The man says he is called Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old born in Australia. The 74-page document, called The Great Replacement, consists of a rant about white genocide and lists various aims, including the creation of “an atmosphere of fear” against Muslims.
The document, which suggests an obsession with violent uprisings against Islam, claims the suspect had “brief contact” with the Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik and that Breivik gave his “blessing” to the attack.
Police have not confirmed that Tarrant is one of the men in custody over the shooting. They say one man has been charged.
Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, confirmed that an Australian had been arrested in New Zealand, and said he had been briefed on the document, describing it as “a work of hate”.
The “manifesto” does not identify the suspect as an Australian. “The origins of my language is European, my culture is European, my political beliefs are European, my philosophical beliefs are European, my identity is European and, most importantly, my blood is European,” it says.
The document introduces its author as having grown up in a working-class, low-income family. “I am just a regular white man, from a regular family, who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people,” it says. “My parents are of Scottish, Irish and English stock. I had a regular childhood, without any great issues.”
In a question-and-answer section of the document, the author claims he was not seeking fame and was a “private and mostly introverted person”.
He describes himself as an ethnonationalist and a fascist.
The author says the attack had been planned for two years and that though New Zealand was not the original choice for the attack, the Christchurch location was scoped out three months in advance.
“I only arrived to New Zealand to live temporarily whilst I planned and trained, but I soon found out that New Zealand was as target rich of an environment as anywhere else in the west,” it says.
The suspect wanted to send a message that “nowhere in the world is safe”, according to the document, and the choice of weapon – firearms – was designed to gain maximum publicity.
“I chose firearms for the effect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the effect it could have on the politics of United States and thereby the political situation of the world,” it says.
At this moment, generic condemnations of “violence” are worse than useless. Fascism is resurgent and must be opposed by whatever means necessary to send it once again back into the darkness.