Don’t see white nationalism a rising threat, says Trump

Ardern vowed that gun laws "will change" in the wake of the worst terror attacks in the country's history

Prime News, International, (Washington DC), March 16:-United States (US) President Donald Trump on Friday said that he did not see a rise in white nationalism across the world after the accused in the New Zealand mosque terror attack called the president “a symbol of renewed white identity.”

“I don’t really think so. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” The Hill quoted Trump as saying when asked if he saw a rise in white nationalism.

“If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the case. I don’t know enough about it yet,” he added.

Earlier, a social media account believed to be linked to the Australian-born suspect, who filmed himself, while carrying out the attack, had posted a lengthy manifesto, expressing anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views.

He wrote that he supported Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but not as a “policymaker and leader.”

Responding to the same, Trump said that he was yet to see the manifesto and called the mass shootings “horrible”.

The 28-year-old suspect, identified as Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared before a Christchurch court on Saturday on murder charges connected with Friday’s terror attacks in Christchurch, which left at least 49 people dead. He was remanded in custody without plea until April 5.

The accused is an Australian-born citizen and is a resident of Dunedin, situated around 360 km south of Christchurch.

Earlier, Trump spoke to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and offered assistance to the country in the wake of the terror attack.

“Just spoke with Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, regarding the horrific events that have taken place over the past 24 hours. I informed the Prime Minister that we stand in solidarity with New Zealand – and that any assistance the USA can give, we stand by ready to help. We love you New Zealand!” he wrote on Twitter.

In the worst ever terror attack in New Zealand, multiple gunmen carried out indiscriminate shootings at two mosques in Christchurch during the Friday prayers, leaving 49 people dead and at least 48 wounded, besides giving a scare to the Bangladesh cricket team which had a narrow escape.

Using automatic weapons, the gunmen, four of who were initially taken into custody, launched a “well-planned” attack on the mosques when devotees had assembled for the weekly prayers.

According to the police, 41 people were killed at Al Noor mosque and seven at Linwood mosque while one injured died in a hospital.

Condemning the terror strike, Ardern had described it as a “terror attack” and said it “appears to have been well planned”. She asserted that New Zealand “will not and cannot be shaken” by this attack.

Several guns have been recovered from both mosques, while, two explosive devices were found on two vehicles at the scene, one of which was defused, the police confirmed.

Ardern vowed that gun laws “will change” in the wake of the worst terror attacks in the country’s history.

The New Zealand premier, her cabinet ministers and opposition leader Simon Bridges flew to Christchurch from Wellington today morning in the wake of the terror attacks.

Upon her arrival, Ardern visited the Canterbury Refugees Centre, where she interacted with Muslim community leaders who were expressing their concerns about finding a place of worship after all mosques in the city were shut down in the wake of the shootings, according to New Zealand Herald.

Ardern assured the group that local council leaders were working tirelessly to provide alternative and safe places for worship, adding that security was beefed up to ensure safety.

Around 3,000 people from all walks of lives and representing different faiths gathered for a peace vigil in Aotea Square in Auckland to stand in solidarity with the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks.

Several events scheduled for today have been cancelled in the wake of the mass shootings in Christchurch.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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