New Zealand shooter ‘had visited Pakistan last year to enjoy mountainous beauty’
WELLINGTON – A gunman who shot as many as 49 Muslims dead inside two mosques in New Zealand on Friday had visited Pakistan's northern areas last year, according to unverified reports.
In a post from last October, Israr Osho Thang who is a resident of Hunza's Pissan Minapin area mentioned that Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter, had enjoyed the hospitality of the people of Pakistan during his trip.
Through Thang's account, the message read: The beauty of hunza and nagar valley in autumn cannot be beat (sic).
Tarrant also described Pakistan as 'an incredible place filled with the most earnest, kind hearted and hospitable people in the world'.
Though the original post is now unavailable on Facebook, a screenshot of the message by the 28-year-old Australian has taken the internet by storm.
In another post, still available, Thang shared images of the 28-year-old Australian taking pictures of Pissan Minapin during his trip to the north.
However, he claimed in his manifesto that he began plotting the attack two years ago and chose the targeted location three months ago.
'Everywhere I traveled, barring a few small exceptions,' the shooter stated in his manifesto.
Tarrant remains in the police custody for his involvement in killing of 49 people at two mosques in central Christchurch. Forty-one people were shot dead at the Deans Ave mosque, seven were killed at the Linwood Ave attack, and one person shot in the second mosque attack died in hospital.
In a social media post just before the attack, the shooter posted a link to a 74-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack.
In the vile dossier, Tarrant describes himself as “just a regular White man” and characterises the country of his birth as little more than an outpost of Europe with a propensity for political apathy.
The shooter also reveals an obsession with violent uprisings against Islam.
Reports in Australian media suggest Tarrant was a student at the local high school and went on to work at a gym, where his former boss said he regularly volunteered his time to train kids for free.
In April 2010, his father died suddenly of cancer aged 49, leading Tarrant to set off on a seven-year trip around the world.
It was at some time during this journey that former friends now speculate he was “perhaps radicalised”.
He will appear in court tomorrow (Saturday) morning charged with murder.
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