other people have been detained although authorities said it was unclear how they related to the incident. None of the them were on any terrorism watchlists, officials said.
Although not confirmed as the suspect’s by authorities, a 74-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement” was posted online beforehand and matched several known details about the suspect and the attack.
It contains a sprawling array of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and white-supremacist references, repeating common far-right talking points. It also condemns attempts to restrict firearms in the U.S. and pledges to start an American race war.
The author said he had been planning the attack for two years and moved from Australia to New Zealand to plan and train. Though New Zealand was not the original target for the assault, he said he chose it because of its image as one of the safest countries in the world.