Disclaimer: This story contains graphic, disturbing, or upsetting information that may be hard for some to read.
Following the horrific mosque shooting that killed 49 people in New Zealand, it's been reported that the New Zealand shooter was "inspired" by Canadian mosque shooter, Alexandre Bissonnette. According to tweets from the shooter's now inactive account, he even wrote Bissonette's name on his gun.
The shooter hasn't been officially identified by police but on social media, he is believed to be Brenton Tarrant. Following the attack, a Twitter account under the name @BrentonTarrant was discovered. The account, which was only activated in February, according to some users, had recently posted pictures of weapons with white letters written all over them. Video of the attack has confirmed that the guns used also had the same white writing on them.
The Twitter account has been deactivated following the attack but Daily Mail has posted the images of the guns and weapons, identifying each of the names and references scrawled on them as Tarrant's inspiration. There are at least 42 references, either to people who have carried out similar attacks, white supremacists, and even Hitler that it's believed Tarrant drew inspiration from.
Among those names, clearly written in white, is also the Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette. Like the New Zealand shooter, Bissonnette opened fire on a mosque while prayers were going on back in 2017.
On January 29, 2017, Bissonnette opened fire at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre, killing six people. Bissonnette pleaded guilty to the shooting and was recently sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 40 years.
Following the news of the attack today, members of that mosque in Quebec City have said that to see something like this happen again is very troubling. The mosque president, Boufeldja Benabdallah told CBC "I feel the pain they are feeling this morning, like the families here felt. I sympathize with them,"
One of the shooters was named Brenton Tarrant— Z (@_Rephl3x_) March 15, 2019
These are what were written on his mags and gun. pic.twitter.com/ELnty4weJq
On the New Zealand shooter's ammunition, Bissonnette's name appeared among others who have carried out horrific attacks like these and references to attacks carried out by Muslims. The exact section read "For Rotherham, Alexandre Bissonette, Luca Traini."
Rotherham is a reference to a case in the UK where a group of British-Pakistani men groomed, abused, and exploited young British girls for sex. There were thousands of victims.
Like Alexandre Bissonnette, Luca Traini is another extremist who carried out a racially motivated attack. Traini shot at African migrants in Italy, specifically targeting black people. He injured six people but no one was killed.
People around the world have expressed their condolences for New Zealand and the Muslim community today following this horrific attack. Investigations are underway and the shooter has been charged with murder.