The Malta Independent 24 February 2020, Monday

Updated (2): ‘Malta 1565’ written on two of New Zealand attacker’s guns

Friday, 15 March 2019, 12:37 Last update: about 13 months ago

One of the attackers involved in the New Zealand terror attack had ‘Malta 1565’ written on two of his guns.

Photos published on New Zealand media show the reference to the Great Siege of Malta scribbled on a shotgun while footage live streamed on Facebook by the attacker showed a similar inscription on the foregrip of an assault rifle.

The footage shows that the gunman had at least six weapons in his car. 

The footage uploaded by the Australian-born shooter shows that the guns were covered in racist slurs, including ‘Kebab Remover’ and ‘Migration compact.’

Another scribbling reads: ‘Vienna 1683’ – a reference to the Battle of Vienna – another historic clash between Christian and Ottoman forces.

At least 49 people were killed in the mass shootings at two mosques. The attacks were carried out at a time when the mosques were full of worshippers attending Friday prayers.

One man has been charged with murder while two others are being held in custody. 

The shooter's soundtrack as he drove to the mosque included an upbeat-sounding tune that belies its roots in a destructive European nationalist and religious conflict. The nationalist Serb song from the 1992-95 war that tore apart Yugoslavia glorifies Serbian fighters and Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic, who is jailed at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague for genocide and other war crimes against Bosnian Muslims. A YouTube video for the song shows emaciated Muslim prisoners in Serb-run camps during the war. "Beware Ustashas and Turks," says the song, using wartime, derogatory terms for Bosnian Croats and Muslims.

When the gunman returned to his car after the shooting, the song "Fire" by English rock band "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" can be heard blasting from the speakers. The singer bellows, "I am the god of hellfire!" as the man, a 28-year-old Australian, drives away.

At least two rifles used in the shooting bore references to Ebba Akerlund, an 11-year-old girl killed in an April 2017 truck-ramming attack in Stockholm by Rakhmat Akilov, a 39-year-old Uzbek man. Akerlund's death is memorialized in the gunman's apparent manifesto, published online, as an event that led to his decision to wage war against what he perceives as the enemies of Western civilization.

The number 14 is also seen on the gunman's rifles. It may refer to "14 Words," which according to the Southern Poverty Law Center is a white supremacist slogan linked to Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf." He also used the symbol of the Schwarze Sonne, or black sun, which "has become synonymous with myriad far-right groups," according to the center, which monitors hate groups.

In photographs from a now-deleted Twitter account associated with the suspect that match the weaponry seen in his live-streamed video, there is a reference to "Vienna 1683," the year the Ottoman Empire suffered a defeat in its siege of the city at the Battle of Kahlenberg. "Acre 1189," a reference to the Crusades, is also written on the guns.

Four names of legendary Serbs who fought against the 500-year-rule of the Ottomans in the Balkans, written in the Cyrillic alphabet, are also seen on the gunman's rifles.The name Charles Martel, who the Southern Poverty Law Center says white supremacists credit "with saving Europe by defeating an invading Muslim force at the Battle of Tours in 734," was also on the weapons.

Additional reporting: Associated Press


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