WELLINGTON – A gunman who shot as many as 49 Muslims dead inside two mosques in New Zealand on Friday had visited Pakistan’s northern areas last year, according to unverified reports.
In a post from last October, Israr Osho Thang who is a resident of Hunza’s Pissan Minapin area mentioned that Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter, had enjoyed the hospitality of the people of Pakistan during his trip.
Through Thang’s account, the message read: The beauty of hunza and nagar valley in autumn cannot be beat (sic).
Tarrant also described Pakistan as ‘an incredible place filled with the most earnest, kind hearted and hospitable people in the world’.
Though the original post is now unavailable on Facebook, a screenshot of the message by the 28-year-old Australian has taken the internet by storm.
In another post, still available, Thang shared images of the 28-year-old Australian taking pictures of Pissan Minapin during his trip to the north.
However, he claimed in his manifesto that he began plotting the attack two years ago and chose the targeted location three months ago.
‘Everywhere I traveled, barring a few small exceptions,’ the shooter stated in his manifesto.
Tarrant remains in the police custody for his involvement in killing of 49 people at two mosques in central Christchurch. Forty-one people were shot dead at the Deans Ave mosque, seven were killed at the Linwood Ave attack, and one person shot in the second mosque attack died in hospital.
In a social media post just before the attack, the shooter posted a link to a 74-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack.