New Zealand alleged killer visited Israel in 2016

Police say that Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who has been arraigned for the deadly shootings in two New Zealand mosques Friday, had stayed on the Greek islands of Crete and Santorini and transited through the country twice, all in 2016.

The Australian charged with murder in the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques plans to represent himself and appears "rational", his court-appointed lawyer said Monday.

Tarrant has not yet entered a plea.

David Tipple, whose Gun City company sold four weapons online to Tarrant, said there was nothing illegal about the sale.

"From that, the recommendation was for a gun registry and a banning of all military-style semi-automatics, but unfortunately the gun lobby fought hard and politicians lost their will".

"The primary aim of the activity is to formally obtain material that may assist New Zealand Police in their ongoing investigation, ' it said adding "the family of the Australian man arrested in Christchurch continues to assist police with their inquiries'".

At least 50 people were killed after a gunman opened fire at the Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid mosques in the city Christchurch on Friday, as worshippers gathered to pray.

"It is a stringent process at some level, but in saying that 99.3 percent of all applicants get their gun license approved", New Zealand Police Association President Chris Cahill explained to Xinhua. Live-streamed video of a gunman in one of the mosques showed a semi-automatic weapon with a large magazine.

"All Gun City sales to this individual followed a police verified online mail order process".

"We detected nothing extraordinary about this licence holder".

"He was a brand new purchaser, with a brand new licence", he said. Tens of thousands of weapons were handed in as laws were enacted to make it much tougher to own firearms. A government-funded gun buyback and a virtual ban on owning semi-automatic rifles cut private gun ownership by nearly a third.

As the bodies were being readied for return to the families on Monday for burial, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her cabinet had decided unanimously to tighten gun laws, with details to be announced within a week.

Ms Ardern confirmed that her office had received a document from the suspect nine minutes before the attacks but that it did not contain any specific details, such as a location.

Facebook said it had removed 1.5 million videos of the attack around the world in the first 24 hours. The attack is the worst to occur in New Zealand in thirty years.

Families of victims were still waiting for bodies of those killed to be released after post mortems, with some of the dead to be taken overseas for burial.

"But some people have said because it was not a battlefield it is okay to wash the body".

A spokesperson for Twitter told Newsweek: "We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Christchurch on Friday".

"They are well and truly looking at this threat, they are dealing with the threat and to think that they've just discovered it or they are coming late to the party is complete rubbish", he said.

Responding to commentary about police response times to the attacks, Commissioner Bush said: "I can tell you that within six minutes of police being called. police staff were on the scene".

  • Leroy Wright