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New Zealand Mosque Attacks Suspect Appears in Court; Suspected Shooter Purportedly Posted Anti-Muslim Manifesto; Facebook Alerted to Suspected Shooter's Live Stream by Police; Interview with Bharath Ganesh, Oxford Internet Institute, on Weaponizing Social Media. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired March 16, 2019 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
IVAN WATSON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, I'm Ivan Watson in Christchurch, New Zealand.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): I'm George Howell. We continue our breaking news coverage at this hour.
The massacre that played out in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We're learning more about the main suspect. Police raided a home believed to be connected to the attacks in Dunedin, where authorities say the suspect lived.
The suspect appeared in court on Saturday. The 28-year-old, Brenton Tarrant, had a smirk as he was charged with one count of murder. More charges will be filed later. Two other people are in custody. Police will determine if others were directly involved in the massacre.
Overall, 49 people were killed in the attacks. Dozens wounded; 39 people remain in the hospital, 11 in intensive care. Tarrant will remain in custody until the next court appearance in April.
Police say Tarrant resisted arrest. You see the video where police had taken him down. He had explosives in his vehicle and the officers were in great danger to keep the community safe. The prime minister gave more details about the arrest you see right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: I want to acknowledge firstly that the police responded immediately to the call that they received relating to the attack. The individual charged was in custody 36 minutes from receiving the first call.
The offender was mobile; there were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: And CNN is live this hour in New Zealand. Our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson leading our coverage in Christchurch outside the hospital.
WATSON: Thank you, George. I'm in front of Christchurch Hospital, where, as of this morning, there were still 11 victims of the mosque shootings in intensive care and many more also being treated.
We have seen people, well wishers from other parts of New Zealand, traveling to this city in a show of solidarity for the victims after what has been described as the deadliest attack in New Zealand's history.
On the other side of the park where I'm standing in this small city, well wishers have erected a long row of flowers also showing support for the many dead and wounded in something that has, frankly, shocked many people in this country, some of whom have told me these types of mass shootings are things that happen oceans away from us, not in our small country of around 5 million people, a country with a reputation for peace and stability.
What some New Zealand politicians have suggested maybe that could have been a motive for why the suspected terrorist carried out these attacks here. In fact, the prime minister of New Zealand has made it very clear that there will be changes in gun control laws in this country in the wake of these terror attacks.
Take a listen to Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARDERN: Undoubtedly New Zealanders will question how someone could have come to have been in possession of weapons of this nature. One of the issues we are facing is the guns that were used in this case appear to have been modified. That is a challenge that police have been facing and that's a challenge we will look to address in changing our laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: New Zealand police say there are some 1.2 million firearms in New Zealand, in a country of around 5 million people. We can expect some debate about this issue perhaps in the days and weeks ahead.
The prime minister also had some words to say about the violent extremism that is believed to have inspired and motivated these deadly attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARDERN: I want to be very clear, though --
ARDERN: -- that our intelligence community and police are focused on extremism of every kind. Given global indicators around far right extremism, our intelligence community has been stepping up their investigations in this area.
The individual charged with murder had not come to the attention of the intelligence community nor the police for extremism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Now the New Zealand police have arrested three people in connection with the attacks. One of them has been identified and appeared in court this morning, charged with murder, identified as 28- year-old Brenton Tarrant from Australia, who was a visitor here in New Zealand.
Now to learn more about this, I'm going to turn now to Glenn Schoen. He is a terrorism expert coming to us live from The Hague.
Good to see you, Glenn.
What can you tell us about what we are learning about the first suspect, identified as Brenton Tarrant, who had apparently quite a substantial presence on social media?
GLENN SCHOEN, TERRORISM EXPERT: We are learning a lot in a lot of different buckets -- personal background, social media, online activity, connectivity with other people. We heard reporting in the last half-day and on CNN and on HN, one of these extremist channels where people interact nationally and internationally.
We are hearing more about the analyses and looking at the manifesto and where he got the ideas from, and the context of his act as he sees it and as he's trying to explain it to the world is coming from, all the way through to the operational preparations on how the actual attack was carried out and the idea of livestreaming this thing.
Well thought out from start to finish. So there are several areas I think where we are coming to grips with how this thing took place. On the other hand, I think we are slowly moving into that phase that you see in the aftermath of a lot of the incidents, of grappling with it as human beings, as a community, with the grief and support and the outpouring of what we can do.
I think very shortly we will turn to the next phase and then ask what can we practically do to prevent another tragedy like this?
WATSON: One issue coming up here is the suspect, the 28-year-old Australian, did not have a criminal record neither in New Zealand nor in Australia, though he did have a legal permit to purchase guns. And he was caught with at least five firearms and two improvised explosive devices.
He has been linked to the lengthy manifesto that he appeared to publish online, described as a right-wing manifesto.
Is this white nationalist terrorism?
SCHOEN: I think it clearly is. If you look at what the target was and how he set up that target and the message that was in the actual -- not just the act of terror but also what he did around it to try to get his viewpoints out, to make sure that manifesto got spread, to put it in extreme right-wing corner and whatever you call it, white nationalist or extreme right-wing practicality.
It is coming from that faction. It's coming from that background that it clearly has, the kind of purpose we see in a lot of right-wing terrorist attacks, which is to polarize and to divide a community, saying there is us and there is them and try to create civic friction.
In a lot of their strategic thinking, they hope with these singular, very violent acts to spark the equivalent of civil war, of a racial war which, in their collective view will lead to a new situation in which the right wing will prevail.
WATSON: Glenn, Australian police tell CNN they are questioning and working with the suspect's family in Australia. CNN has also learned that Turkish investigators are looking into his previous visits to Turkey.
What exactly will investigators be trying to do, to kind of fill out the profile of this suspect?
SCHOEN: If you are looking for a timeline and where has this person --
SCHOEN: -- been over the last few years and that is as exact as possible, who was the person in touch with over there in both the physical world and the virtual world.
What we found with a number of right-wing extremists in the Western world on different continents is a fair number of these people have gone through an emotional roller coaster, if you will, where first they align with one particular --
WATSON: Glenn, I apologize. We are having some technical issues with our connection. I'm going to have to end our discussion there. I'm so sorry.
That is Glenn Schoen, a terrorism expert on the line, a shaky line from The Hague. Thank you for your insight there.
I'm broadcasting from Christchurch, New Zealand, not far from one of the mosques that was the scene of so much carnage on Friday afternoon during Friday prayers.
Back to you, George, at CNN Center.
HOWELL: Thank you, Ivan.
We are learning more information on one of the victims. Haji Daoud Nabi was born in Afghanistan and moved to Christchurch in 1977 as an asylum seeker. He was apparently running about 10 minutes late for the service and the attack was going on when he arrived at the mosque.
He leaves behind four sons and one daughter. Three of his children were born in New Zealand.
The New Zealand police superintendent Naila Hassan took to Facebook to assure the Muslim community that everything is being done to protect their safety and faith. As a Muslim herself, Hasan said she was horrified by what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAILA HASSAN, NEW ZEALAND POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: As a Muslim and as a leader in the New Zealand police, I am horrified about the events that unfolded in Christchurch yesterday. I want our Muslim and Christchurch community, our brothers and sisters, to know we share your grief and we are here to continue to support you throughout this heartbreaking time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: The pain there will be felt for many days, weeks, months and years to come. Here in the United States, the U.S. president Donald Trump's comments about white nationalism is drawing criticism.
Ahead, what he said about racist white nationalist groups in the wake of the New Zealand attacks.
Singing, prayers and tears. We will have much more from New Zealand as our breaking news coverage continues. Stay with us.
HOWELL: A live look at New York City, One World Trade Center spire lit in blue and red to show solidarity with the people of New Zealand after the Friday mass killings at two mosques. This building is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere. It is a symbol itself of hope. You remember it stands at the site where the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.
Updating the breaking news out of New Zealand this day. The suspected gunman who massacred dozens of people at two mosques appeared in court before a judge in Christchurch on Saturday. You see him there entering the courtroom.
Police captured him 36 minutes after the shooting started. Overall, 49 people were killed in the attacks; 39 others are still in the hospital, 11 are in intensive care.
The New Zealand prime minister said extra police officers have been assigned to recover the bodies process the crime scene with sensitivity with Islamic culture and customs. U.S. president Donald Trump is downplaying the global threat of white
nationalism, suggesting those groups are too small to be dangerous. This after the suspect in the New Zealand attacks apparently held white nationalist views. Our Jim Acosta has the story.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Surrounded by supporters, the president turned of veto into the day's main event, officially rejecting a bipartisan measure in Congress that rebuked Mr. Trump for trying to use a national emergency declaration to go around lawmakers to build his border wall.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.
ACOSTA: The president also sounded off on the mosque terror attack in New Zealand.
TRUMP: It's a horrible, horrible thing. I told the prime minister that the United States is with them all the way.
ACOSTA: Earlier in the day, the president offered his condolences, tweeting: "My warmest sympathy and best wishes go out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the mosques."
But the president's critics question whether that response should have been more forceful in condemning the attack allegedly carried out by a right-wing extremist. Mr. Trump was asked by reporters whether he thinks white nationalism is a rising threat.
TRUMP: I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess, if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case. I don't know enough about it yet. They're just learning about the person and the people involved. But it's certainly a terrible thing.
ACOSTA: As a candidate, Mr. Trump once called for a ban on Muslims coming into the U.S., a campaign promise the administration later tried to turn into policy.
TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
ACOSTA: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said thoughts and prayers are not enough, adding that attacks like the one in New Zealand are now all too common.
BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are on the rise around the Western world. They're on the rise right here in this country. They're part of a larger disease of intolerance that has taken hold in what was thought to be the most tolerant, most --
O'ROURKE: -- open, most welcoming country the world had ever known.
ACOSTA: Before the mosque attack, authorities say the killer in New Zealand wrote a long manifesto expressing his anti-Muslim and anti- immigration views, even describing the president as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.
Top White House officials are blasting the notion that the president's rhetoric had anything to do with the violence in New Zealand.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: He says, I'm not a conservative, I'm not a Nazi. Sounds like he's an eco-terrorist. And he certainly absolutely is ruthless killer. And he's to blame.
ACOSTA: But just this week, questions are being raised about whether the president's rhetoric simply crosses the line.
In an interview with the conservative Breitbart Web site, Mr. Trump bragged about his support coming from -- quote -- "tough people," saying: "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don't play it tough until they go to a certain point. And then it would be very bad, very bad."
Democrats say the president is playing with fire.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CONN.), MEMBER, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I interpret that kind of comment as a danger to peaceful transition of power in our democracy.
That's one of the fundamental principles of our Constitution, that we have that kind of peaceful transition of power and respect for the rule of law, which that kind of comment utterly betrays it.
ACOSTA: The president said he hadn't read the manifesto so he declined to weigh on all of that. But as for the president's claim that white nationalism is not rising, he may want to consider recent FBI figures showing right-wing extremism is a growing concern with the neo-Nazi violence on the streets of Charlottesville to the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh last year, now the mosque attack in New Zealand. It is a threat that cannot be denied -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
HOWELL: Jim, thank you.
One of the few Muslim lawmakers in the House of Representatives is calling for solidarity in the wake of the attacks in New Zealand. Democrat Ilhan Omar said on Friday, "Love trumps hate."
She said in her words, "We have to make sure we are resilient and loving and creating an environment that recognizes all of our worth."
In the wake of what happened in New Zealand, cities around the world have been beefing up security measures at local mosques. In New York City, for instance, police guarded several worship centers there, carrying large guns and heavy gear. Officials said there were no specific threats in the city but patrols were meant to be an abundance of precaution.
Here in the city of Atlanta, officials also increasing security at mosques here at one on Friday at prayer service. Worshippers said they would not be deterred despite what happened in Christchurch. The message to the Muslim community in New Zealand was one of unity. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a sense of brotherhood. It's a sense of being there for your fellows. It's a chance to pray for them. It's a chance to show people that the act of one lone terrorist, ranger, whatever you want to call him, is not going to deter us.
It will bring us closer. It will bring us together. It will get us to come together and pray for the families. You know, it is not something that will keep us away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can only share in their grief. We can only share in their sorrow and we fully do so. We hope and pray that nothing like that happens elsewhere in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Still ahead, after the break, the apparent motives of the alleged gunman in New Zealand in black and white, a so-called manifesto, filled with hateful propaganda.
As we go to break, a reminder that the world is coming together, mourning the loss of people who were killed in New Zealand. The Eiffel Tower went dark on Friday, honoring the 49 victims who lost their lives. We'll be right back.
WATSON: Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Ivan Watson broadcasting live from Christchurch, New Zealand.
HOWELL: I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
The latest on the massacre that happened in New Zealand. The man suspected of killing 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch, you see him there. He appeared in court on Saturday; 28 years old, Brenton Tarrant. He remained silent as he was charged with murder. He will remain in custody until his next court appearance in April.
His face is blurred due to court restrictions there. Police say Tarrant was taken into custody 36 minutes after the first call came in of shots fired. He resisted arrest, as you see in this video that was taken. Two other people are also in custody. Police are trying to determine if they were directly involved in the massacre.
Let's go back now live to New Zealand. Our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson leads our coverage there, outside the hospital there in Christchurch.
WATSON: Thank you, George.
Again, I'm in front of Christchurch Hospital, where there are people quite literally fighting for their lives in the wake of what has been the deadliest terror attack in New Zealand history.
Out front, I don't know if you can see it here, somebody has erected a quiet vigil of lit candles. I want to introduce you to one of them. This is Kais Azimi (ph). He came down from Auckland, another island in New Zealand, to show support.
Can you tell me a little bit more about why you're here?
KAIS AZIMI, SUPPORTER: Yes. As soon as we found out this tragedy has happened, we wanted to get together, especially the youth, who has a lot of energy. We wanted to get together and come here and show support and be by the side of the families affected. So we did come today. We landed about two hours ago. And here we are.
WATSON: This attack took place during Friday prayers in a place of worship.
How are Muslims in New Zealand reacting right now?
It must be a deeply traumatizing moment.
AZIMI (PH): Of course, especially when you are not expecting it in a country like New Zealand. So far away, geographically safe, far away from all the war zones. Then you see something like this happens here. So people are shocked and obviously some people are scared and terrified.
WATSON: And is there -- has there been any history of this type of --
WATSON: -- violence in this country targeting your community?
AZIMI (PH): No, not that I know of. I have been here in 19 years or in the West 19 years. I lived in Australia 11 years, 8-9 years in New Zealand. In New Zealand, no. This is the first one. This is the biggest one, apart from some small things but nothing to this major -- to this level.
WATSON: What is the message you would like to send out to people in New Zealand and around the world after this deadly terror attack?
AZIMI (PH): The message is that, you know, as you can see with the social media and all of that, there is a lot of hate being preached. We should show love and compassion to each other.
Prophet Muhammad came as a mercy to all of humanity, to show love and compassion, like how many New Zealanders have given us that. They've been very compassionate and very kind. It has been unbelievable of them. A lot of people have shown deep, deep emotions that I really didn't know existed. It has been unbelievable.
WATSON: We have seeing people embracing you right in front of this hospital. Kais Azimi (ph), my condolences. And thank you for speaking with us.
AZIMI (PH): May I say something about 20 seconds?
There's one thing that deeply concerns me. They said that the security agencies picked up this individual talking about, you know, this kind of thing on social media. But they say it was a joke and we can't differentiate between who is right and who is not, who's being serious and who's not.
I wanted to say, if a Muslim does that, then the security agencies will pick him up straightaway.
So why is that other people are not picked up?
If a Muslim had done that, if they are right, then we want to do this, at such a time and such a place, straightaway, they will pick him up. The agencies I'm talking about. But if someone else is doing this, they say they don't know how to differentiate between the right and the wrong, who's being right and who's not being serious. So this is a serious issue.
WATSON: It is, and thank you for raising that, Kais Azimi (ph), thank you very much.
He brings us to a very important point, which is that one of the key suspects, who has been charged with murder, a 28-year-old Australian, has been linked to a substantial manifesto published online, espousing right-wing ideology. And CNN's Alex Marquardt has more on that story.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a diatribe filled with hate, anger and vows of revenge, 87 neatly formatted pages of ranting about immigrants, minorities and Muslims. More than 16,000 words that the 28-year old who says his name is Brenton Tarrant posted on social media shortly before the attack.
The attacker calls immigrants "invaders" and says immigration must be crushed and, like other white nationalists, he falsely claimed there's a genocide of white people underway.
It's the kinds of toxic message heard in Charlottesville and from the Charleston massacre shooter, Dylann Roof. The New Zealand shooter referenced Roof's attack in his manifesto. Norwegian mass murderer Andres Brevik, who killed 77, mostly children, is held up as an inspiration.
ARDERN: There are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): The U.S. president is also referenced one, calling President Trump "a symbol of renewed white identity" though he says he doesn't consider Trump a leader. The suspect claims to not belong to any organization and decided to carry out the shooting, which he admits is terrorism, on his own.
An attack he said that he'd been thinking about for two years and chose the targeted mosques three months ago. He expresses no remorse for those he planned to kill, even the children.
With white nationalism growing in the U.S. and in Europe, the gunman points to a number of global events that fueled his hate, including a terror attack in Sweden's capital in 2017, when an asylum seeker plowed a truck into a crowd, killing five.
MARQUARDT: New Zealand is usually a calm and peaceful place. That's why he chose to carry out that attack there, to show that nowhere is safe. As for the choice of the weapons used in the slaughter, guns, it was made specifically to rile up the debate here in this country, the United States, over the Second Amendment -- Alexander Marquardt, CNN, Washington.
WATSON: There have been politicians in the wake of this deadly terror attack in Christchurch, who are calling on social media sites to do more to prevent --
WATSON: -- moments like this, like the livestreaming on Facebook of acts of violence, prevent that from happening again in the future.
Facebook says that it removed the footage soon after police alerted them to it. But the video stayed on Twitter and it stayed on YouTube for hours before it was actually pulled down from there.
It is, by all accounts, gruesome and very, very, horrific video.
For more insight, we're joined by Bharath Ganesh. He's at the Oxford Internet Institute in Oxford, England.
Thank you for joining us.
Have you seen anything like this before, a phenomenon so violent and so extreme on the Internet before?
BHARATH GANESH, OXFORD INTERNET INSTITUTE: I think it is important to remember that, when it comes to terrorist acts, as much as they are violent and they have all of these really violent material consequences, terrorism is always something that is symbolic. So while I don't think I've seen anything related to livestreaming a
terrorist attack, we have to remember that when we look at all kinds of terrorist attacks from all kinds of groups, using social media techniques to amplify their message and the symbolism of the acts is something we have been seeing more and more in the last few years.
WATSON: And what can social media companies do to try to counteract some of this and the spreading of the ideology as well?
Supporters of the suspect here were cheering him on as he carried out the shootings.
GANESH: Yes. As far as I'm aware, a lot of the support the shooter got was from relatively more obscure web forums, such as HN. Those are incredibly hard to regulate. The people who run them refuse to do any regulation of speech.
There are a few things we need to think about when we think about how we deal with these events. The first thing is, I think, Facebook, Twitter did what they could reasonably well in terms of trying to take down the video. They have a situation in which they have to grapple with the fact that people are quickly downloading and reuploading in different forms and screen names. So it is really difficult to preemptively prevent all of the videos from coming back up.
People keep reproducing it in different ways. There are technologies to allow people to fingerprint videos. Currently Facebook, Twitter and Google, which runs YouTube, are working to try and counter Islamic extremism at a global level. So I think there is more they could do in terms of encouraging other teams they have within their companies to use those technologies to counter this.
Now the second half of it is, you asked about how we deal with the ideology. This has been developing for a very long time. At least going back in recent memory, five years, but if you look at the ideology that this terrorist had been expressing in the manifesto, that goes back a much longer timeframe. We're talking 50 or 60 years at least.
Now Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been key areas for the dissemination of right-wing ideology. Up until December of 2017, the term "white genocide," which is what the terrorist in the Christchurch shootings used, was actually one of the key ways in which followers of far right accounts on Twitter tended to refer to themselves. Many refer to themselves as white nationalist but often use the term white genocide.
Many use the Nazi slogan, 14 words, to express themselves which was referred to on the rifle that the shooter used. These ideologies have been around on social media for a long time.
Quite frequently we have seen that Facebook and Twitter and YouTube have adopted an entirely inconsistent approach. They seem to have failed to really understand the lines between political speech and what is considered extreme speech. One of the key ways they fail to do that is listening to the members
of the Muslim community in the Western countries as well as in countries like New Zealand and Australia and really failing to incorporate the concerns and fears that those communities have been expressing for many years.
The problem is also made worse by the fact that politicians are trying to use anti-Muslim hate as a form of political currency to win votes.
GANESH: We have seen that in the United Kingdom and in the United States and all across other countries in Europe as well as English- speaking countries.
WATSON: All right. Bharath, with that view from the Oxford Internet Institute. Thank you very much for your analysis there.
I'm Ivan Watson in front of Christchurch hospital in New Zealand. Back to you, George, at CNN Center.
HOWELL: Thank you very much. Certainly insightful to get a sense of what the tech companies and what they are doing because people have access to this. They can upload the videos quickly. Taking them down is important when people do these things and post it. Ivan, thank you very much.
We are learning more about the connection between the suspected shooter and Turkey. We will have more details on that for you ahead. Plus we go live to Istanbul for a look at the tributes for the victims.
WATSON: Welcome back to CNN's special coverage of the aftermath of deadly terror attacks on two mosques here in Christchurch, New Zealand. Now a key suspect appeared in court here earlier this morning, identified as 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, charged with murder. He will appear in court again on April 5th.
We're learning a bit more about this suspect. The Australian prime minister says that he had traveled extensively prior to coming to New Zealand, where he was in possession of a gun permit and caught by police with five guns, as well as two improvised explosive devices in his vehicle. We are learning more --
WATSON: -- from Turkey which appears to have been one of the countries this man had traveled to in the past. To explain more about this, I'm joined now by CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon, live from Istanbul. Arwa, what is the Turkish government telling you about this Australian
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: According to a senior Turkish official, he made numerous trips to Turkey. And from here he may have traveled on to other European or Asian destinations.
The Turkish authorities are looking into what his activities and movements and interactions were in country. According to state broadcaster TRT, which is citing officials, they put those dates as happening in 2016, one of the trips lasting for about 43 days.
According to them, Turkey is looking into whether or not this individual was planning on carrying out some sort of act of violence or some assassination within Turkish territory. We have been hearing from the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been condemning this attack, as have other regional leaders.
But Erdogan saying this is a direct result of Islamophobia and is calling all nations but especially Western nations to try to do more to stamp out hateful anti-immigration rhetoric, anti-Muslim rhetoric.
This country like others has been shaken by what has transpired, no matter who you talk to. One taxi driver said we cannot let this divide us. We have to use these horrific attacks to try to bring people together.
WATSON: Arwa, I might point out that the New Zealand prime minister indicated that victims of the attacks include not only Turkish citizens but citizens fro Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Jordan.
Thank you very much. Arwa Damon live in Istanbul. Turning it back to George Howell at CNN Center.
HOWELL: Ivan, of course, our coverage continues in New Zealand. But first, other news we're following.
The investigation of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 continues. The flight cockpit recorder is being reviewed in France. The problems reported from the pilot experienced problems at takeoff.
The air traffic controllers saw the plane pitching up and down and accelerating to abnormal speeds. We have Oren Liebermann with the latest.
Oren, is there any indication of how things are going in this investigation and when it will be completed?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The process started on Friday afternoon. If all goes well, it could be wrapped up tonight or tomorrow. That is the process of inspecting, pulling the data cards out and inspecting components part by part and downloading that data.
We know from a source that at least the flight data recorder, which records the data from the cockpit and the instruments, appears to be in good condition. That was the latest update we got on that part of the investigation.
"The New York Times" reporting this could be linked to a crash of Lion Air back in October, the same type of aircraft, the 737 MAX 8, based on a jackscrew which was found at the scene of the crash in Ethiopia on Flight 302. That part controls the position of the horizontal stabilizer, the tail. It was found in such a position the stabilizer would push the nose plane down.
It would cause the plane to go very fast and it would cause the plane to dive. If it was in that position because of the same reason as the Lion Air crash, that is a very significant link that may require fleetwide checks of the 737 MAX series. That means this plane could be grounded until that is sorted out.
HOWELL: Oren Liebermann, thank you for the update.
Still ahead here on NEWSROOM. We are following the aftermath of the terrible attacks in New Zealand with tributes playing out around the world.
WATSON: Welcome back.
Much of this country is in mourning right now after what have been described as the deadliest terror attacks in New Zealand's history. Tributes have been pouring in from around the world as you see in this report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: As family members with our New Zealand cousins today. We grieve. We are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged. But I particularly want to express my sincere prayers and thoughts for those New Zealanders and indeed Australians of Islamic faith today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). We are here to deliver a very simple message: it was an act of extremism and boundless horror and violence. All of us decry that unacceptable and unspeakable act.
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: Communities come together, communities support each other and we are happy with our diversity in our society.
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER, BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS: Colleagues, I propose a minute of silence, starting now. SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: As far as we are concerned, our diversity is a strength, not a weakness, we don't simply tolerate it; we celebrate it, we embrace it and we respect it.
ANNE GUEGUEN, FRENCH DEPUTY AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. (from captions): The members of the Security Council express their deepest condolences to the families and loved one of those killed --
GUEGUEN (from captions): -- and they express their solidarity to the people and the government of New Zealand.
I ask those present to now rise for a minute of silence as tribute for the victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: At least 49 people were killed on Friday, during Friday prayers in two mosques here in Christchurch, and dozens more wounded, at least 11 as of Saturday morning in critical care at the hospital here at Christchurch Hospital next to me.
If you would like to do more to help some of the victims of the terror attack, you can go to cnn.com/impact. It will tell you more about how you can contribute to some of the victims of this terrible attack.
And this is a country in mourning, a country where people say these types of massacres happen oceans away from small New Zealand. But it is a form of fear and terror that has come home to the doorsteps here in New Zealand, in Christchurch.
I'm Ivan Watson broadcasting from Christchurch, New Zealand. We'll have more news for you after this break.