Police say that Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who has been arraigned for the deadly shootings in two New Zealand mosques Friday, had stayed on the Greek islands of Crete and Santorini and transited through the country twice, all in 2016.
Authorities in Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia and Hungary have also confirmed visits by Tarrant between 2016-2018 as he apparently studied battles between Christians and the Ottoman empire.
“Concerning the 29-year-old perpetrator of the terrorist attack in New Zealand on March 15, 2019, it was found that he had entered our country twice in 2016 on transit flights (Nov. 29, 2016 and Dec. 10, 2016). Moreover, in the same year (Mar. 20, 2016) he entered our country on a flight from Istanbul and stayed for a few days in Heraklion, Crete and Santorini,” police said in a statement released Sunday.
Greek police are also searching about any phone calls and purchases he made while in Greece.
On Tarrant’s rifle was written, in capitals, the Greek word TOURKOFAGOS (“Turk-eater” or, metaphorically, “Turk-slayer”), a fact remarked on by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.