Teenager charged for live streaming NZ mosque shooting

Image grab from a self-shot video that was streamed on Facebook Live on March 15, 2019 by the man who was involved in two mosque shootings in Christchurch. (File photo: AFP)

An 18-year-old man was denied bail at a court in New Zealand on Monday after he was charged with distributing a live stream of the mass shooting at a mosque last week, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The man was arrested on Friday, but police have since said they do not believe he was directly involved in the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch which happened on the same day, in which 50 worshipers were killed.

He faces charges of sharing the terrorist’s livestream and posting a photograph of one of the mosques attacked with the message “target acquired” along with other chat messages “inciting extreme violence”, the Herald reported.

His request for bail was refused but the judge granted him name suppression. He is due back in court next month.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder for the mosque shootings. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.

The teen was initially charged with publishing material insulting other races and ethnicities but that charge was withdrawn and replaced by the two new charges on Monday.

Police search homes

Meanwhile, Australian counter-terrorism police searched two homes early Monday linked to Tarrant, police said.

The homes were in the New South Wales towns of Sandy Beach and Lawrence, both near the town of Grafton where Brenton Tarrant, the alleged shooter, grew up.

“The primary aim of the activity is to formally obtain material that may assist New Zealand police in their ongoing investigation,” a police statement said.

They said Tarrant’s family “continues to assist police with their inquiries” but that there is no information to suggest “a current or impending threat” to the community.

Tarrant, a self-avowed white supremacist, spent his youth in Grafton but has traveled abroad extensively over the past decade and had lived in recent years in Dunedin, New Zealand.

He has been charged with murder in the country after the mass shooting on Friday which left 50 dead and 50 injured in two mosques in the city of Christchurch on.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Monday that Tarrant had spent only 45 days in Australia over the past three years and was not on any terror watch lists.

He rejected as “disgraceful” criticism that Australia’s counter-terror agencies had neglected the threat of right-wing extremists like Tarrant due to their focus on combatting Islamist radicals.

He said the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), the country’s main counter-terror agency, closely tracked the activities of far-right groups.

“These extremist groups -- neo-Nazis, or white supremacists, extreme right-wing groups -- whatever term you want to apply to them, they’ve been squarely on their radar,” he said in a televised interview.

“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.

ASIO officials were due to brief the cabinet of Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the New Zealand attacks and the threat of right-wing extremism in Australia lateron Monday.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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