by William Craddick, Disobedient Media:
As the world reels from the tragic terrorist attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, much attention has been given to sensational information about the single named suspect, Brenton Tarrant. However, the hyperfocus on Tarrant distracts from the fact that the Australian national was arrested along with other suspects.
An investigation and analysis by Disobedient Media indicates that Tarrant and the group he worked with likely have professional military connections, are part of the same cell that perpetrated a February 22nd break in of the North Korean embassy in Spain and potentially have intelligence ties to various agencies that cooperate under the UKUSA Agreement popularly known as Five Eyes (FVEY).
I. Signs Of Professional Military Connections
Despite the characterization of Tarrant in the media, he was no run-of-the-mill white supremacist. Images posted by Tarrant online just before the attack to a Twitter account which had been dormant until March 12 showed that he was in possession of high-capacity magazines and a semi-automatic assault rifle. The weapon and magazines would have been classified as either a “restricted weapon” or a “military-style-semi-automatic” (MSSA) under New Zealand law. A person who possesses or uses a firearm in New Zealand needs to hold a firearms license issued by police. Licenses normally last for ten years unless revoked. Foreign nationals may apply from overseas for a one year license based on their possession of an existing license in their home country.
Suspicions are inevitably raised over how exactly Tarrant and his alleged co-conspirators managed to stockpile the military-grade weapons and ammunition used in the attack in a country with comparatively strict gun laws. Tarrant, who supposedly began to radicalize starting in 2016 and was allegedly unemployed would have had his radical tendencies discovered with a proper background investigation. Police say that another suspect in the shooting was an individual who acquired the necessary Category A license and began to legally stockpile weapons used in the attack.
The Australian also engaged in extensive travel abroad to a number of areas that should have raised red flags with intelligence services. Countries visited by Tarrant included Pakistan, North Korea, Turkey, parts of Africa, Portugal, Spain and France. The extensive travel and access to military grade firearms should have made detection by law enforcement and intelligence services nearly impossible.
II. Similarities Between Spain And New Zealand Operations
There are a number of analogous facts shared by the attack on the North Korean embassy in Spain and the terror event in Christchurch which suggest that the same team was involved in both incidents. In both cases the perpetrators showed that they were well versed in “breach and clear” tactics against buildings filled with people. In both cases the buildings were cleared efficiently and quickly even though the goal of the North Korean incident was focused on intelligence gathering as opposed to mass murder. Aerial analysis of the North Korean embassy in Spain, the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre show that all buildings are of similar size and each would have required the same know-how and training to breach.
In securing a getaway from the North Korean embassy, the attacking team of approximately ten individuals utilized two luxury vehicles. In the Christchurch attack, the suspects used two vehicles for transport in which live explosive devices were found. The similar number of vehicles used in both incidents points to a common number of participants.
III. In Both Attacks, Perpetuators Are Likely Military Cells
The groups involved in both the Spain embassy break-in and the Christchurch terror attacks appear to be military or paramilitary in nature. The March 13, 2019 exposé of the embassy break-in by El País directly cited sources involved with the investigation who stated that the attackers were likely a “military cell” with at least two members who were tied to the CIA. Sources such as the New York Post and Washington Post have both run stories attempting to attribute the break-in to a shadowy group of North Korean dissidents. But this explanation is unconvincing since this group would not not have the practical military know-how or muscle required to breach and clear the embassy in such an efficient manner.
Analysis of documentation of the Christchurch terror attack also indicates that the perpetrators were part of a military style cell. Although much has been made of Brenton Tarrant’s live-streamed attack, no other individuals were featured in the film. Video footage being distributed online shows two individuals carrying firearms during the attacks. Both are wearing baseball caps. This means that neither can be Tarrant, who was filming himself during the attack and wore a helmet with a mounted camera, not a hat.
Video being distributed by user from Christchurch shows two shooters in unfolding attack on mosques https://t.co/WxV4gYHTkD
— William Craddick (@williamcraddick) 15 March 2019
Police speculated during the attacks that there were up to three suspects. But footage and photos that have emerged along with early reports of other suspected locations where incidents occurred indicates that the number of attackers was likely larger. One image shows a man with shaven head in military-style camouflage fatigues being detained by New Zealand police as the attack was contained and halted. Another video shows police standing around a suspect lying on the pavement. As the individual videoing the scene passes, officers roll the apparently lifeless man over onto his back, showing his arm flop as he moved. If the suspect had been alive then police would have restrained him with handcuffs before moving him. Authorities have made no announcement about casualties among the attackers.
There were also rumors of other incidents which suggest that the attack might have been larger than is being disclosed. Maori News noted reports that an additional shooting was ongoing at Christchurch Hospital. This went largely unacknowledged by the international media. In the aftermath of the attacks, police in Auckland, New Zealand also responded to a bomb scare at Auckland train station.
These facts all indicate that the Christchurch terror attacks were perpetrated by a larger group that would be similar in size to the one involved with the break-in at the North Korean embassy.