Terrorism & Insurgency

Co-ordinated small-arms attacks on New Zealand mosques by suspected anti-Muslim perpetrators highly likely to be exceptional

15 March 2019

Forty-nine people were killed and almost 50 wounded in small-arms attacks that targeted two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on 15 March. The attack was the first terrorism attack recorded in the country.

  • The apparently co-ordinated small-arms attacks on two Christchurch mosques on 15 March were unprecedented in New Zealand. Four people have been arrested; local media have named one of the individuals as 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, an Australian citizen. None of the suspects were known to New Zealand or Australian security services. Tarrant live-streamed his attack on Masjid Al Noor on Deans Avenue, the larger mosque, where 40 were killed; in addition, a 74-page manifesto was released against cultural dilution through immigration, which was particularly aimed at Muslim migrants. Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

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