‘Absolutely his intention’: Christchurch gunman planned further attacks, had other firearms

‘Absolutely his intention’: Christchurch gunman planned further attacks, had other firearms

Two Muslim organizations in the Chicago area said they were stepping up patrols and other security measures Friday after a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand killed at least 49 people and wounded dozens more, but Chicago police said they were not aware of any local threats.

Tarrant, 28, flashed a white power gesture as he appeared in court Saturday charged with one count of murder.

During the hearing, Judge Paul Kellar in the Christchurch District Court said it was "reasonable to assume" that the man would face further murder charges.

Worshipers ran from gunfire, desperately called police and huddled beneath the benches of two Christchurch mosques before two lightly armed community police officers apparently ran the gunman's auto to the side of the road and brought the atrocity to an end after a terrifying 36 minutes.

Two other people have been apprehended and are being questioned about what role, if any, they had in the attacks. Mohan Ibrahim has lived in the country for five years, but says after the attack, he does not feel safe. We are paying specific attention to Mosques, particularly Friday prayers.

None of those arrested had a criminal history or were on watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.

The video showed a man driving to the Al Noor mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people with a semi-automatic rifle with high-capacity magazines.

Another victim of the Christchurch mosque attacks tried to wrestle the gunman's weapon off him in a desperate bid to save others, it has emerged.

The attack on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques has been labelled terrorism by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and is thought to be the deadliest attack directed against Muslims in the West in modern times.

Yesterday Stevie Taylor, who moved to New Zealand from Aberdeen in December, said he "feared for the worst" when sirens started sounding close to the building site he was working at, a short distance away from the scene of the first attack.

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'I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change, ' Ardern said.

"I am concerned it can be repeated in Australia", he said.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a letter to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday, saying that "hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies".

"Suspect had a Category "A" gun license", New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush said at a press conference on Saturday.

Like most developed countries, New Zealand has far stricter gun laws than the United States, where more than 50 shootings involving more than one victim have already taken place this year. Tarrant had held such a licence since December 2017.

"The problem is that it's not new", said Imam Yousef Wahb before mid-afternoon prayers.

The suspect, who is an Australian citizen, was living in the southern city of Dunedin, about 225 miles from Christchurch, at the time of the attack, Ardern said.

Indian media reports, however, said at least one Indian was killed in the massacre that shook New Zealand. He also apparently smirked at photographers, according to the New Zealand Herald. The minimum legal age to own a gun in New Zealand is 16, or 18 for military-style semi-automatic weapons.

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