The man who claimed responsibility for the shooting said he came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack. He said he was not a member of any organisation, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack.
He said the mosques in Christchurch and Linwood would be the targets, as would a third mosque in the town of Ashburton if he could make it there.
He said he chose New Zealand because of its location, to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of “mass immigration.” New Zealand is generally considered to be a welcoming country for immigrants and refugees. Last year, the prime minister announced the country would boost its annual refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500 starting in 2020.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the death toll in the terror attack to be 40. She said that another 20 people have been injured in the attack. Earlier, she had called this one of the darkest days for the country. She also clarified the number of people in custody to be three during the press conference.