White House condemns attacks on New Zealand mosques

White House condemns attacks on New Zealand mosques

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The White House at dusk (File photo: TMN)

WASHINGTON —The White House on Friday condemned the attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, a massacre that killed at least 49.

“The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “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.”

President Donald Trump followed with a tweet offering his “warmest sympathies” and U.S. assistance as needed.

National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters outside the West Wing Friday morning that the administration is monitoring the situation.

“We’re obviously gravely disturbed by this, what seems to be a terror attack, a hate crime,” Bolton said. “We’re still getting details, but the State Department and others are following up on it.”

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

A manifesto from the purported shooter, who streamed the Friday attack online and identified himself as an Australian, began circulating through social media shortly after the attack. It amounts to a bitter, white nationalist screed against non-white immigrants and Muslims, peppered with ironic references to niche internet forums used by many on the far right.

The manifesto includes a nod to Trump, whom he called a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” but a poor “policy maker and leader.”

While authorities reportedly do not believe there are additional suspects, New Zealand remains on high alert.

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