Brenton Tarrant, the suspected shooter in the New Zealand mosque attacks, published a manifesto in which he calls himself an “ordinary White man” and advances white supremacist ideas.
As previously reported by CNN, at about 1:40 p.m. local time (7:40 p.m. Thursday Eastern Time), a gunman allegedly opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing at least 49 people and injuring at least 20 others. Four people — three men and one woman — were taken into custody.
The alleged shooter has been identified as Brenton Tarrant, 28. And before carrying out the alleged attack, he posted a manifesto online in which he paints himself, and white society in general, as victims of an “invasion” from foreigners that have already caused an untold number of deaths in “European lands.”
So who is he?
In his manifesto, Tarrant is circumspect in describing himself, calling himself “a [sic] ordinary White man,” born in Australia to low-income, working-class parents, from a family of English, Scottish and Irish descent. He denies a particularly memorable home life or childhood, and he says that he had “little interest” in his education, “barely achieving a passing grade.” He says he didn’t attend university because no universities offered anything he was interested in learning.
He goes on to say that, as an adult, he made some money investing in cryptocurrency and had most recently been working as a “kebab removalist.” According to Urban Dictionary, “removing kebabs” is a euphemism for the ethnic cleansing (killing) of Muslims.
What else is known about him?
According to ABC News Australia, Tarrant had worked as a fitness instructor at Big River Gym in Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, hundreds of miles from the scene of the attack. His former boss, gym manager Tracey Gray, confirmed that Tarrant had worked there and even praised his work ethic.
“He was a very dedicated personal trainer. He worked in our program that offered free training to kids in the community, and he was very passionate about that.”
Gray says further that Tarrant seemed to show an interest in firearms, and that he “changed” when he traveled overseas.
Tarrant is believed to have used the money he made investing in cryptocurrency to go on something of a years-long world tour. He is believed to have traveled to Europe, Southeast Asia, and eastern Asia, even visiting North Korea.
He is believed to have a living mother and sister, although that has not been confirmed as of this writing. His father is known to have died in 2010.