Austria Distances Itself From Far-Right Group With Ties to Christchurch Shooter
“We can now confirm that there was financial support and so a link between the New Zealand attacker and the Identitarian Movement in Austria.”
It’s hard to forget what happened on March 15, 2019 – 49 were shot dead at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, described it as a terrorist attack and “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
The alleged shooter, Australian Brenton Tarrant, is currently facing a total of 89 charges in the High Court, New Zealand’s Supreme Court, the most charges ever laid in the history of the Country. Fifty of the chargers were murder charges and 39 of them attempted murder. Tarrant is currently being held in a maximum-security prison in Australia, far away from any Mosques.
Regarding her response after the shooting and the creation of a new ban on semi-automatic and assault rifles, the Prime Minister stated, “Very little of what I have done has been deliberate. It’s intuitive. I think it’s just the nature of an event like this. There is very little time to sit and think in those terms. You just do what feels right.”
New information has come out recently that the shooter had ties to the Generation Identity white nationalist group, a far-right organization that originated in France and has since spread to many other countries, including Austria. Tarrant donated 1,500 euros ($1,690) to the Austrian Identitarian Movement.
“We can now confirm that there was financial support and so a link between the New Zealand attacker and the Identitarian Movement in Austria,” Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz said.
The leader of the movement, Martin Sellner, said he will give the money to a charitable foundation and that the police have already raided his house for links. Sellner has revealed that he exchanged emails with Tarrant but denies any involvement in the attack.
Tarrant also visited Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, one of Europe’s most famous tourist locations. At the time, he was on a tour of Eastern Europe.
Kurz has distanced himself from the group and is attempting to dissolve it. “Our position on this is very clear, no kind of extremism whatsoever – whether it’s radical Islamists or right-wing extremist fanatics – has any place in our society,” he said.
Hansjoerg Bacher, spokesman for prosecutors in Graz, Austria, said that there is an ongoing investigation to find out if the shooter and Sellner were conspiring.
Sellner responded to the news with a YouTube video where he said: “I’m not a member of a terrorist organization. I have nothing to do with this man, other than that I passively received a donation from him.”