The New Zealand shooting suspect donated money to an Austrian group that is part of a tangled far-right web stretching across Europe, Australia, and the US

  • Austria’s chancellor said on Wednesday that authorities had uncovered links between the alleged perpetrator of the Christchurch attack and the country’s far-right Identitarian youth movement.
  • Investigators claim that Brenton Tarrant, who stands accused of murdering 49 people in New Zealand mosques on March 15, donated $US1,690 to the group in early 2018.
  • The Identitarian Movement claims that non-whites and Muslims are a threat to Europeans, and spreads its messages globally through videos.

Austria’s chancellor said on Wednesday that authorities had uncovered links between the alleged perpetrator of the Christchurch attack and the country’s far-right Identitarian youth movement.

Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s chancellor, confirmed that a financial link between the New Zealand attacker and the Identitarians had been uncovered.

“We can now confirm that there was financial support and so a link between the New Zealand attacker and the Identitarian Movement in Austria,” Kurz said, according to a report from Reuters.

Kurz’s confirmation of links between the two parties came after authorities on Tuesday raided the home of Martin Sellner, the leader of the Identitarian movement in Austria.

Prosecutors office spokesman Hansjörg Bacher said on Tuesday that investigators had been probing alleged financial crimes by the Identitarian group when they uncovered a $US1,690 donation to the group from early 2018, Reuters reported.

Investigators said the donation may have been made by Brenton Tarrant, who is suspected of carrying out the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques on March 15.

The donation was linked to an email address apparently belonging to the 28-year-old self-proclaimed “fascist” who is accused of shooting dead 49 people in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Austrian investigators said they are probing whether Sellner is part of a terrorist network.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported that in a video posted online, Sellner denied links to the alleged New Zealand gunman, and said his only contact with the suspect had been to send a thank you email after the donation was sent through.

He confirmed that police had raided his apartment, and pledged to give the donation to charity.

In the video, Sellner vowed to continue fighting against the “great replacement,” a white nationalist slogan referencing a theory that Muslims will soon replace white Europeans as the majority of the European population.

A manifesto reportedly posted online by Tarrant before the New Zealand attack was entitled the “Great Replacement.”

The manifesto said he was motivated to kill by his belief that whites were being pushed into a minority.

Identitarianism emerged in recent years across Europe, with supporters staging provocative anti-Islam and anti-migrant stunts. It has spread to Canada, Australia and the US.

According to UK anti-racism charity Hope not Hate, identitarianism “espouses the view that non-white and, especially, Muslim migrants pose an intrinsic threat to white, non-Muslim Europeans.”

Sellner has insisted his movement is not racist.

In the US, white nationalist provocateur Richard Spencer has declared himself inspired by European identitarians, while hate group Identity Europa, which has spread white nationalist propaganda on college campuses in the US, is modelled on European identitarian groups.

The identitarian movement spreads its propaganda online, in slickly produced videos of stunts and torchlit rallies, as well as video talks by group leaders, according to monitoring groups.

The group actively targets young recruits, and followers have been dubbed “hipster fascists” in the press because of their attempts to rebrand far right ideologies with an educated and presentable image.

In March 2018, Sellner was denied entry to the UK alongside his girlfriend, Canadian activist Brittany Pettibone, and US activist Lauren Southern, after authorities ruled that their presence in the country was “not conducive to the public good.”

Pettibone was placed on a hate list by the Anti Defamation League for her role promoting the false “pizzagate” conspiracy theory, which alleges high level Democratic party involvement in a non-existent child abuse network based in a Washington DC pizza restaurant.

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