Brenton Harrison Tarrant brought to court to hear the charges against him
Brenton Harrison Tarrant brought to court to hear the charges against himREUTERS

The gunman responsible for a pair of mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques visited Israel two-and-a-half years ago, a new report claims.

Twenty-eight-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant, an Australian national, was arrested Friday, after he went on shooting sprees at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people and wounding 50 more.

During the attacks Friday morning, Tarrant gunned down dozens at the Al Noor Mosque, before attacking the Linwood Islamic Center, using semi-automatic rifles and shotguns while live-streaming the massacres to social media.

According to a report Sunday evening by Israel’s Channel 13, Tarrant visited Israel two-and-a-half years before the massacres.

A senior Israeli official told Channel 13 that Tarrant entered Israel on October 25th 2016 using his Australian passport, after arriving at Ben Gurion Airport from Turkey.

He was reportedly cleared at Ben Gurion Airport to visit Israel with a standard three-month tourist visa.

Tarrant stayed in Israel for nine days before leaving the country, the official said.

On Saturday, Tarrant was brought to a Christchurch court where he was charged with multiple counts of murder for the mass killings.

It was unclear, however, whether Tarrant would ultimately be extradited to his home country of Australia, though New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tarrant would be tried in New Zealand – even if he was transferred to Australia at a later date.