Brenton Tarrant, the Australian-born attacker who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, travelled India where he spent nearly three months, before moving to New Zealand to carry out the country’s worst massacre in March 2019, according to a detailed report into the shootings released on Tuesday.
The 792-page Royal Commission of Inquiry report notes that after leaving school, the 30-year-old attacker worked as a personal trainer at a local gym until 2012 when he suffered an injury.
“First, in 2013, he explored New Zealand and Australia and then between 2014 and 2017 he travelled extensively around the world,” it said. “The longest visit the individual made to any one country was to India where he stayed between November 21, 2015, and February 18, 2016. The countries that he visited for periods of about a month or more included China, Japan, Russia, South Korea among others,” said the report that took about 18 months to compile. The inquiry report did not provide details of what Tarrant was doing in India during his nearly three-month stay in India.
In a 74-page manifesto the attacker had posted online, he described himself as a white supremacist.
Tarrant was sentenced in August to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to 92 counts of terrorism, murder and attempted murder.
The report contains interviews with hundreds of people including security agencies, Muslim community leaders, international experts and officials in England, Norway and Australia, along with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was praised globally for her compassionate response to the attack.—KMS