Members of Congress offer condolences to victims of New Zealand mosque attacks

Members of Congress offer condolences to victims of New Zealand mosque attacks

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U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

WASHINGTON – Members of Congress Friday offered their condolences to the victims of deadly shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which at least 49 people were killed.

Omar (Minn.) was born in Somalia. She and fellow Democrat Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. Tlaib is of Palestinian descent.

A 28-year-old man has been charged in connection with the attacks and two other suspects remain in custody, according to New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

The alleged shooter streamed the attack online, identifying himself as Australian. Shortly after the attacks a manifesto purportedly written by the suspect began to circulate through social media.

The manifesto contains white supremacist vitriol against non-white immigrants as well as references to internet forums used by far-right hate groups.

The manifesto contains a thinly veiled reference to President Donald Trump, whom the suspect described as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” but an ineffective leader.

Trump tweeted his condolences to the victims of the attacks on Friday morning. The tweet was preceded by a statement by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders that condemned the attacks.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Embassy in Washington referred TMN to the New Zealand police for further comment.

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