The attack on two mosques on Friday in New Zealand is by far the worst to target Muslims in a western country. If the link with the far right is confirmed, it also bears resemblances to the massacre committed by neo-nazi Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in 2011.
ATTACKS ON MUSLIMS
On January 29, 2017 in Canada a 27-year-old man carries out a shooting on a Quebec mosque after evening prayers that leaves six worshippers dead and 35 wounded. The victims are all dual nationals who emigrated to Canada over recent decades: two Algerians, two Guineans, a Moroccan and a Tunisian. The attacker, Alexandre Bissonnette, a Canadian student with nationalist sympathies but not a member of any group, is arrested. In February 2019 he is sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 40 years. The attack was until Friday the worst single attack on a Muslim site in the West.
On June 19, 2017, in Britain, a 48-year old Welshman ploughs a van into people leaving late-night prayers at a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London, killing one man and injuring 12 others. The attacker, Darren Osborne, who had left a note in the van in which he said he was seeking revenge for Islamist terror attacks and a child sex scandal, is sentenced to life in prison in February 2018.
On July 22, 2011, in Norway, far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, 32, plants a car bomb near the government's offices in Oslo, killing eight people, and later opens fire on a camp of youths close to the Labour party on the island of Utoeya, killing 69 others. Breivik's shooting spree lasts more than an hour, targeting the 600 participants of the youth camp. The dead include around 50 youngsters between the ages of 14 and 18. Breivik is arrested the same day and sentenced to 21 years in prison, a period that could be extended as long as he is deemed a danger to society. The tall, blond Breivik fuelled by hatred for multiculturalism, Islam and Marxism, wrote in a 1,500-page manifesto he published online just before the massacre he had been planning his attack for several years. He described himself as a conservative Christian, who had been exposed to "decades of multicultural indoctrination."