Christchurch attack: Polish special forces to check ‘Polish connections’

Spokesperson of the Minister-Special Services Coordinator Stanisław Żaryn said that “Polish connections are being analysed” in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 49 people dead and several dozens injured.

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“I can confirm that Polish connections [with the attack - ed.] are being analysed,” Mr Żaryn said. However, because of the confidential nature of the investigation, he refused to disclose any further details.

According to the private RMF radio, it is to be verified whether the attacker held any contacts with Polish citizens or has visited Poland in the past.

The graffiti on the attacker’s weapon referenced historical figures and events connected to fighting Muslim forces throughout history.

According to the news portal, the graffiti included several mentions of the 1683 Battle of Vienna where the armed forces commanded by the Polish King Jan III Sobieski halted the Ottoman invasion of Europe. The name of the Polish hetman Feliks Kazimierz Potocki, one of the battle’s participants, was also displayed on the weapons.

A 74-page “manifesto”, posted online by the attacker, espouses far-right and anti-immigrant ideology. In one passage, it lists Poland among seven countries where a movement against “the invaders” may begin.

The gunman, a 28-year-old Australian citizen who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant, opened fire from rifles covered in graffiti on worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. The attack left 49 people dead and dozens wounded.

This was the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, condemned this act of terror, saying “this is one of New Zealand's darkest days.”