New Zealand mosque attack suspect flashes apparent ‘white power’ sign in court


The suspect accused of killing 49 people in Friday’s shootings at two New Zealand mosques appeared to flash a white supremacist sign when he appeared in court Saturday.

The 28-year-old Australian citizen, handcuffed and flanked by armed police officers, gestured an upside-down “OK” sign, which is frequently used by white nationalists across the globe, Agence France-Presse reported.

{mosads}The suspect, Brenton Tarrant, did not request bail and was remanded into custody until April 5, when he is ordered to reappear. His Saturday appearance lasted only about a minute before police escorted him out of the courtroom.

“There is one charge of murder brought at the moment, [but] it is reasonable to assume that there will be others,” the judge said after his departure.

The gunman in Friday’s attack identified himself in since-deleted social media posts as a white supremacist, posting a lengthy manifesto in which he employed anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric and praised white nationalist figures such as Dylann Roof, who killed nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015.

The attack sparked calls for updates to New Zealand’s gun laws, which observers consider lax compared to those of other industrial countries outside the U.S. 

“While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now: Our gun laws will change,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference.


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