The self-described white supremacist accused of murdering 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques two months ago has been charged with engaging in a terrorist act—the first time in the country’s history that such a charge has been brought. A lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons burst into two mosques during Friday prayers on March 15 in a terror attack broadcast live on Facebook. The suspect was later named as Australia-born Brenton Tarrant. He already faced a total of 51 charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder, but New Zealand police confirmed Tuesday he would face an additional terror charge. It’s the first under New Zealand’s terrorism suppression legislation, which was introduced in 2002 as a response to the 9/11 attacks. Mohamed Hussein Mostafa, whose father was killed at Al Noor Mosque, said he was relieved by the new charges. “It will cement in people’s minds that terrorism has no race or religion,” he said.
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