On March 15, a 28-year-old Australian male, identified as Brenton Tarrant, opened fire on worshipers at the Masjid Al Noor mosque and Linwood Masjid mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, resulting in at least 49 deaths and 48 injuries. Tarrant, a suspected white supremacist extremist, and two other alleged associates are in police custody while the incident remains under investigation.
The attack began at approximately 1:40 p.m. local time when Tarrant exited his vehicle while armed with an assault rifle and began firing outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque. He then entered the building and targeted worshipers, killing at least 41 people. Following the shooting, the suspect drove to the nearby Linwood Masjid mosque and killed at least seven others. Additionally, authorities stated they disarmed two improvised explosive devices, one of which they reported was attached to Tarrant’s vehicle.
Prior to the shooting, Tarrant allegedly posted a manifesto and link to a video livestream of the attack on several social media websites. The manifesto outlined his intentions to conduct the attack and espoused white supremacist and anti-immigrant ideologies.
There are no known or credible threats to New Jersey because of the New Zealand mosque shootings. The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) provides training in terrorism and awareness prevention, active shooter incidents, homemade explosives awareness and response, complex coordinated attack response, and New Jersey’s threat environment.
To assist religious facilities, NJOHSP shares information and resources through mechanisms such as the Interfaith Advisory Council. The Council brings together faith-based leaders and government representatives at the federal, state, and local levels. NJOHSP also provides free security training and facilitates nonprofit grant opportunities to improve facility security and develop training programs.
We encourage New Jersey’s residents to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement and to NJOHSP by calling 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.