Seventeen shocking minutes of a shooting inside a New Zealand mosque were livestreamed on Facebook earlier today, as an Australian-born man reportedly in his late 20s opened fire inside two different mosques in Christchurch, killing 49 people and injuring some 48 more. Amidst the horrific footage and disturbing scribbles on the shooter’s gun, one eagle-eyed viewer was shocked to notice an unlikely mention… Malta.
Two days before the attack, the gunman had actually posted photos of his rifle on social media. Scribbled in white across the rifle were phrases that either referred to migration, Islam or even specifically the Ottoman Empire. In different parts of the clip, the words “Kebab Remover” can be seen, with “Vienna 1683” also appearing, referencing the Battle of Vienna, a siege between the Christian Coalition (the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) and the Ottomans.
Also appearing on the rifle’s foregrip, however, was “Malta 1565”. This is no doubt a reference to the Great Siege that lasted three months, three weeks and three days and claimed tens of thousands of lives of Knights, Maltese people and soldiers of the Ottoman Empire who had launched a brutal siege of the islands.
The 17-minute video – which New Zealand Police have urged to not circulate online – ends with the shooter re-entering the mosque to check for survivors before returning to a beige Subaru station wagon and drive away from the scene at speed. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has since spoken out about the attack, saying it can “only be described as terrorism”.
In a lengthy manifesto published online, the supposed shooter had actually outlined not only who he was, but why he carried out the massacre at the Christchurch mosque, the NZ Herald has reported.
Shortly after the shooting, the Facebook account that posted the video was no longer available, with the Twitter account of the same name also quickly suspended.
Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.
— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) March 15, 2019
Lovin Malta will not be publishing the terrorist’s face, his identity or the livestream on this site, and any comments sharing the 17-minute video will be deleted.