The gunman behind at least one of the mosque shootings in New Zealand that left 49 people dead on Friday tried to make a few things clear in the manifesto he left behind — He is a 28-year-old Australian white nationalist who hates immigrants. He was angry about attacks in Europe that were perpetrated by Muslims. He wanted revenge, and he wanted to create fear.
Though he claimed not to covet fame, the gunman whose name was not immediately released by police left behind a 74-page document posted on social media under the name Brenton Tarrant in which he said he hoped to survive the attack to better spread his views in the media.
That rampage killed at least 41 people, while an attack on a second mosque in the city not long after killed several more. Police did not say whether the same person was responsible for both shootings.
While his manifesto and video were an obvious and contemptuous ploy for infamy, they do contain important clues for a public trying to understand why anyone would target dozens of innocent people who were simply spending an afternoon engaged in prayer.
There could be no more perplexing a setting for a mass slaughter than New Zealand, a nation so placid…
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