‘Absolutely his intention’: Christchurch gunman planned further attacks, had other firearms

Brenton Tarrant

Brenton Tarrant

Mr Tarrant was remanded in custody before a high court hearing on April 5 and he did not request bail. He was likely to face further charges, police said.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern awed American gun control advocates Friday night when she announced that her administration would promptly pursue changes to her country's gun laws following the shooting deaths of 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch-in stark contrast to the response of the US government to similar attacks. Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay on the floor, the video showed. The camera attached to his head recording the massacre follows the barrel of his weapon, like some macabre video game.

At least 49 people were killed and dozens injured in the unprecedented attack that stunned the nation and the world.

A raft of further charges were expected.

The weapons also appeared to have been modified, Ardern told reporters in Christchurch on Saturday.

Ardern said she had asked authorities to look into whether there was any activity on social media or elsewhere ahead of the attack that should have triggered a response.

According to the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System, this would mean authorities have received "credible intelligence that indicates that individuals or groups continue to possess the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia".

Chicago Muslim groups step up security after New Zealand mosque attacks

The Muslim Community Center, which operates a mosque on the North Side and schools in Morton Grove and Skokie, said in a statement that it planned to hire extra security patrols and advised its members, "Please be vigilant by keeping your eyes and ears open and being aware of your surroundings".

"Just around the entrance door there were elderly people sitting there praying and he just started shooting at them", Mazharuddin told Sky.

"The street that I work on was covered in SWAT cars, they were flying past every minute, and loads of police cars going back and forth, so that must have been when they found out that there were attacks in at least two places, the first mosque and the second mosque".

"We believe that 40 people have lost their lives in this act of extreme violence", Ardern said.

Christchurch residents including the Muslim community are mourning the victims of the attacks. "Many of the people require multiple trips to the theatre to deal with the complex series of injuries they have", said Christchurch Hospital's Chief of Surgery Greg Robertson. "Hi guys how are you. Anyone who has seen the footage. they put New Zealand first", Ms Ardern said. Neighbouring Australia has virtually banned semi-automatic rifles from private ownership since a lone gunman killed 35 people with assault rifles in 1996.

Wearing a black scarf over her head, Ardern hugged members of the Muslim community at a Christchurch refugee centre, saying she would ensure freedom on religion in New Zealand.

Before Friday's attack, New Zealand's deadliest shooting in modern history took place in 1990 in the small town of Aramoana, where a gunman killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbour. Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's population.

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