British man arrested for social media post supporting New Zealand mosque attacks

Relatives and family members of Naeem Rashid who was killed along with his son Talha Naeem in the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, comfort each other during a condolence gathering at the family’s home in Abbottabad, Pakistan March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

A British man has been arrested for making a social media post which reportedly supported the grotesque New Zealand mosque attacks.

The man, from Oldham in Greater Manchester, allegedly shared a post which directly referenced and appeared to sympathise with the atrocity in Christchurch, which has left 50 dead.

The 24-year-old was arrested on suspicion of malicious communications.

Police said: “This is a very difficult time for people. The events in New Zealand have reverberated around the world. Many people are in deep shock and are worried. ​

“It is at times like this that, as a community, we stand together. ​

“Where the law permits and people cross the line, we will take robust action, which may include arrest and prosecution.”

Children as young as three were slaughtered in the attack on two mosques in New Zealand, when a gunman opened fire as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers.

Following the shootings, 28-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant was arrested.

Brenton Tarrant’s every move seems calibrated to elicit the widest coverage, from his livestreaming the entire massacre on social media to his uttering “Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiePie” before embarking on his butcher’s work.

Yesterday, when he appeared in court charged with murder, Tarrant made a hand gesture which has since been linked to a symbol of white supremacy.

Police have said more charges are likely to follow.

Many of the 34 survivors who remain in hospital after getting caught up in the shootings at Al Noor mosque and Linwood mosque are in critical condition.

Relatives are anxiously waiting for authorities to release the remains of those who were killed in massacres at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, while authorities announced the death toll from the attacks had risen to 50.

Islamic law calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible after death, usually within 24 hours.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police were working with pathologists and coroners to release the bodies as soon as they could.

“We have to be absolutely clear on the cause of death and confirm their identity before that can happen,” he said.

“But we are so aware of the cultural and religious needs. So we are doing that as quickly and as sensitively as possible.”


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a small number of bodies would start being released to families on Sunday evening, and authorities hoped to release all the bodies by Wednesday.

Police said they had released a preliminary list of the victims to families, which has helped give closure to some relatives who were waiting for any news.

The scale of the tragedy and the task still ahead became clear as supporters arrived from across the country to help with the burial rituals in Christchurch and authorities sent in diggers to prepare new graves in a Muslim burial area that was newly fenced off and blocked from view with white netting.