Branko Miletic

Has the media ‘Right-Washed’ Brenton Tarrant?

Brenton Tarrant on his way to murder 51 people in Christchurch as they prayed. Note the AR-15 covered in Cyrillic writing. Facebook.

Last Tuesday, March 19 marks the 5th anniversary of the sickening horror that was the Christchurch mosque massacre, when 28-year old Australian Brenton Tarrant, shot and killed 51 people attending afternoon prayer at two separate Christchurch mosques.

While Tarrant is serving life in a New Zealand Prison without the possibility of parole, the media it seems, is trying to resurrect him into something that will fit its narrative more neatly.

New Zealand mosque gunman sentenced to life in prison | The Times of Israel

Take co-founder and director of Hate & Extremism Insights Aotearoa (HEIA) and director, Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies, University of Auckland, Chris Wilson, who in articles for The Conversation, uses all the information publicly available on Tarrant, in order to paint a picture of a man obsessed with being a “Right wing culture warrior.”

As Wilson writes: “Our study has also revealed how important the 4chan community is to the radicalisation of individuals like Tarrant. In contrast to the fleeting human interaction he had with others as he travelled the world, 4chan was Tarrant’s community.”

“4chan’s /pol/ (politically incorrect) board,” writes Wilson, “became his home. Here he interacted with others over long periods, imagining he was speaking to the same people over months and years, and assuming many of them had become his friends.”

In other words, suggests Wilson, Tarrant was a garden variety right winger just seeking validation from like-minded individuals.

However, a closer look at Tarrant reveals something a lot more sinister.

As I wrote five years ago, “A long hard look at a major spark of this and other similar acts finds a strong commonality with a range of (mostly discredited) Balkan historical myths. But it’s Australia’s response or, rather, lack of prevention of this insidious racist victimology that needs urgent redress if we are to at least try and stem any similar future atrocities.”

Furthermore, “… the shooter makes repeated references to the ‘Remove Kebab’ meme, which is based on propaganda produced by Serb nationalist forces during the Bosnian War & Bosnian Genocide in 90s.”

Russian and Serbian nationalists with their ode to ‘Remove Kebab’, Brisbane 2014. / Facebook.

As for Tarrant, according to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald, some names inscribed on his weaponry in Serbian Cyrillic included Bajo Pivljanin and Novak Vujosevic, both who led uprisings against the Ottomans.

The odd thing about those two figures – at the time of the shooting, information on them was not available anywhere on the internet.

Tarrant’s modified AR-15 assault rifle covered in Serbian Cyrillic, along with Georgian and Armenian scripts. Image:


Tarrant just about to enter the first mosque to begin his killing spree with his Cyrillic-covered AR-15. / Image

So why did a self-confessed “dummy at school” have an AR-15 covered in Serbian Cyrillic, along with Georgian and Armenian scripts, while driving and playing the anti-Muslim Serb nationalist song known as “Remove Kebab” just before committing his depraved acts?

Maybe one answer lies in the fact that it has been confirmed that the Serbian war criminal and Chetnik luminary, known as Captain Dragan, who was extradited to Croatia in 2016 for war crimes and crimes against humanity, was apprehended in 2010 in Grafton NSW, only minutes from Tarrant’s home and was a member of Tarrant’s gym.

Tarrant also visited Serbia along with that cradle of mythomania, Serb-occupied Bosnia in 2016, according to various overseas sources who have also noted that his Facebook page (now deleted) was full of Chetnik profiles from Australia.

According to AP, authorities in Bulgaria, Turkey and Croatia have confirmed that Brenton Tarrant, 28, had also been to their countries in 2016-2018. Hungarian counterterrorism authorities also suggested that Tarrant had also visited there, along with two stays in Turkey in 2016 – on March 17-20 and from Sept. 13 to Oct. 25.

Yet oddly, nowhere are these facts mentioned by the likes of Wilson and others, who seem to ignore the many similarities between Tarrant and another mass killer and white supremacist, Norwegian Anders Brevik.

As I found in 2019, like Tarrant, Anders Brevik also claimed to be affiliated with the shadowy Knights Templar International, who are not only anti-Muslim but also count the extreme anti-Muslim Chetnik “Duke” and Serbian Radical Party head Vojislav Seselj in their membership.

Showing no remorse, Norwegian mass murderer appears before parole hearing | The Times of Israel

The Guardian reported that Breivik wrote the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” regarding his radicalization. The Guardian also reported that Breivik met with former Serb Chetnik commander Milorad Ulemek, who was convicted of assassinating Serbia’s pro-western Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003.

None of this is deemed important by Wilson et al, who seem all but bemused by this Balkan connection, despite the events at Christchurch in 2019 being just another natural progression of the Srebrenica genocide in 1995.

Source: X.

While it is true that Tarrant’s manifesto is a hate-filled screed against immigrants, Muslims, Jews, democracy, capitalism etc, rather oddly, he goes on to praise Communist China, an ethnic monoculture with a deplorable record of abusing minority populations, as the country with “political and social values” that are closest to his.

And apart from Brevik, Tarrant also credits Dylann Roof as being an inspiration. Roof, who killed nine African Americans in a Bible study class in South Carolina in 2015 also posted a manifesto online before his murders.

So far, Tarrant has identified as a supporter of Serbian nationalism, white supremacists, Great Replacement conspiracists, KKK cosplayers and Chinese Communists – but that’s not the end of his Top 10 list.

As Religion Unplugged found, Tarrant also identified as an “eco-fascist” who was worried about climate change and who saw immigration as “environmental warfare.”

“The environment is being destroyed by overpopulation, we Europeans are one of the groups that are not overpopulating the world. . . Kill the invaders, kill the overpopulation and by doing so save the environment,” he wrote in his manifesto.

Moreover wrote Religion Unplugged, “Tarrant expresses a combination of respect and contempt for Muslims. He claims Muslims are “bound by faith, culture, or tradition with higher levels of fertility, trust and in group preference resulting in much stronger communities.”

Despite these virtues, Tarrant writes that Muslims in the West are “invaders” who must be driven out of Western lands.

“A Moroccan may never be an Estonian much the same as an Estonian may never be a Moroccan. There are cultural, ethnic, and RACIAL differences that makes interchanging one ethnic group with another an impossibility,” he says.

So, by his own manifesto, Tarrant declared himself a fascist, communist, racialist, supremacist, bigot, environmentalist, anarchist, white liberationist, atheist and Christo-nationalist – just about everything under the sun bar the Avon Lady.

Or as New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali labelled him, “White ISIS” – to date, perhaps the best description of all.

But a “Right wing culture warrior”? – More like a stone-cold killer.

About the Author
Journalist and editor with 25 years experience, including reporting from Bosnia, Japan and all over Australia--- focus includes IT, ethics and geopolitics.
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