CHRISTCHURC, NEW ZEALAND — A white supremacist who identifies himself as the Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, has killed at least 49 people and injured another 48 after carrying out a right-wing terrorist attack on mosques in New Zealand.
During the massacre, which he streamed live online, Tarrant could be seen with weapons scribbled with white text. He also posted images of the weapons on Twitter before the feed was deleted.
An examination of the text reveals an obsession with historical figures who fought against the Ottoman Empire – the Islamic superpower of its time – other extreme right-wing attackers and the Rotherham scandal for sexual abuse.
Inscribed on one of the guns is a writing in Armenian that refers to the Battle of Sarigamish, an engagement between the Russian and Ottoman empires during World War I.
The outcome of the battle resulted in a Russian victory. Ottoman leader Enver Pasha publicly blamed his defeat on Armenians.
One of the gun’s covered in white lettering featured the names of King Davit Agmashenebeli and Prince David Soslan, the second husband of Queen Tamar, in Georgian, the Battle of Kagul 1770 (Russian-Turkish war) and the Battle of Bulair 1913 were written in Russian.
The writing also cites military leaders and refers to other ancient battles such as the 1189 Siege of Acre and Ottoman Empire battles including the 1863 battle of Vienna and the 1877 battle of Shipka Pass.
The attacker left behind a 37 page manifesto, he described himself as an “ordinary white man” who was inspired by Norway mass killer Anders Behring Breivik and wanted to avenge “thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders.”
Armenia’s foreign ministry has confirmed that it is in contact with the authorities of New Zealand regarding the note in Armenian and other languages found on one of the weapons used for the attacks.
“We are in contact with New Zealand’s relevant authorities on all issues linked with the incident”, Anna Naghdalyan said.
The Georgian state security service has already reacted to these reports, stating that it cooperates with its partners to find out details about the persons arrested following the attack and the weapon used.