Trump condemns New Zealand mosque attack as 'horrible massacre'
Mar 17 2019
Trump did not describe to the incident as an act of terrorism nor make any references to hatred or bigotry. However, The Washington Post reported last week that internal Federal Bureau of Investigation data showed more domestic terror suspects were arrested previous year than those allegedly inspired by worldwide terror groups. "Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage".
According to Jacinda Ardern, 10 people were killed at Linwood Avenue Mosque and 30 at the Deans Ave mosque near Hagley Park.
The chief suspect allegedly published a racist "manifesto" on social media before the attack, featuring conspiracy theories about Europeans being displaced, and details of two years of preparation and radicalisation leading up to the shootings.
With such a brutal and premeditated attack, coupled with a manifesto published online and the fact that the assailant filmed the massacre, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the events in Christchurch represented "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence" as she mourned that numerous victims were likely migrants or refugees who came to New Zealand expecting safety and security.
Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were found in a auto and neutralised by the military, police said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed an individual taken into custody was an Australian-born citizen. Another victim died later in Christchurch hospital.
"Forty-eight patients, ranging from young children to adults with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital".
"The police will look very askance at you if you want four or five of them", Alpers said.
One man who was there at the time said a man came in with an automatic rifle and was "just killing people".
In addition to the footage - which AFP has verified, but is not distributing - a number of pictures were posted to a social media account showing a semi-automatic weapon covered in the names of historical figures, many of whomwere involved in the killing of Muslims.
It is not yet clear what kinds of guns were used in the terrorist attack, which occurred in central Christchurch, but authorities have said that a number of firearms were recovered from the scenes of the shootings.
Trump said on March 15 that he didn't see the manifesto himself. "Our hearts are broken over today's awful tragedy in New Zealand", it said.
In the coming days, debate over New Zealand's gun laws is likely to intensify in response to the massacre and Ardern's announcement.
Another witness said the man was wearing a helmet.
Reacting to the shooting later than other global leaders, Trump on Friday morning tweeted, " My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the disgusting massacre in the Mosques.
"What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence".
The troubled teenager behind the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in 2017 which left 17 people dead and led to a grass roots gun control movement was also armed with an AR-15. "Canada remembers too well the sorrow we felt when a senseless attack on the Centre culturel islamique de Québec in Ste-Foy claimed the lives of many innocent people gathered in prayer".
Trump, who as a candidate proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, has drawn criticism as being slow to condemn white supremacy and related violence. "Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by the horrendous shootings in New Zealand", the statement said.