U.S.

8chan User Claiming to be New Zealand Shooter Posted 'See You All in Valhalla' Before Mosque Massacre

Shortly before the Christchurch mosque terror attacks on Friday in New Zealand, a user of the 8Chan message board website posted about a plan to carry out and live stream an attack. The user posted links to the Facebook page and manifesto files of one of the suspected attackers, who used the name "Brenton Tarrant" on social media.

Roughly half an hour after the post, mass shootings were reported at two mosques in Christchurch. The attacks resulted in the deaths of at least 49 people. Almost 50 people were injured.

Investigators said 41 people died at the Deans Avenue mosque, while seven were killed at Linwood Avenue mosque. Another victim died at the hospital. One suspect, now charged with murder, was referrred to as a 28-year-old man. Two others remain in custody.

A person identifying himself as Tarrant appears to have used online message boards to claim responsibility before the killings. A manifesto was uploaded before the rampage and a live stream of the shooting was hosted on Facebook.

The main image used in the 8chan post appeared similar to the profile picture linked to one suspect’s Twitter account. It contained a link to a now-removed Facebook page. In the days leading up to the mass killing, the Twitter account had been sharing images of weapons.

“Well lads, it's time to stop shitposting and time to make a real life effort post. I will carry out and attack against the invaders, and will even live stream the attack via facebook… by the time you read this I should be going live,” the 8chan post read (accessed via an archived version). 

“It's been a long ride and despite all your rampant f***otry, fecklessness and degeneracy, you are all top blokes and the best bunch of cobbers a man could ask for,” the post continued. “If I don't survive the attack, goodbye, godbless and I will see you all in Valhalla!”

8chan has previously been linked to the sharing of “hardcore child pornography,” according to the Daily Dot. It spiked in popularity during the "Gamergate" controversy back in 2014. Valhalla is a place in Norse mythology where the souls of warriors go after being killed in battle.

The upload was also reported by media outlets news.com.au and Adelaide Now. A more detailed rundown of the posts was reported today by investigative outfit Bellingcat, which analysed the term “shitposting” and the references seemingly designed to play to the 8chan crowd. One clip appeared to show one shooter asking people to subscribe to the popular YouTuber PewDiePie.

The first reactions on 8chan flowed in real time. “Stream just cut off, but he deff doing the thing…good god,” one commenter wrote. Another post added: “Back on now. Cops are responding. think he's in for a short run. Dear god delete this thread now.” A third comment noted: "8pol is toast, this is the end."

In a statement shortly before a news conference today, New Zealand police said: “At this stage we will not be discussing the offenders’ possible motivations or the causes of this incident.”

“We have asked all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice. The lockdown of schools through Christchurch has been lifted. We thank the public for their ongoing cooperation. We would like to reassure members of the public that there is a large police presence in the city."

Join the Discussion

Editor's Pick