Dozens killed in Christchurch mosque attack

By Ben Westcott, Jenni Marsh, Helen Regan, Meg Wagner, Brian Ries, Veronica Rocha, Aimee Lewis, Rob Picheta and Harmeet Kaur, CNN

Updated 10:34 PM ET, Sat March 16, 2019
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10:37 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

What we know about the terror attack suspect

One person has been charged with murder in connection with the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead.

Here's what we know about the suspect:

  • He is 28 years old.
  • Just before the attack, an account believed to belong to the gunman posted a link to an 87-page white nationalist manifesto online. The unsigned manifesto is filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments, as well as explanations for an attack.
  • In the manifesto, he identifies himself as a white man, born in Australia, and lists the white nationalists who have inspired him. 
  • He will appear in court Saturday morning local time.
10:39 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan condemn "horrifying assault"

From CNN's Max Foster and David Wilkinson


William and Kate, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have said they have all spent time in Christchurch and its "open-hearted and generous" people.

They condemned the violence on the Muslim community, calling it "horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship."

"No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship," the royal couples said in a statement.

Here's the full statement:

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the people who lost their lives in the devastating attack in Christchurch.
We have all been fortunate to spend time in Christchurch and have felt the warm, open-hearted and generous spirit that is core to its remarkable people.
No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship.
This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship. 
We know that from this devastation and deep mourning, the people of New Zealand will unite to show that such evil can never defeat compassion and tolerance.
We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today.
Kia Kaha. 
9:45 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

Barack Obama: "We grieve with you and the Muslim community"

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Following the terror attack in New Zealand, former US President Barack Obama tweeted we must "stand against hatred in all its forms."

"We grieve with you and the Muslim community," he said.

Here's his tweet:

9:26 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

New York City and state increase security around mosques

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo both announced increased police presence at mosques around the city and state following the terror attack in New Zealand.

"New Yorkers heading to prayer can be confident that their city will protect them," de Blasio said.

Cuomo said that the city "stands with the Muslim community as we always have and always will."

"At a time of great division, we will stand up to hate in all its forms and do everything in our power to protect the safety and wellbeing of all New Yorkers," he said in a statement.
10:30 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

What we know so far about the New Zealand terror attack

At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in two mass shootings at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Here's what we know so far:

  • The victims: Forty-one people were killed at the al Noor mosque. Seven people died at the Linwood mosque, and one person died from their injuries in hospital.
  • The suspect: Police said a male in his late 20s has been charged with murder and will appear at the Christchurch court Saturday morning local time.
  • The manifesto: In a social media post just before the attack, an account that is believed to belong to one of the attackers posted a link to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack. The manifesto was not signed.
11:38 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

How 2020 Democrats are reacting to the mosque shootings

A growing number of Democratic candidates running for US President in 2020 have tweeted prayers for the victims of the attack, and condemned acts of hate and violence.

Cory Booker

John Delaney

Kamala Harris

Amy Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

Jay Inslee

Elizabeth Warren

Beto O'Rourke

Julian Castro

Kirsten Gillibrand

Pete Buttigieg

8:57 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

White House official on New Zealand attack: This "seems to be a terrorist attack"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

National security advisor John Bolton expanded upon the White House’s statement on the attack on New Zealand mosques, which he characterized as “what seems to be a terrorist attack” and a “hate crime.”

Bolton said the US is “very concerned” and is following the events “very closely.” 

He told reporters Friday morning:

“We’re obviously greatly disturbed on what seems to be a terror attack, this hate crime in New Zealand. We’ve been in touch with our embassy overnight, we’re still getting details, but the State Department and others are following up on it."

Bolton continued, “We’re very concerned, we’re going to cooperate with New Zealand authorities to the extent we can if there’s any role we can play, but we’re obviously following the events there very closely.”

7:51 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

Donald Trump tweets "warmest sympathy" after "horrible massacre"

US President Donald Trump has tweeted in response to the attack.

His message follows an earlier White House statement in response to the mass shootings at New Zealand mosques that left 49 dead.

“The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate,” said the statement.

Global leaders have also been sending messages of support. "On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch," British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote on Twitter. "My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence."

"All our thoughts for the victims of heinous crimes against the mosques of Christchurch in New Zealand and for their loved ones," French President Emmanuel Macron added.

7:39 a.m. ET, March 15, 2019

Tributes outside mosque attacked in 2017

Flowers and messages have been left outside London's Finsbury Park Mosque, which suffered its own tragedy in 2017 when a man deliberately drove a van into pedestrians outside, killing one Muslim worshiper and injuring several others.