New Zealand: Terrorist who allegedly murdered 49 Muslim worshippers charged

16th Mar 2019
New Zealand: Terrorist who allegedly murdered 49 Muslim worshippers charged

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

ANKARA (AA): A court in New Zealand decided Saturday that the terrorist charged with murder in a terror attack would remain in custody until April 5.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, would remain imprisoned without a plea and he did not request bail during his appearance at Christchurch District Court.

Tarrant opened fire on worshippers during Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch killing 49, including children and women and injuring 48. Eighteen Muslims are in intensive care.

The dead include a 5-year-old girl and her father, who were both chased by a gunman and shot, local Radio New Zealand reported.

Husne Ara Parvin, 42, was shot when she tried to save her wheelchair-bound husband Farid Uddin, according to a relative.

Her nephew Mahfuz Chowdhury, who lives in Bangladesh where Parvin is from, said he heard about her death from relatives in New Zealand, according to Bangladesh newspaper BDnews24.

“Khala (aunt) went to the women’s section of the mosque after leaving her paralysed husband at the men’s section on a wheelchair,” said Chowdhury.

“She came out when she heard gunshots. She died on the spot as she approached the men’s section to save her husband.

Farid survived the attack as others in the mosque took him out to safety when the shooting began, he said. The couple have a daughter.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned the terrorist attacks.

“You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you,” the Prime Minister said during a Friday night press conference in Parliament.

The shooting could “only be described as a terrorist attack”, Ardern said, adding that it appeared to have been “well-planned”, and that two explosive devices were found attached to vehicles.

Accounts of the massacre, which was livestreamed on social media, suggested a systematic, methodical approach by the gunmen in killing dozens of peaceful worshippers gathered at two mosques on Friday, Muslims’ holy day.

The alleged terrorist was radicalised by many far right individuals and groups and politicians. In his manifesto he  praises President Donald Trump “as a symbol of white identity and common purpose.” He also mentions terrorist Darren Osbourne who drove into Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park, London in 2017.

The suspects — three men and one woman — were detained. One of the suspects have reportedly release

Police said earlier Saturday the court would be closed to the public during Tarrant’s appearance.

The precaution was taken because of a high security risk, according to police in a statement that said the court will be open to the media.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: People lay flowers and notes to pay tribute close to the Al Noor Mosque shooting area, in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 16, 2019. Photographer: Peter Adones/AA]

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