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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
CNN International: Terror In New Zealand; New Zealand's Darkest Day. Aired 12-1pm ET
Aired March 15, 2019 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN Breaking News.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much for joining me this hour, I'm Robyn Curnow. We are following this breaking news out of New Zealand. The people of New Zealand are reeling after a vicious terror attack. At least 49 people we know were killed in a shooting rampage at two mosques in Christchurch.
Now, it happened during Friday's prayers and the shooter streamed the attack live on social media. Authorities say three people are in custody. One is charged with murder and will appear in court in the coming hours. And this is a truly shocking attack for otherwise peaceful New Zealand.
Anna Coren has the details of what played out.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Abhorrent, unprecedented, sickening, no words seem enough as the world attempts to come to terms with Friday's mass shooting in New Zealand of all places.
JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: This is and will be one of New Zealand's darkest days.
COREN: Terrorists attacked worshippers attending prayers of the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Christchurch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard, you know, the fighting and it was from the main entrance, the main entrance of the building. And everybody just run towards the back doors just to save themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see the people, they're shooting from inside the mosque. And the time of (inaudible).
COREN: For most, there was no warning. The scourges were killed, dozens injured. The confusion and chaos lasting for hours as authorities kept the city on lockdown.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went right back to the mosque (inaudible) at the time, so we've just been waiting here, to see, just to see if our son is all right. But he's not answering his phone. COREN: A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with the attacks. Other arrests were made and authorities are trying to determine if those people were involved. An 87-page manifesto was posted on social media, pages and pages of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric and instructions for an attack.
ARDERN: This can now only be described as a terrorist attack.
COREN: One that was partially broadcast on social media, streamed from a helmet camera showing a gunman on a killing spree.
MIKE BUSH, POLICE COMMISSIONER, NEW ZEALAND: I have seen social media footage, it's very disturbing. It shouldn't be in the public domain and we're doing everything we can to remove it.
COREN: Facebook says it removed the video after it was alerted to it by New Zealand police. As authorities continue to piece together how such a brutal attack could have taken place in tolerant, prosperous remote New Zealand, officials have made clear that the hatred that may have driven the attackers will not be allowed to endure.
ARDERN: Many of those who are being directly affected by the shooting may be migrants to New Zealand. They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.
COREN: Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
CURNOW: Thanks, Anna. So it is now 5:00 am in the morning in Christchurch in New Zealand, almost dawn on Saturday morning. Journalist Blis Savidge has been up all night, all night outside one of the main hospitals in Christchurch. And she joins us now.
Blis, so it's 5:00 am where you are, just talk us through the mood, the feeling, the sense of the city coming to terms, this country coming to terms with this brutal terror attack.
BLIS SAVIDGE, CNN JOURNALIST: Yes. I mean, I mean I think before I was -- when we were here kind of in the middle of the night, you know, we arrived just after midnight it was quiet and eerie. But now that it's starting to pick up a little bit. It's 5:00 in the morning. People are starting to wake up, go to work. People are really, you know, waking up and realizing that this is a terrible reality that they're now in.
So what we're seeing a lot more workers, we're seeing some nurses and doctors start to trickle into the hospital, still heavy guards around. You see a lot more police cars moving around. You still hear a lot of helicopters going around. Of course, just in a few hours, the 28- year-old man who has been charged with murder will make his first appearance in the district court. And there's expected to a lot more press conferences and a lot more information tomorrow.
CURNOW: So we're expecting to see him. What do you think is going to play out in this court?
SAVIDGE: I'm not sure exactly. I'm not even sure if he's going to be there. I know it's going to be very hectic. We're going to go try to head over there after this, to see if we can get more information, and see what it's like over there. And this is certainly something that New Zealand has never had to deal with before. So it's going to be interesting to see how they handle that.
[12:05:01] Even keeping an inmate who, somebody who has been charged with such a crime. I mean, it's going to be a first for New Zealand so it's going to be really interesting to see how they handle that.
CURNOW: Yes, it certainly will. And CNN will be there. More importantly, let's talk about some of the survivors, the wounded who are being treated overnight where you are. Are you getting any details on how some of them are doing?
SAVIDGE: Still not a lot of information here. No names have officially been released. We know that there's more than 40 that were injured, that were taken to the hospital behind us, Christchurch Hospital, which is less than a mile from where the first mosque attack was. We've heard there's some injuries ranging from minor to, of course, there are still very critical at this time.
CURNOW: And those who were killed. What do we know? Do we know anything about those victims?
SAVIDGE: There's been no official reports on that, unfortunately. Hopefully early this morning as we have another news conference, we'll start learning more about these people and about who they were and tragically, you know, lost their lives in this senseless act.
CURNOW: So just talk to us through what happened. Friday prayers, do we know how many people were in these mosques? We know that just under 50 people were slaughtered, a lot more injured. So take us through on the developments and what we know might have happened.
SAVIDGE: Yes. So what we're hearing is police officers were received the first calls of an active shooter around 1:40 pm. It was a Friday, that's a time when a lot of Muslims are -- will be at prayers, so it was a lot of people at the mosque. Some reports say maybe as many as 500 people. And certainly like you said, just under 50 at that one mosque and then seven people at the second mosque, a lot of people.
And then, you know, you always try to look for the good. There's not lot of good in this story. But what you do have is a lot of local people, people who are nearby neighbors just helping any way that they could, helping to stop bleeding. Helping to pick up people and put them in their own vehicles, to transport them to the hospital, to get them help as soon as they could. So in situations like this, you can definitely see the best comes out of people even in the worst times.
CURNOW: Yes, certainly does. Thanks for being there for us, there in Christchurch, Blis Savidge. It was a busy day ahead of you. Keep us posted if there's any more information on this police investigation as well. Thank you so much, Blis. Now cities around the world are actually taking extra precautions to keep their Muslim community safe. Our Nina dos Santos is following developments from London.
Nina, what more can you tell us about that?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN JOURNALIST: Yes. Well, here in the UK we have extra security stepped up around mosques and various religious sites across the UK. Remember that the UK is also a country that has seen the specter of this type of right-wing terrorism on the doors of its mosques. Back in 2017 we saw that attack on the North London And Finsbury Park Mosque, with a man, again, with (inaudible) sort of rhetoric to the main suspects in this tragic incident in New Zealand, deciding to drive at the crowds as they were emerging from Friday prayers, about a year and half ago with tragic consequence in the loss of the life of one elderly man there, a worshiper, at that Finsbury Park mosque.
And that at the time was deemed as an active terrorism. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said who himself is practicing Muslim, has said that we should be under no illusion that what happened in New Zealand today was also an act of terrorism, should be treated as such. And the only way to fight terrorism, be it from the right or from anywhere else, is by standing together in solidarity.
Here's just a snippet of what he told CNN just an hour or so ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, LONDON MAYOR: What these terrorists hate is our pluralism, our diversity, the fact that we celebrate each other rather than being scared of each other. And, you know, all of us who share these sorts of progressive values need to realize that these terrorists hate us. Best way to show solidarity to those in Christchurch, the best way to respond is to carry on living lives that we lead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: Well, obviously, as I was saying in the previous hour too, Robyn, you know, the United Kingdom is starting to try to get to grips with the rising risk that these right-wing groups are causing, especially at a time like the deep division like the time we face in this country with Brexit.
We have many political marchers taking to the streets. Again, the right-wing terrorism aspect there is also present in the minds of police officers who are policing those large-scale events. And in fact just over the last year and a half there have been four extreme right-wing alleged plots that have been thwarted by the authorities, versus 13 alleged Islamist plots that were thwarted over that period to give you an idea that this is growing risk for this country. And such a growing risk that this is a country which shares information with New Zealand as part of the Five Eyes information-sharing accord. The UK has decided to bring the right-wing, the responsibilities for policing this, and monitoring this threat under the specter of the domestic security services.
[12:10:12] So out of the police, but under the gaze of MI5, so concerned are they about this. That means that it's on par with the kind of level of threat that we're seeing with the resurgent potential IRA at the moment. You remember that we saw letter bombs across some key transport hubs in London just last week.
So this is an example of a country that is trying its best in the wake of this to make sure people are safe. If they go to Friday prayers here in London, it's about 4:00 pm UK Time and people will be observing in mosques across country. And also France is also on high alert too.
I want to point out that there are many leaders around the world that have expressed condolences for what's happened in New Zealand, in solidarity. Not least from Donald Trump himself. The prime minister of the UK, the chancellor of Germany and the Royal Family because of course New Zealand is a key and information part of the commonwealth, which is why the people of the United Kingdom feel so strongly about what's happened today. Robyn?
CURNOW: OK, that perspective there from London. Nina dos Santos, thanks so much. We have to leave it at that.
So coming up here at CNN, protests amid the prayers. Muslims are gathering for Friday prayers around the world. And also speaking out against Friday's attack and some are blaming rising Islamophobia worldwide. We're live in Istanbul for an important conversation, that's next.
CURNOW: Muslims around the world are condemning to today's mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Protesters gathered in Istanbul today to denounce those attacks. Turkisk President Erdogan called the killings an example of "rising racism and Islamophobia."
Well, Arwa Damon is standing by in Istanbul and joins us more. Just talk us through those images, those protests we saw. There's a lot of anger but, of course, also a lot of heartache.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Robyn, and perhaps better categorized as being sort of a stance of unity with the victims of that horrific killing. It took place in Istanbul at one of the main mosques here in the city following Friday prayers, where worshipers held something of a funeral, a commemoration for those who had lost their lives.
Look, this attack has shaken people, no matter what their religion to the very core, but especially across the Muslim world because of what you were mentioning there. This sense of rising Islamophobia that so many people who you talk to, but also leaders within the Muslim and Arab world will refer to as well. And in fact that is what we heard from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was blaming rising Islamophobia for this sort of violence. [12:15:01] And he went on to say that, you know, Islamophobia with this attacked has crossed, what he said was, the line of individual harassment and reached the level of mass murder. He then went on to say and call on the entire world, but especially, Robyn, Western countries, to take measures against the perilous course of events which threatens all of mankind.
And there is a sense that perhaps more needs to be done, certain countries leaders need to do more, to try to stem this hateful rhetoric that is out there, whether it's anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, or anti- any sort of religion that does exist, because we are seeing these levels of hatred, really fester and spread so rapidly, especially in this digital day and age.
CURNOW: Yes. And the sun is setting where you are in Istanbul, we know it soon will be rising in Christchurch. And there's an interconnectedness here, particularly when it comes to the sort of age of viral terrorism. And you've seen it all too well in your coverage.
DAMON: And we continue to see it, Robyn. And that is what is really so difficult to try to gain a true understanding of. There is so much hatred that is out there, whether it already existed and just being amplified by social media, or weather it is a relatively new phenomenon, that has really been growing with the rise of the right, the rise of this anti-immigrant, very public rhetoric rise of anti- Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti- any sort of religion, ethnicity or minority rhetoric that is really existing out there. That is so easily capitalized on, and manipulated, whether it's by an individual or by a terrorist organization.
And, you know, on the drive over to the bureau for these live shots, I was talking to the taxi driver who was so devastated by what had taken place. And even he himself was saying, "Look, we need to be very careful not to allow this kind of hateful rhetoric, this kind of horrific violence to further divide us, to divide populations, to allow -- we shouldn't allow ourselves to succumb to this kind of fear that is generated invariably following these kinds of attacks."
But that really is, to a certain degree, perhaps a burden of responsibility on all of us to go out there, to stand against hateful rhetoric, to stand against hateful activity and to try to build bridges as opposed to allow this hatred and this violence to then circulate onward and create an even greater ripple effect that then is going to lend itself to more hatred, fear and violence.
CURNOW: And we heard from the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. And she said that many of those victims could have been like to be refuges or migrant. There was some reporting that some of them might have even come from Syria. Either way, no matter where they original came from, they saw New Zealand as home and the prime minister said that they were New Zealander, that that was home.
So that also seemed to touch a chord with her. That this had happened in her country, to specifically this group of people who had found refuge there.
DAMON: And that speech that she gave, Robyn, was just so powerful.
CURNOW: It was, wasn't it?
DAMON: She was talking about how welcoming New Zealand is and just how important it is to not allow this kind of violence to change the way that a country like New Zealand is so accepting as she was putting it, of immigrant, of those who are fleeing persecution and violence elsewhere or who just want to come to New Zealand to try to rebuild their lives for whatever the reason may be.
And as we've also been hearing throughout the course of this reporting, as horrific as this violence is, you do see in the wake of these kinds of attacks, a certain sense of unity, of people coming together where it's on the ground to try to ration and assist the victims of the violence or the survivors of it, or whether it's even on perhaps a global scale where we do hear all of this rhetoric, of condemnation, where we do see to a certain degree, people coming together to condemn the violence.
But I think what is especially critical right now on every single level, Robyn, is that how do we move this unity that we see being built in the wake of the violence into something that is more sustainable, that is actually going to prevent this type of incident, this type of death and murder from occurring once again?
CURNOW: And as you saying that's a call to prayer, that bold image of Istanbul behind you, a city that represents the coming together of East and West. Arwa Damon, thanks so much for your reporting.
So as we mentioned, one of the shooters is believed to have posted a long manifesto on Twitter. Just before the attacks on the mosque. So let's get more from our Justice Correspondent Jessica Schneider, who joins us now live in Washington.
So this was a long, and I don't even want to call it a manifesto because it was a diatribe.
[12:20:02] It was just a long, lot of hate. And much of it needs to be ignored. But at the same time, there are sign posts in that and that there are warnings. And I think you just need to give us an explanation of what was in there this we need to hear and also what we do not need to hear because we're not going to tell you all.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. And this was really a white supremacist rant in large part.
CURNOW: Yes, it was.
SCHNEIDER: It was 87 pages. And we got some of the motivations as well as some of the logistics here, so let me lay it out for you. So the author of this only identifying himself as a 28-year-old from Australia. And he says quite clearly that he has been planning this attack, thinking about this attack for two years. And specifically this attack in Christchurch for past three months.
He claims he didn't carry this out for fame, but instead the word that he uses repeatedly throughout this is "revenge." So he cites two instances in particular that started him on this path to this attack, dating back to 2017. One was the terror attack in Stockholm, Sweden where a truck plowed into a crowd of people killing five people. The author of this manifesto says it was the death in particular of a young girl in that attack that resonated with him. And since he took it really as an attack on his own people, and he vowed to retaliate.
The second trigger that's laid out here, was the 2017 French General Election, when of course Marine Le Pen, who had ties to the Nationalist Party lost to Emmanuel Macron. So those were the two seemingly triggering events here. And, you know, of course, this manifesto in general is filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim ideas as well.
And this writer actually talks as well about gun control in the United States, saying that he wanted to use a gun to commit this attack to really further inflame the debate in the United States over the Second Amendment.
And, Robyn, what's especially chilling here as we've talked about how New Zealand was the last place you would think attack like this would happen. The last mass shooting there happened in 1990. The killer there, in this rant does talk about that as well, saying that he wanted to carry out this attack in particular in New Zealand to show the world that really nowhere in the world is safe. Very chilling words there. Robyn?
CURNOW: Yes. I mean, it's kind of makes your blood boil on so many levels. A lot of this stuff is unacceptable, nothing should trigger somebody to do this. There's no excuse. But what is interesting is also how the language and the discourse that is taking place here in the United States, in the Trump administration, is certainly playing in to a lot of this so-called manifesto.
SCHNEIDER: Right. And there was one instance in this manifesto were this gunman talked about President Trump. It was only brief. But, you know, he did talk about the fact that the President has not necessarily outright rejected some of these maybe white supremacist or nationalist ideas. So the gunman very -- a little bit, you know, alluding to the President, but then also saying, "I don't like the President as a leader."
So, I mean, there has been a lot of this. We've seen domestic terrorism here in this country, tick up. We talked to the FBI this morning. They said that they have 900 open cases looking into possible domestic terrorists. And they've also made 25 arrests dealing with domestic terrorism in just the past quarter. That's the largest uptick in one quarter that they've seen in the last few years.
So is it tied? Perhaps. What we do know that we have seen lot of this rhetoric, anti-immigrant in particular coming from the President, and many people around this country. Robyn?
CURNOW: Jessica Schneider there, thank you for that update.
So coming up here at CNN, a video believed to show this mosque attack is spreading online. So we'll tell you how social media providers are trying to get it off-lined, are they doing enough? Have they done enough? We'll have that conversation.
[12:25:48]: So in New Zealand, devastation, Friday prayers, a time for peace and reflection instead turned to terror. Mass shootings of two mosques in central Christchurch have left dozens dead and dozens more wounded, leaving so many families to pick up the pieces.
CNN is not running a video that appears to show this mosque attack. It hit the web as a live stream and apparently this was made by the attacker as he was carrying out this heinous crime. And even though social media companies say they're working to suppress the video, it continues to spread online.
So let's talk to Samuel Burke, he is standing by with a closer look at what is going on. Samuel, hi.
So that's the horrifying thing. You can still view this video. We urge people not to because I think they become part of the attack, really if you talk about it. But why is it still out there?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, social media has played such a vicious cycle in this whole attack as you've been laying out with reporters over the past hours of these programs, Robyn.
We've heard about how social media influenced the attacker. But clearly it was also part of his plan, the fact that he used a body camera. He didn't just pick up a phone and start live broadcasting on Facebook, the fact that he was using a body camera which inevitably had to be synced with a phone to live broadcast, shows just what a part of the planning it was for this attacker.
I just want to put up on the screen exactly what we know about the role social media played in this attack. Starting with the fact that Facebook is saying that they quickly took down this video. But quickly really doesn't mean anything since Facebook won't tell us if they took it down during the live streaming which lasted 17 minutes on Facebook or if they took it down after.
On top of that, we can still find this video on all of major platforms, Robyn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter. One account I saw had 700,000 followers and they were sharing it there. And while people will say, well, don't share the video, even just viewing the video as you reference, well that tells the algorithms that they should spread it to more people. So if you're watching this online, you might be helping to spread radicalism.
And finally, we saw a TV news broadcaster that showed this video basically in full, the raw video of it. And what happens when something like occurs, if that video is posted on social media as it has been on Facebook, is it confuses the algorithms which should be automatically taking this content down.
And we'll see the banners and the logos, much like we have here, even though we're of course not showing this on CNN. But you will see these types of graphics, and say, well, it's a journalism institution, maybe this should be up, maybe has a journalistic purpose. That means the video stays up even longer and that means that billions of people could see it because of course these platforms have billions of people as well as billions of dollars in revenue.
CURNOW: How responsible, how culpable are these companies when we talk about corporate responsibility? But also the fact as they say, listen, we, you know, we blame the algorithms. We've got 30,000 people trying to fight all of this content. But are they really doing enough?
BURKE: Well, Robyn, these platforms go to advertisers all the time and say we can influence people's minds. We can change people's minds. So clearly they do know how powerful their platforms are. This is how they're making so much money.
Now if Facebook and someone from the company were sitting right here, I'm sure they would tell you of course they want this video down. And I would take their word at face value. But the question really is, given the huge amount of money these social media companies are raking in, is it enough what they've done? And the obvious answer is no.
If this video was up for 17 minutes or possibly even more, hours, and we see it on other places, copies of it, clearly they're not doing enough. So Facebook says they have 30,000 people looking at this around the globe, 24 hours a day with all the money that they're making, it certainly begs the question that there shouldn't be 60,000 people looking at these types of videos.
CURNOW: Yes. It's just a repeat victimization, isn't it? Because just imagine those families who can still see their family members being killed. I mean that is just unacceptable. And certainly no doubt some hard questions being asked of these social media companies.
[12:30:03] Samuel Burke, thanks so much for laying it all out. OK.
So coming up after the break, our special coverage continues over this terror attack, this devastating terror attack in New Zealand. We'll bring you up to date to all the latest developments. And again ask the serious and hard questions, and ask what drives extremism, which ends with devastating consequences like we're seeing now.
CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow, thanks so much for joining us. You're all watching CNN. And we are all continuing to stay on top of the latest news on this mass shooting New Zealand.
So this is what we know right now, three people are in police custody, one of them charged with murder in the killings of dozens of people at two separate mosques on Friday. We also know dozens of other people are wounded, are currently in hospital. Authorities say they do not believe there are other suspects. But they added that the investigation is still ongoing. Now, the mass slaughter of innocent people has shocked the usually peaceful nation. New Zealand's Prime Minister called it a carefully planned terrorist attack. Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand will always be a place that values compassion, diversity and kindness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARDERN: For those of you are watching at home tonight and questioning how this could have happened here. We, New Zealand, we were not a target because we're a safe harbor for those who hate. We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we're an enclave for extremism. We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: While the gunman streamed this gruesome attack live on social media. CNN's Anna Coren had to view these disturbing images. And now she's going to describe for us the horror that she saw unfolding inside that mosque. Here's Anna.
COREN: The gunman, an Australian citizen in his late 20s, had a camera strapped to his helmet. He drives to the mosque, he gets out of his car, he picks up several semiautomatic weapons. He walks into the mosque through gates, starts firing at people standing outside, walks in those front doors and just mows down every single person in his path. You can hear these people screaming, moaning, and crying out for help. He reloads in a corridor, walks back out and his killing spree continues.
He is methodical. He is calculated. He is extremely calm. There wasn't an urgency. There was no panic. From what you could see in the way that he moves. He then walked outside the mosque on the pavement, starts firing in either direction at people who have obviously come out after hearing this rapid gunfire.
[12:35:04] He reloads at his car, walks back inside the mosque and continues his massacre.
There were bodies lying everywhere, dozens off bodies lying everywhere. And he walks up to those bodies at a point-blank range, executes each and every one of them. He then walks out, sees a woman on the pavement, he shoots her, walks up, fires at her head, and then gets into his car, drives off. He's firing out the windscreen. He's firing out the passenger window.
This is the behavior obviously of a madman, of a deranged man. And he's just talking normally, he laughs at one point. And then he reaches a pedestrian crossing and stops, allowing these pedestrians to walk across the road.
We presume from there, he is then driven to the second mosque. The killing spree lasts six minutes in total the video that was streamed live on Facebook went for 17 minutes. The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has asked that this video not be shared and not be shown. Police have reinforced this because it obviously is so gruesome, so graphic. It is not something that people want to see. And it is also not a message that they want to be spread.
CURNOW: Certainly not. Anna Coren there.
So now I want to bring in our security analyst who has studied terror attacks for decades now. Glenn Schoen joins us from the Hague in the Netherlands. Glenn just listening to Anna play out in detail what she saw on the video and she used the words methodical, calculated, urgency, there was no panic. What do hear when you hear those words?
GLENN SCHOEN, SECURITY AND TERRORISM EXPERT: I hear somebody who was strained. I hear somebody who has a clearly planned-out pathway. So it means in a sense of forms of reconnaissance, maybe not within the building but what he might expect there, what kind of people he might encounter, what kind of groups of people he might encounter and certainly a cold-bloodedness in terms of focus.
We see this unfortunately a lot of terrorist attacks. We see it particularly with people who have either engaged in violence before, or have been trained or self-trained for these kinds of things, and the hard lack of emotion clearly plays too also here, unfortunately a competency, as a terrorist in terms of being effective.
CURNOW: Yes. She talked about him laughing at one stage and we also know that he was playing music. What does that tell you?
SCHOEN: It says probably a relief of pressure moment. And as a result that he probably felt fulfilled by what he was doing. And that may well be an expression of it, sort of form of self-satisfaction if you will.
CURNOW: The fact that he went back and assassinated in cold blood those few he had just mowed down, he went back and ensured that they were dead. What does that tell you?
SCHOEN: That it's possible here and I don't know if this was the first or second mosque, and I have not seen the film myself. But that maybe that he wanted to check that at that moment law enforcement was not coming or no immediate response was coming, so that he knew he had more time to finish his plan.
And again, we're going to have to hear the details from the suspect himself in court hearings, but it looks like a very well thought out of predetermined plan with clearly somebody emotionally capable of doing such a terrible thing.
CURNOW: And the fact that he live streamed it as our correspondents said, he had helmet cam on and it went for 17 minutes. That also is he very indicative of the sense that he wanted to get something more out of this than just mowing down these innocent people. SCHOEN: Absolutely. I think, you know, he wanted to show the deed itself. We've seen for four or five years now, terrorist scoops the number of countries used some form of camera, live streaming or right thereafter going on to social media and live streaming, using a whole variety of platforms for that purpose. And clearly on the first take is to have a bigger impact, to show the actual deed, to show it as evidence of what this person did.
Secondarily, you see with a lot of these people that also they see it as a way of obtaining personal fame, personal stature, personal satisfaction with what they've done. And this is effectively the evidence of it. And they hope by doing so to have an even greater effect.
CURNOW: You talk about a history of live streaming or at least videos. How similar do you think someone like this and why its extremists to an ISIS member?
[12:40:00] SCHOEN: Not that far off when we look at this behavior. We've seen a number of countries, including in the United States where there have been coordination with people of the outside or people themselves pre-planning this, putting a piece of footage out, putting a statement out or right before the attack, and in some cases continuing it on.
It's still fairly rare. This is the longest I've heard of. It definitely sounds like this is one of the most horrific impact, given the huge number of casualties that we're talking about here. But it's also of course for adherence of this kind of ideology, a way to propagate their cause, to sort of show others the way, and that's part of the sad thing of this. Of course, in the end, he's trying to stimulate a larger community to do similar things. And hopefully there will be some level of effectiveness here in getting this thing not spread beyond the few people who really need it, namely prosecutors and police tactical officers.
CURNOW: Yes. He did seem to idolized (ph) some previous mass shooters. There are similarities with Islamic extremism and also white national extremism on his rhetoric example in Norway, as well. That also plays into -- particularly this, the diatribe, this manifesto that lays out these very ugly ideologies and thoughts.
SCHOEN: Yes. I think, you know, he's trying to lay down a context for why he did this. And also sort of trying to show followers this is the way forward. This is the reasoning behind it. This is why you should gather yourselves behind my cause, and this is how together were going to win the war.
We called that, you know, when we're looking at the extreme right, this goes all the way back to the 1920s, in the book "Mein Kampf" by Hitler should've laying out, this is my manifesto and how I see the future. And we've seen people on the extreme right wing seeing do this time and time again, including Anders Breivik. Being very insidious about how they explain what they're doing, what they're doing it for and where they hope developments to go. CURNOW: Yes, terrifying historical context there. The fact that he survived, that he did not shoot himself, that he didn't -- he wasn't taken out by police, that fact that he's going to be in court in the next few hours, at Saturday morning in New Zealand. Is that success or a failure from his perspective?
SCHOEN: Well, we're not sure yet. With the number of right wing extremists, we've seen there's not necessarily willingness to die or necessarily a part of the plan to deliberately commit suicide at the end of an action, or indeed the action itself, for instance by carrying a bomb on their person and exploding it. We've see that a lot more groups with a very pure not so much in political whether a religious forger. And in this phase, of course, with the extreme rights, he has more of a political agenda in that sense.
Of course you may assume that his vision of, for instance, Christianity or crusaders or allusions to that as we're seeing in his manifesto that has an important part of it. Or perhaps he's hoping that in prison, as Breivik has proven, he will continue to be a symbol, he will continue to receive adoration even for what he did.
So from his perspective it's not necessarily a negative, either in the planning or the execution that he survived.
CURNOW: Glenn Schoen, thank you so much for all of your expert opinion on this very disturbing details. Thank you so much for joining us here at CNN.
SCHOEN: Thank you.
CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow. There'll be much more after the break.
[12:46:32] CURNOW: Welcome back. I want to recap our top story at this hour. We know at least 49 people have been killed at a shooting rampage, a terror attack at two mosques in Christchurch.
So to talk about this more is Abbas Barzegar, a Director of Research and Advocacy at the Council on American Islamic Relations, joining us from our Washington, D.C. Bureau. Your thoughts this hour on this terrible terror attack in New Zealand targeting the Muslim community?
ABBAS BARZEGAR, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS: Well like so many others around the world, I stand in solidarity and complete mourning of the victims and their families, and wish and pray them the best in terms of strength and fortitude during these hard times. But my thoughts in general are that I hope that we take this moment not to focus on this one murder and this one killer, or upon some kind of, you know, random discussion about hate and about you know intolerance. But rather focus directly upon the nature of white supremacists, extremist ideology and where that comes from, how it can be challenged, how it can be mitigated.
This is not an isolated incident. This is not one person with, you know, with some kind of mental disease. This is a deliberate act of ideological violence that we need to really challenge directly.
CURNOW: And how do you go about challenging that then?
BARZEGAR: Well the first thing is you have to understand the problem, and the problem is that this ideology of hate has the same DNA wherever you see it. Hate has the same DNA, and by that I mean that the same mentality of understanding immigrants as invaders, the same mentality that says there's a clash of civilizations, the same mentality that says people of different religions, different backgrounds can't get along and are destined to some kind of existential crisis is absolutely wrong.
We have to sniff it out, we have to smell it and we have to identify it. It exists in our politics, it exists in our culture, it exists in our media. And as a collective community we have to take back our public space, we have to take back our schools, we have to take back our areas of education in the public space so that we can teach the right messages, and we can make sure that we recognize this for the disease that it is, the same way that we have come to recognize racism, anti-Semitism, we have to recognize anti-Muslim, anti- immigrant ideology and we have to put an end to it.
CURNOW: And how do you put an end it?
BARZEGAR: Well the first thing is, we need leadership from our elected representatives, we need leadership from our major icons in culture, in business, in society. And one of the ways that they can do that is to force Western governments and governments around the world to monitor these examples of hate, of hate crimes, of hate biases of incidences. We need to track the funding, the network of those of these organizations. And we need to expose them and marginalize them. We need to put them back in the caves that they me from, and we need to, you know, cut their sources of funding.
So the first thing that we can do is increase our funding in Congress, in United States for example, increase our funding and capacity to even track and monitor hate crimes. There are states around the country like Indiana that doesn't have hate crimes legislation. And there is a murder of a young Muslim man there, his life taken away and three witnesses corroborate that he was being slurred and attacked as a Muslim, being called ethnic and religious profanities, and slurs and then he was shot to death.
He was shot to death. And there was not -- there's not even hate crime legislation there. And the media hasn't even been able to pick it up. So we have to increase the ability for local municipalities to recognize this. We have increase to training there. And we have to strengthen them to challenges problem in partnership with us.
[12:50:09] CURNOW: Have you ever been to Christchurch New Zealand?
BARZEGAR: I've never been there and but I have --
CURNOW: And that's what interesting is that there seems to be an across the world what took place in such peaceful small nation in the southern part of the world is really touching us, touching the heart strings of so many people around the world. Because they feel -- it feels, by what you're saying, that many communities are seeing similarities, patterns and that there's a globalization to this very localized event.
BARZEGAR: Look, I will tell you that what happened there, is no different than what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, in Charleston, South Carolina, and I myself was witness to a suicide bombing in Kuwait in 2015 by ISIS, and the DNA is the same. Hate ideology uses a Trojan horse clash civilizations mentality that describes immigrants as invaders.
And when I hear my president and when I hear my administration and congressional leaders discussing people who are coming to this country as invaders, it scares me. It scares me quite frankly that we need to be able to recognize that as a dog whistle to people like this in the world. It's quite sad that this individual holds up as his heroes, people like President Trump. It's in the manifesto. People like Anders Breivik, it's in the manifesto. Dylann Roof, it's in the manifesto.
If you read this manifesto, it is a textbook play out of the Turner diaries, out of Anders Breivik's manifesto, and there's a similarity there, it is quite frightening. And we have to teach ourselves to recognize it and put an end to it. We have to ask our social media platforms, our radio airwaves, our politicians, to do things to help us mitigate this risk.
CURNOW: An impassioned call, appreciate you we joining us here on CNN. Abbas Barzegar, thank you very, very much.
BARZEGAR: Thank you very much, Robyn.
CURNOW: OK. So coming up, the Bangladeshi Cricket Team yet was about to attend Friday prayers. There were moments away from confronting that gunman as he begun shooting. You know, one of the player, one of the cricket players says, they are extremely lucky to escape with their lives. We'll have that story next.
[12:55:00] CURNOW: It has been one of New Zealand's darkest days. Those were the words from the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, expressing shock and sadness at Friday's attacks. Now New Zealand's Islamic community is extremely close-knit and the country is relatively small. So the effects of this attack can be felt everywhere. Sally Round is a reporter from radio New Zealand describes the impact this has had.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SALLY ROUND, REPORTER, RADIO NEW ZEALAND (via phone): Walking on the streets this evening, just taking in the news, you can see people bowing their heads, looking over their phones, people stopping and chatting. New Zealand is a small place and everyone will know somebody who has been affected by what's been happening in Christchurch, whether they know somebody who is in the mosque, somebody injured, children that were in those lockdown situations in schools throughout the afternoon. Everyone will have heard a story or know somebody involved. So yes, it is definitely a shock for all the country.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CURNOW: Sally Round there. Now the Bangladesh Cricket Team is on tour in New Zealand and they narrowly, narrowly escaped this mosque attack. The team just arrived before Friday prayers, and was about to leave their tour bus when the gunshots rang out. Well Alex Thomas has more on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: Bangladesh's cricket has arrived at the Deans Avenue Mosque minutes after the shooting began. Gunshots were still going off and blood-soaked victims were staggering out onto the street. They felt trapped on their team bus and escaped by fleeing across South Hagley Park on foot to the oval where they were due to play the third match of their test cricket series against New Zealand this weekend. Understandably, that game has been called off.
Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted, "Entire team got saved from active shooters, frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers."
New Zealand is most famous for its love of rugby. And the all-blacks sent out their sympathies on Twitter, using the Maori phrase, "kia kaha" or be strong. One of the biggest stars, Sonny Bill Williams converted to Islam a decade ago and posted this tearful social media message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONNY BILL WILLIAMS: Just -- Just, you know, sending out my bless inshallah, everyone that's been killed today in Christchurch, your families, you can take just -- yes just sending my thoughts to your loved ones.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: A minute's silence was held in the Super Rugby game between the Chiefs and the Hurricanes as the Sports World joined the rest of the planet in mourning this tragedy. Alex Thomas, CNN.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CURNOW: Thank you so much for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow. This is CNN and our coverage of the shooting in New Zealand continues next hour with Hala Gorani.