According to a detailed report about the Christchurch shootings, the Australian-born attacker Brenton Tarrant had extensively travelled around the world before moving to New Zealand in 2019, and carrying out the country’s worst massacre. Tarrant, who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, also spent nearly three months in India during his travels.
On March 15, 2019, five Indians were among dozens of individuals killed in this terror attack. This attack had shaken New Zealand, which is regarded as one of the most peaceful countries in the world.
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.
“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.
However, The New Zealand Herald reported that there was no evidence that he met with extremist groups while oversees, investigated potential targets, or carried out any training, in a report.
The inquiry did not believe that the travel fuelled his racist views to any great extent, rather concluding: “Put simply, he travelled widely because he could and had nothing better to do.” it said.
But he did visit right-wing internet forums, subscribe to right-wing YouTube channels, and “read a great deal about immigration, far right political theories and historical struggles between Christianity and Islam”, it added.
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.
The prime minister swiftly banned the sale of the high-capacity semi-automatic weapons used in the attack at two mosques in the South Island city and launched a global movement against online extremism.