The Australian man who is set to stand trial for a pair of mass murders in two Islamic centers in Christchurch, New Zealand will also be charged with terrorism, New Zealand authorities revealed Tuesday.
Twenty-eight-year-old Brenton Tarrant, an Australian national with suspected ties to far-right white nationalist groups, was indicted on 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder.
Authorities said Tuesday that Tarrant would also be charged with engaging in terrorism, citing New Zealand’s anti-terror statutes.
“The charge will allege that a terrorist act was carried out in Christchurch on 15 March 2019,” Commissioner of Police Mike Bush announced Tuesday.
Tarrant livestreamed to social media outlets his shooting attacks on the Al-Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre, both in Christchurch, as he gunned down dozens of worshippers. Forty-two people were killed at the Al-Noor Mosque, with seven more killed at the Islamic center. Two of the 51 people wounded in the attacks later succumbed to their wounds and died at a local hospital, bringing the total number of fatalities to 51.
Tarrant is not scheduled to appear in court again until June 14th.