Mosque attack suspect had video of New Zealand mass killing on phone, court told

Sam Imrie had three versions of the 2019 attack on a mosque in Christchurch in which 51 people were murdered, a police officer said.

The High Court in Edinburgh
The High Court in Edinburgh

A phone recovered from a man on trial for terrorism offences contained three copies of a livestream of the 2019 mass shooting in New Zealand, a court has heard.

The attack was carried out on a mosque in Christchurch by Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people and injured 40 others.

An iPhone belonging to Sam Imrie, 24, also contained a number of images glorifying the New Zealand shooter, with the words “Brenton Tarrant did nothing wrong”, “hail Tarrant” and “Saint Tarrant”.

Giving evidence on Wednesday, Detective Constable Murray Cairns of the Edinburgh organised crime and counter-terrorism unit described the footage of the attack as “horrific.”

William visits Christchurch attack mosque
Brenton Tarrant went on a gun rampage at mosques in New Zealand killing 51 people (PA)

He told the court: “(Tarrant) carried out a filming session of the attack. He livestreamed it at first, which was copied and then went massive on the internet.”

Asked to describe the video, he said: “It’s horrific. It starts with him driving, playing music before arriving at the Islamic centre.

“You see him getting the weapon from his car, going to the Islamic centre, you can see people walking towards him and he starts shooting, murdering them.

“You see him going from room to room, getting back into his vehicle.

“It’s graphic, you see him deciding when to fire and when not to fire.”

Imrie has been charged with posting statements on social media platform Telegram suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes, Fife.

The 24-year-old has also been accused of planning to stream live footage of “an incident”.

DC Cairns told the High Court in Edinburgh he had retrieved the files from the accused’s phone on July 31 2019.

The court was also shown images from the accused’s Facebook page.

The cover photo on the Facebook page was described in court as Adolf Hitler, standing in front of a microphone, addressing a crowd.

His biography read: “Seeing muslims suffer.”

Several symbols associated with “far right Nazism” were also posted on the Facebook page.

DC Cairns said one post which said “1488” could be explained in two parts.

The number 14 related to a sentence in Mein Kampf, a book written by Adolf Hitler, which he told the court said something along the lines of “We must assure a future for our people and a future for white children.”

He said it is associated with “modern neo-Nazi movements.”

The number 88, he said can be read as “HH” or “Heil Hitler”, with the numbers “transposed to letters”.

Among other charges, Imrie is accused of being in possession of neo-Nazi, antisemitic and anti-Muslim material, extreme pornography, including indecent images of children, and an image involving a human corpse.

He is also charged with driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol in July 2019.

He denies all of the nine charges against him, three of which come under the Terrorism Act.

The trial, before Lord Mulholland, continues.

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