New Zealand gunman visited Israel in 2016

Tasnim – The Australian man charged with murder in connection with terrorist shootings at two New Zealand mosques that left dozens dead made a brief visit to Israel in late 2016, Israeli officials said.

Brenton Tarrant, an Australian national, entered Israel in October 2016 on a three-month tourist visa and stayed for nine days, an official with Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority told Reuters.

Fifty people were killed and 50 others were wounded in the attack, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced Sunday.

The official said there were no further details available on what Tarrant, 28, did during his stay in the occupied territories. The Australian embassy and New Zealand consulate in Israel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Also in late 2016, Tarrant visited Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, where he stopped by historic battle sites, before traveling in Western Europe in 2017.

He returned to the Balkans in November 2018 to tour historic sites of Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.