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New Zealand mosque shooter travelled to India before carrying out attack, says Royal Commission Report

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New Zealand mosque shooter travelled to India before carrying out attack, says Royal Commission Report
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Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant attends his first day in court in Christchurch on August 24, 2020

Melbourne: Brenton Tarrant, the Australian-born attacker who killed 51 Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, travelled extensively around the world, including India,says a 792-page detailed report by Royal Commission of Inquiry released on Tuesday.

The report shows how the gunman was able to elude detection by authorities as he planned out his attack.The report shows that the attacker, Brenton Tarrant, kept a low profile and told nobody of his plans.

According to the report,Tarrant spent nearly three months in India, before moving to New Zealand to carry out the country's worst massacre in 2019. Between April 15, 2014, and August 17, 2017, the individual travelled extensively and always alone, except for his travel to North Korea as part of a tour group, says the report.

Five Indians were among those killed in the terror attack on March 15 last year that also left dozens of others wounded. The incident had shaken New Zealand which is regarded as one of the most peaceful countries in the world.

The report notes that after leaving school, the 30-year-old attacker worked as a personal trainer at a local gym until 2012 when he suffered an injury.

According to the report, Tarrant never again worked in paid employment. Instead, he lived off the money that he had received from his father and income from investments made with it.

"With the money from his father, the individual travelled extensively. First, in 2013, he explored New Zealand and Australia and then between 2014 and 2017 he travelled extensively around the world," the report said.

"The longest visit the individual made to any one country was to India where he stayed between November 21, 2015, and February 18, 2016. The countries that he visited for periods of about a month or more included China, Japan, Russia, South Korea among others," said the report that took about 18 months to compile.

The inquiry report did not provide details of what Tarrant was doing in India during his nearly three-month stay in India.

However, The New Zealand Herald reported that there was no evidence that he met with extremist groups while oversees, investigated potential targets, or carried out any training, in a report.

But the report says that he did visit right-wing internet forums, subscribe to right-wing YouTube channels, and "read a great deal about immigration, far right political theories and historical struggles between Christianity and Islam".

The inquiry did not believe that the travel fueled his racist views to any great extent, rather concluding: "Put simply, he travelled widely because he could and had nothing better to do." it said.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry report notes that the attacker's upbringing in Australia was marked by a number of stressors, including his parents' separation and his mother's subsequent relationship with an abusive partner. "He expressed "racist ideas" from an early age and was also an avid internet user", it said.

The report concludes that despite the shortcomings of various agencies, there was no plausible way Tarrant's plans could been detected "except by chance."

In a 74-page manifesto the attacker had posted online, he described himself as a white supremacist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

Tarrant was sentenced in August to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to 92 counts of terrorism, murder and attempted murder.

( With inputs from PTI )

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TAGS:Brenton Tarrant New Zealand Christchurch 
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