What was Brenton Tarrant doing in Pakistan

The New Zealand assassin | Did his travels make him a terrorist?

Christchurch - Brenton Tarrant (28) grew up in the small Australian town of Grafton, worked as a fitness trainer and traveled around the world for seven years. But from now on his name will only be associated worldwide with the terrible attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 49 people died. Brenton Tarrant, the far right terrorist.

He had streamed his terrorist attack on Facebook - they are pictures of horror. A 74-page manifest in which Tarrant describes himself is also circulating online. In it he interviews himself. Among other things, he claims that he is a "normal, white man." Then he lets himself out in right-wing extremist, Islamophobic effusions.

He does not want to become famous through the attack, claims Tarrant: “No, that would be ridiculous. I'll be quickly forgotten. But the shock after my act will trickle away for years and create an atmosphere of fear that is important. "

He writes that he planned the attack "about two years in advance". He raves about the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011 in two attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utøya. His claim that he had contact with Breivik cannot be substantiated.

How exactly did Tarrant radicalize himself? What made him a terrorist?

Before the assassination, he seemed to lead an inconspicuous life at first sight. He traveled around the world for seven years, according to the Daily Mail. Before that, he had worked as a personal trainer in a gym for about two years. In his manifesto he states that he “had little interest in education” and “never went to university”.

Tarrant's father Rodney died of cancer at the age of 49 when his son was in his early twenties. He was an athlete who probably infected his son with his enthusiasm for sports. After graduating from high school, Tarrant started working at the Big River Squash and Fitness Center in his native Grafton, Australia, from 2009.

The gym owner, Tracey Gray, was Tarrant's boss at the time. She told The Sydney Morning Herald about Tarrant, “He started coming to my studio as a boy who just graduated from school and showed a lot of devotion to his training. Then he began his training as a personal trainer. ”Gray says he had“ no extremist tendencies ”at the time. He followed a strict fitness and nutrition plan.

Tarrant reportedly reported on social media that he inherited money after his father's death. That's why he quit his job in 2011 and was able to travel around the world. In his manifesto Tarrant claims otherwise: He started to "invest in Bitconnect (digital currency, editor's note) and then travel with the money from it." Where Tarrant finally got the money for his world tour is not clear.

Did he radicalize himself in Europe?

His former boss expresses the suspicion that he had radicalized himself during his world tour: "I think something happened to him on his personal travels."

Tarrant confirms this assumption in his manifesto when he writes: “Between April 2017 and May 2017 I traveled through Western Europe - France, Spain, Portugal and other countries - and there was a series of events that broke my reservations. I couldn't look away any longer at the violence. "

He apparently also traveled to countries like Pakistan. However, there is no evidence that he became radicalized because of experiences in these countries. According to the "Sydney Morning Herald", Tarrant reported positively about his trip to Pakistan in a Facebook post. The country was "an incredible place, full of the most serious, kind-hearted and hospitable people in the world," wrote Brenton Tarrant at the time.

Tarrant also stopped in Bulgaria on his journey. There the police are now investigating whether the terrorist still has contacts in the country. Tarrant's weapons, which can be seen in his amok video, provide evidence of this: there are engraved names of fighters against the Ottomans.

Some inscriptions refer to the siege of Vienna by the Turks in 1683, the battles in the Russo-Ottoman War 1877-78 at the Shipka Pass in the Bulgarian Balkan Mountains and the fight of the Albanian prince Skanderbeg (1405-1468) against the Ottomans.

Brenton Tarrant visited Bulgaria as a tourist in November 2018 and stayed in historical places, Prosecutor General Sotir Zazarov said on Friday evening after a meeting of government officials with the Bulgarian secret services. He then traveled on to Romania and Hungary. According to Bulgarian findings in 2016, Tarrant had visited other Balkan countries such as Serbia.

What exactly happened on Tarrant's travels remains a mystery. The investigation against him and possible accomplices continues. In addition to Tarrant, three other people have already been arrested in New Zealand in connection with the terrorist attack.