New Zealand killer says his role model was Nazi-allied British fascist

Brenton Tarrant cites Oswald Mosley as main influence in manifesto published before slaying 49 at pair of mosques, says he's not an anti-Semite so long as Jews live in Israel

Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, inspects the ranks of blackshirts, in East London, on October 4, 1936. (AP Photo/Len Puttnam/Staff)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Australian charged with participating in the killing 49 worshipers at two New Zealand mosques said his main inspiration was Oswald Mosley, the British fascist anti-Semite who was close to the Nazis.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, posted a 73-page manifesto on social media before the attacks Friday in Christchurch. His overriding motive in carrying out the massacre is to remove non-Europeans from European lands. “I mostly agree with Sir Oswald Mosley’s views and consider myself an Eco-fascist by nature,” he writes.

Mosley, an anti-Semite who led a fascist movement and who sought to reconcile Britain and Nazi Germany before the war, was interned by the British during much of the war.

Tarrant, an Australian, denies being an anti-Semite so long as Jews live in Israel. “A jew living in israel is no enemy of mine, so long as they do not seek to subvert or harm my people,” he writes. A similar view of Jews was held by Anders Behring Breivik, the white supremacist who killed 77 young people in Norway in 2011 and whom Tarrant names as a role model.

This frame from video that was livestreamed Friday, March 15, 2019, shows gunman Brenton Tarrant in a car before the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Shooter’s Video via AP)

“The invaders must be removed from European soil, regardless of where they came from. Roma, African, Indian, Turkish, Semitic or other,” Tarrant writes.

The gunman’s manifesto was a welter of often politically contradictory views, touching on many of the most combustible issues of the day, among them the Second Amendment right to own guns, Muslim immigration, terrorist attacks and the wealthiest 1 percent.

He portrayed himself as a racist and a fascist and raged against non-Westerners, but said China is the nation that most aligns with his political and social values.

The gunman said he was not a member of any organization, acted alone and chose New Zealand to show that even the most remote parts of the world are not free of “mass immigration.”

Last year, New Zealand’s prime minister announced that the country would boost its annual refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500 in 2020. Ardern, whose party campaigned on a promise to take in more refugees, called it “the right thing to do.”

At least three other people have been detained in relation to the attacks.

Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, identified the attack as part of a growing threat from white supremacists.

“This attack underscores a trend that ADL has been tracking: that modern white supremacy is an international threat that knows no borders, being exported and globalized like never before,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.

AP contributed to this report

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