Christchurch mosque attacker Brenton Harrison Tarrant said in his 73-page manifesto that he was seeking to use the media to instigate hysteria and division.
Even though he is now in police custody, he is continuing to use troll tactics to catch headlines and advance his agenda.
Appearing in court this Saturday to face his charges, Tarrant used his fingers to flash a new “white power” hand gesture. The gesture looks much like an upside down “ok gesture.
For months there has been controversy as to whether or not this was a hate symbol or just a troll used by Trump supporters.
Many media outlets and organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center branded the symbol as a hate group gang sign symbolizing “white power,” but later investigation found that the symbol originated on 4Chan, and was intended to bait liberals into looking silly.
However, the symbol seems to have taken on a life of its own, as it has been used by actual white nationalists, who then have the plausible deniability to say that it was just an “ok” gesture if they are ever called on it.
This week, the Atlantic pointed out that the New Zealand attackers manifesto is basically an elaborate troll.
Significant portions of the manifesto appear to be an elaborate troll, written to prey on the mainstream media’s worst tendencies.
As the journalist, Robert Evans noted, “This manifesto is a trap … laid for journalists searching for the meaning behind this horrific crime. There is truth in there, and valuable clues to the shooter’s radicalization, but it is buried beneath a great deal of, for lack of a better word, ‘sh*tposting.’”
The attacker’s hand gesture should certainly be taken with a grain of salt, but it also shows how the lines have been blurred between trolling and actual hate.
A hand gesture that started out as a simple troll, has now morphed into something that a terrorist flashes in court when he is being charged with homicide.
He did not request bail and was ordered to remain in custody until the date of his next hearing, scheduled for April 5. Police said more charges will be filed against him.
More news was also released on the attacker’s accomplices, and one of them was even a teenager. !8-year-old Daniel John Burrough was charged with ‘exciting hostility or ill-will.’
Meanwhile, two other men and one woman are in custody in relation to the attacks.
Tarrant’s relatives have reportedly been assisting the police in their investigation.
In a 74-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement” that he posted online before the massacre, Tarrant says that he was inspired by the Anders Behring Breivik, the white nationalist attacker from Norway who took the lives of 77 people in 2011.
‘I have read the writings of Dylan Roof and many others, but only really took true inspiration from Knight Justiciar Breivik,’ he wrote in the manifesto.
Tarrant says that he has just been radicalized in the past few years, noting that a terrorist attack in Stockholm in 2017 sparked his transformation.
‘There was a period of time two years prior to the attack that dramatically changed my views. The period of time was from April 2017 to May 2017. The first event that begun the change was the terror attack in Stockholm on 7 April 2017. That difference was Ebba Akerlund… Ebba was walking to meet her mother after school when she was murdered by an Islamic attacker. I could no longer turn my back on the violence. Something this time was different. I am unsure as of this time of writing whether I will reach that target, it is a bonus objective,” he wrote.
Tarrant’s manifesto was steeped in the “white genocide” narrative, which insists that white people are being oppressed and that they will be replaced by darker skin cultures if races mix and intermarry.
‘To most of all show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands, our homelands are our own and that, as long as a white man still lives, they will NEVER conquer our lands, and they will never replace our people,” he wrote.
Tarrant also admitted that his actions could be considered a terrorist attack, but he said that he sees at as more of an act of war, in defense of a foreign invader.
“By the definition, then yes. It is a terrorist attack. But I believe it is a partisan action against an occupying force,” the manifesto said.