Return to Transcripts main page


CNN International: New Zealand Mosque Attacks Kill 49, Wounds Dozens; Police: 49 Dead In Attacks On New Zealand Mosques; New Zealand PM: Our Thoughts & Prayers Are With Victims; 49 Dead In Attacks On New Zealand Mosques; Eyewitness To The Massacre; Cricket Team Narrowly Avoided Terror Attack; Visiting Cricket Team Narrowly Escaped Mosque Shooting; New Zealand Shocked After Two Mosque Shootings. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired March 15, 2019 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:46] JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to the International Desk, I'm Julia Chatterley and we begin with breaking news from New Zealand.

Dozens of people are dead and dozens more are wounded, after shooting attack on two Mosques in Christchurch. The gunfire rung out during Friday prayers when both Mosques were busy with worshippers and the whole thing was live streamed on social media, along with a disturbing manifesto. Authorities say they have three suspects in custody. One has already been charged with murder and at least one of them is Australian.

Police say none of the suspect appeared on any security watch lists. They don't believe there are any other suspects at this point. But they do caution that the investigation is ongoing.

Witnesses are describing the horror they felt when the shooting erupted. This was one man shared his experience and how he escaped.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it turned to, they open the door it's too late. And they're started firing. And say I what suppose to be going? And they just keep firing, firing at this small window are trying to (INAUDIBLE), but it was really hard. But I smashed the window, the firing just keep going. And when I just jumped to the fire, there was another (INAUDIBLE) another door at the mosque. If you see the people, they're shooting from inside the mosque and at the time jumping (INAUDIBLE) just keep firing.


CHATTERLEY: All right, let's bring you all of details. Our chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward is with us now. Clarissa, we've talked already in the last hour about the 17-minute live stream video. But also an 87-page manifesto that was produced before this attack focus for it (ph). CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So we at CNN have made the decision not to air that live stream video. I can tell you that I have watched parts of it. It is nothing short of horrific. It's a body camera that the attacker appears to be wearing. He goes into the mosque, he begins shooting down people in cold blood who are worshipping, performing Friday prayers, at their place of worship. He doesn't portray any emotion. He seems calm and relaxed.

At times, he's listening to music, kind of almost making jokes, he reloads his weapon repeatedly. There are scenes when this are people on the ground who have been injured who are begging for their lives, begging for help and he stands over them, and shoots them at pointblank range. So clearly, a horrific window into this new kind of terrorist who is partly influenced by this twisted right wing extremist ideology, but also partly influenced by this new era of kind of selfie, social media sharing of these types of ideologies.

And in this 87-page manifesto he tries to outline what this ideology exactly is. And unsurprisingly it's a lot of what you would expect, talking about Muslims as invaders, the wave of migrants as threatening to replace white nationalists, and white civilization in the west. And I think unfortunately, Julia, the reality is when you're sort of going through all 87 pages of it, it's that some of this rhetoric has absolutely become more readily available and socially acceptable in the mainstream, in the past few years.

So it will be interesting though to see whether he was operating alone, whether there was some kind of a network supporting him. He talks about this group, The Knights of Templar, the Reborn Knights of Templar, kind of a wink and a nod to Anders Breivik, the Norwegian nationalist who killed more than 70 people in Norway some years ago. But certainly, what you're seeing here, what makes investigators uncomfortable in the same way you've seen this ISIS lone wolf attacks, this is what you're seeing, self motivated cells without a specific leader who communicate on the internet and end up being able to perpetrate very well-coordinated, highly-organized attacks like this.

CHATTERLEY: And you point out it -- saying things here was well coordinated. He pre-planned these huge concerns as well, and as you point out whether he's acting alone or whether there is someone else here.

[10:05:13] But you also draw huge parallels that this was trying to incite violence, this was trying to rally others that have similar feelings and beliefs and actually mirrors in many ways. You see parallels between extremists that we've seen from other religions including ISIS themselves.

WARD: And that was what was particularly intriguing to me, reading through this, and having done so much studying of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, was this overarching ideology that present itself, which is one of there can be no peaceful co-existence. There must be a clash of civilization, there will be a return of the crusades, there is something fundamentally inherently different, or polarizing about Islam and Christianity which necessitates some kind of an all-out bloody battle. And that -- you really see in this. And you see also an almost sense that he is being deliberately provocative. He is desperately trying to incite retaliatory attacks to make sure that things like this go viral on the internet.

CHATTERLEY: And this -- this was an attack on the Islamic community in New Zealand. And you made the point, and it's been made to me numerous times already today, that is that we condemn Islamic terrorism, whole-heartedly, around the world, but this kind of communication, this kind of commentary, it doesn't have the whole- hearted condemnation that it should right now. And in fact, it's becoming more and more mainstream, whether it is on social media, and beyond.

WARD: There's been a real resistance, I think, among certain corridors of power to really understand and appreciate the very real threat of right wing extremist ideology, of right wing terrorist organizations or individuals. If anything can be learned from the horrific events of today, I hope that it will be a newfound sense of appreciation for the seriousness and severity of this issue. Because this could be the tip of the iceberg, Julia, if more is not done to try to clamp down on these groups, to try to work out where in the dark web they're operating. And most importantly, perhaps, to strongly condemn the mainstream rhetoric that has normalized this kind of discourse in the public sphere.

CHATTERLEY: So important. Clarissa ward, thank you so much for that.

New Zealand prides itself on being a diverse and tolerant society. And when the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about the attack, she said it will not change the nation's values of compassion and kindness.


JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have been impacted today. Christchurch was the home of these victims. So meaning this may have not been the place they were born. In fact for many New Zealand was their choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to, a place they were raising their families, where they were part of communities that they loved and who loved them. It was a place that many came to for its safety. A place where they were free to practice a culture and their religion.


CHATTERLEY: Meanwhile, police do not believe there are any more suspects at large. But they say the investigation is not done yet. And they're asking people to stay vigilant just in case.


MIKE BUSH, POLICE COMMISSIONER, NEW ZEALAND: We believe not, but of course, there is a real heightened sense at the -- within the communities, people are being very vigilant, and I congratulate them and encourage that we've dealt with. Two bags that have left (INAUDIBLE), they have been detonated and we don't believe they were of any threat.


CHATTERLEY: None of the people arrested after the attack were on any security watch list. Journalist, Blis Savidge is in Christchurch, New Zealand and she joins us now. Blis, great to have you with us. Can you just bring us up to speed on the latest developments as you know them, as far as the investigation is concern which is clearly ongoing?

BLIS SAVIDGE, JOURNALIST: Yes. So it's still very early on in the investigation. Police are being really tightlipped about the information that they're releasing. What we know now, they're saying is a male in his late 20s has been arrested and charged with murder, and is going to have his first court appearance tomorrow morning, local time, Saturday in the Christchurch court system. So that's the latest we have on the investigation.

Like I said, it's still really ongoing, right now, we're in front of the Christchurch hospital that less than a mile from where first mosque shooting happened. And it's still really quiet around here, it is late in the morning.

[10:10:02] But even in all of this tragedy, we still have, you see so much peace and unity, and people showing great kindness and strength. We just had a man come up to us, a Pakistani Muslim come up to us and say that he just want to share a positive message of hope and say he doesn't hold it against anybody and that he doesn't change any feeling that he has about this country. So really just amazing people in this country, in a terrible time.

CHATTERLEY: Blis, how does that make you feel? As someone who is living in this community?

SAVIDGE: It's really interesting, you know, I'm an American, I have lived in America most of my life and I wanted to come to New Zealand, because, to get away from kind of the things that you see every day in America. And so never in a million years did I expect to come to New Zealand, and face, to be in the middle of this mass shooting, which you don't -- you never get used to it back home, but being here in New Zealand, where these people, not only do they not experience these this kind of gun violence, they don't really experience a lot of violent crimes in general.

So, really, to see that shock through the people's eyes of New Zealand, it's really moving and heart breaking, because i think sometimes as Americans, we lose little bit of that utter shock just because it happens so much. But you really do see how it shapes people here and that it's a terrible tragedy. And something that certainly should never be normalized and should not be nor (ph) country or any country in the world really.

CHATTERLEY: You describe it as a terrible tragedy. And clearly, it is. Can you give us any more information about the people that have been taken to the hospital behind you, what our sense is of numbers of injuries, even children, because we, as you were saying to me in the last hour, there are children involved here, too.

SAVIDGE: There's not any official information being released as far as victim names or ages, but there are more than 40 people in this hospital. Some people had minor injuries, of course, ranging all the way up to critical. One person has died in the hospital. That's as far as we know so far. There will be a lot more press conferences tomorrow. I expect we will be getting a lot more information tomorrow.

CHATTERLEY: Blis, do you think this pulls the community together? I mean you've drawn a pretty stark comparison between the United States that you left and a country and a community that you chose to come to. From living there, from your sense of the people, even the interactions that you've had in the early hours of the morning there, do you think this pulls the community together?

SAVIDGE: I absolutely think it does. I mean the people of New Zealand are some of the kindest, most generous people I've ever met. You know, they don't know a stranger. So I think they're very trusting people. And you think something like this maybe would make them not be a trustworthy. But I don't think that that's the case. That's certainly not what I seen so far just from being here for a few hours.

And I don't think that will continue to be the case. I think its just going to make New Zealand stronger and adamant about who they are as (INAUDIBLE) displaying that and being an example for the rest of the world.

CHATTERLEY: Blis, thank you for joining us. Blis Savidge there reporting from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Our breaking news coverage of the terrorist attack in New Zealand continues. And when we come back, we'll hear from one man who was at the mosque during the massacre. Stay with us.


[10:15:34] CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to the show and let me bring you up to speed once more on the major developing story that we're following right now.

At least 49 people have been killed and dozens of others wounded in terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Police detained four people, including one who is being charged with murder. In the moments before the attack, a social media account that appears to belong to one of the attackers published an 87 page diatribe (ph) files filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim hate.

Political leaders across the world are now speaking out, expressing disgust and anger at the attack, and sympathy to New Zealand's Muslim community. New Zealand's prime minister has described the mass shootings as unprecedented act of violence.

In the meantime, the rest of the world has begun to react to this horrific attack.

Just hours ago, U.K. parliament held a minute silence in memory of those who were killed or injured. And London's Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted earlier saying, heart breaking news from New Zealand this morning where innocent people have been murdered because of their faith. London stands with the people of Christchurch, in the face of this horrific terror attack. London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy.

The shootings in Christchurch are part of a global problem of white wing extremism.

Bobby Ghosh joins us now. He is a columnist and editor with Bloomberg News. There is so much to unpack here. The 87 page manifestos, we've already discussed the use of social media to spread the word of hate. Your assessment here.

BOBBY GHOSH, BLOOMBERG COLUMNIST: Well, I've just quickly scanned some of those 87 pages --


GHOSH: -- and it's a very, very familiar deal. We've heard this before. If you remember, Anders Breivik in 2011, the Norwegian who kill 77 people, 69 with children, he published a -- if I'm not mistaken, 1,500 page screed. And a lot of this 87 page is a desolation of that.

It's the same sort of paranoia and fakery about the disappearance of a white race -- the disappearance of a western world. The idea that Muslims are over -- are moving into the western world and replacing the white population, all of this is nonsense. None of this is based in any remotely, in any kind of fact. But the fact that this is available online, it has been spread online, and it's affecting people.

He cites people. This is very familiar. He cites people who influenced him. He mentions President Trump who he -- who he does -- whose policies he doesn't agree with but who he think represents the white race, and the concerns of the white race. He name checks some American alt-right commentators.

So what you're seeing here is not unlike the online radicalization of Muslim terrorists that we've seen in parts of Europe. They are being radicalized online. They are following directly or indirectly in the footsteps of some people who they regard as their leaders, and they're doing this pretty much in the open. This is not -- this person's life was not a great secret.

CHATTERLEY: And this is the key, actually, because you've drawn parallels and we've already drawn parallels on the show of elements of extremists in other religions, outside of other religions but in this case, it was tackling, targeting the Islamic community here and while on the one hand it's forbidden, it's condemned, Islamic extremism, to take one angle here, is it's condemned. What we're seeing here in terms of far-right talk of anti-immigration, of anti-religion, whatever it is, is not condemned and this cuts to the core of this, too.

GHOSH: It does and the fact that it is happening in the open. You have important political figures around the world, from President Trump to a senator in New Zealand who are openly espousing the cause of white racism and bigotry against people of color, but specifically against Muslim, the Islamophobia. This is out in the open.

When something like this happens, it becomes more important for others to speak up. We talked about that before. So the prime minister of New Zealand said something very, very important, very important. She said, they are us. That's absolutely us crucial.

[10:20:12] It's not enough to say we are sympathetic. Our hearts are breaking. That we hear that from worlds leaders there and our thoughts and our prayers, we hear that all the time, it's become sort of white noise but she said something important. She said, they are us. The embrace -- the acknowledgment that we are the same, we're not different, they are New Zealanders, they deserve to be here, they are our community, that message needs to be amplified. We need to hear a lot more of that from all across the board.

CHATTERLEY: We just had a compelling report from Christchurch as well from our reporter Blis Savidge saying that, she's an American and she moved from the United States to leave some of the extremism, the hate behind, and that she went to a community, into a country where she thought there was greater tolerance, and I think, however you see this, the message is that no one is safe from this kind of behavior. And we have to draw a separation between talk on social media or extremist elements and the kind of violence and act, horrific act that we saw happen in New Zealand overnight.


CHATTERLEY: But we also have to appreciate, that no one, no community is safe, and we have to act.

GHOSH: No one is safe. No one is safe. Nowhere is safe. This is a-- as you said, this is a country known for tolerance, for pluralism. This is a country with very strict gun laws where this kind of assault weapon --


GHOSH: -- not easily available. And yet, this happens in a country like this.

Same thing happened in Norway. A country that we always used to think of, all the Scandinavian countries in general has been a more tolerant and better at integrating people from outside the world -- outside their own world so -- but there is a world that is unified digitally. There is a world online, there are dark corners of the web that where geography doesn't matter, where this hateful ideology sort of festers and grows. And what we are learning now, with every passing month it seems now, that those ideas can spread very quickly digitally to places where we are not expecting it at all. We have no right to be surprised anymore. CHATTERLEY: Yes. This hatred, this kind of hatred is unacceptable. Bobby, thank you.

GHOSH: Indeed.

CHATTERLEY: Bobby Ghosh there.

All right, CNN's Anna Coren has been following the story forth and she now joins us live from Hong Kong.

I'm sure you were just listening into that conversation. Just echoing many the things that you've been saying over the last several hours, Anna, but I want to get you to reiterate for our viewers what you saw in that video from the person who is believed to have carried out the attack overnight, because I think it's important for viewers to understand this should not be watched on social media. It shouldn't be shared on social media. We've made a decision not to show it, but we need to understand what we're dealing with here. Anna?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Julia, it's one of the most horrific things that I have ever seen. You don't want to watch this. This is something that is heart-breaking. You are watching people being executed in cold blood. That is sums it up really in a nutshell. But before I get to the video, I just want to confirm that the gunman is a 28-year-old Australian citizen. He is from a town called Grafton in northern New South Wales. That is what Australian media is reporting.

And, obviously, everyone wanting now answers as to where -- at what point he became radicalized. That he strapped a camera to his helmet, and he streams his killing spree live on Facebook.

The stream goes to some 17 minutes. The footage is 17 minutes. The killing spree itself lasts -- excuse me, for six minutes. But you see him driving his car. He has music playing. He parks outside the mosque. He gets semi-automatic weapons. He walk slowly, calmly to the mosque. Walks through the gate, start firing at people standing outside. He goes through those doors of the mosque where people are praying for Friday prayers and he just lit fire.

He executes everybody in his path. And that goes on for minutes. He reloads. He heads back to the car. He shoots people on the pavement, bystanders who he obviously come out because they've heard this rapid gunfire. He reloads. Returns to the mosque where that killing spree continues. And you see dozens and dozens of bodies slumped on the floor, whether these people are dead or injured, he goes up to each and every one of them and at pointblank range, he executes them.

And then he walks outside the mosque. He sees a woman. He shoots her from a distance and then he walks up to her as she is pleading help me, help me, and he shoots her in the head.

[10:25:09] Next thing you see him walk to the car. He drives off. Music playing once again. He is talking. He is laughing. He shoots out the wind screen. He shoots out the passenger window at people walking by and then he gets to a pedestrian crossing and stops and allows these people to walk past. And we can only presume from there, that he then heads to the second mosque. But as I say, Julia, it is one of the most distressing things that I have ever seen. And that anybody would want to share this, anybody who would want to pass this on is just a sick individual themselves.

You know, the innocence of New Zealand was stolen today. It is a country that will go on. It is resilient. Its people are resilient, but this has certainly shaken the core, the foundation of this country.

CHATTERLEY: Not just New Zealand, of course, Anna, because the belief is that this is an Australian citizen, and I know you yourself are Australian and these two countries are incredibly close. What does that mean to, is I think the two countries unite in condemnation but also in heartbreak as a result of what we've seen?

COREN: Well, the kinship between Australia and New Zealand, is like brothers, sisters, you know, they are separated by a strip of water, the Tasman Sea, but that is it. Otherwise, these are countries that share a very similar ideology, a sense of freedom and belonging, safety is paramount. I would have to say that New Zealand is much more open in its immigration policy than what Australia is and perhaps that is something that this 28 year old man from Australia took issue with.

But New Zealand is far more welcoming to the migrants and the Muslims, people fleeing war zones than what Australia has been. And I think that not only as you're saying, New Zealand, but Australia will be sharing in this heart break because this is not what these two countries are. They are about peace and security and providing a wonderful home for families to raise their children.

CHATTERLEY: Anna, your message of tolerance, I think, is so important at this moment. But I do want to talk about the suspect too because he is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow. Can you tell us any more about that? And also, obviously, there is an ongoing investigation right now.

COREN: Yes, absolutely. We know that he is appearing in court tomorrow morning in Christchurch. No doubt, he will be surrounded by police, heavily armed police. There are angry, angry people in New Zealand, obviously, particular members from the Muslim community who this man took such exception with, so he will no doubt be taken under the heavy security to court.

As for where that proceeds, we're not sure, but he is facing multiple, multiple charges of murder. As we know 49 people are dead. That death toll could very well rise overnight. Dozens have been seriously injured. They're suffering gunshot wounds, so as we know in other circumstances, the death toll can certainly rise.

But, Julia, this is something that the prime minister of New Zealand, Jessica Ardern she has -- Jacinda Ardern, I should say, says that that's -- this is one of New Zealand's darkest days. This was a terrorist act, but this has no place in a country like New Zealand. This is not what New Zealand represents that the Muslim community that was attacked today, they belong in New Zealand. These perpetrators certainly do not.

CHATTERLEY: Anna Coren, thank you so much for that.

All right, when we come back, a witness who was on the scene when the mosque attack happened describes how he escaped. His story and all the latest on the terrible terror attack in New Zealand.

We're back after this.


[10:32:03] CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to the show, I'm Julia Chatterley. We're covering breaking news from New Zealand. A mass shooting at two mosques in central Christchurch has left dozens dead, and dozens wounded. The violence erupted during Friday prayers when the mosques were busy with worshippers. It was all live streamed on social media, along with a disturbing manifesto.

Right now, three suspects are in custody, one charged with murder and will appear in court in the coming hours. Police say none of the suspects appeared on any security watch lists. They don't believe there are any other suspects at this point, but they do caution that the investigation is ongoing.

Now to our Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward. You've made many observations about what you've seen here, whether it's the 17 minute video, whether it's the manifesto. Just give us a sense of your feeling here in light of the extensive work you've done covering extremists around the world.

WARD: Well, I think today is kind of a watershed moment. Because there has been a reluctance on the part of many in power in various countries across the world to really accept the legitimate threat of extremist right-wing terrorist ideology. And as we have seen today, it is very real.

We've seen these on many occasions before, I should add, but today, I think, or I hope draw a sort of line in the sand to the point where people have to pay attention. We have been pouring over this 87-page manifesto, trying to learn more from it. Not just about the ideology, but about whether this guy was part of a larger group, whether other people may have facilitated his work, whether there was a network involved, whether he was a lone wolf. All of the sorts of questions of course that investigators are going to be asking themselves as they go forward.

He does talk a lot about Anders Breivik, in particular, who is kind of a -- the rock star, if you will, of this extreme fascist nationalist white supremacist ideology. He of course was the man who murdered 77 people in Norway some years ago. And he talks about the idea that he was given the blessing by a group, the Reborn Knights of Templar for this attack. That's again a reference to Anders Breivik said that he carried out his attack also in the name of the Knights of Templar, that's obviously a reference to the crusades, unlikely, that it actually refer to a specific group. But I think now what people will be looking at is the idea of whether there are enough people participating in online chat rooms on the Dark Web in these sort of far right forums, who are in a sort more organized and coherent way creating networks that could be supporting this kind of vicious terrorist attack.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, so much we don't know but the investigation ongoing. Clarissa, for that. Clarissa Ward there.

[10:35:00] All right, let's get some more perspective. CNN's security analyst Juliette Kayyem, joins me now from Boston. Juliette, great to have you with us.

I think one of the most startling details is none of the suspects, one of whom now has been charged is on any security list in New Zealand, nor in Australia. Does that surprise you?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: It is always surprising because for the most part, you know, as they coordinate such a sophisticated attack, they are likely to be do something illegal and therefore be captured in some sort of dat base. The big question I have today of course is access to the weaponry, and how it got into New Zealand or how they got a hold of it given how limited or difficult it is to purchase weaponry, let alone build IEDS in New Zealand.

But the one thing that is true and just picking up on what Clarissa Ward said, our counterterrorism focus especially in New Zealand, Australia, U.K., Canada, the U.S., what we called the Five Eyes, tends to focus on the sort of ISIS threat. Our capacity to understand this sort of white supremacy, white radicalization threat that is clearly animating a lot of this violence, is a lot less. We've just not invested the law enforcement resources in it.

Hopefully, this is a wake-up call. So it maybe that they weren't in any databases, because they didn't reflect the kind of terrorism that are counterterrorism agencies tend to look at.

CHATTERLEY: OK. Juliette, Clarissa described this is a watershed, potentially a watershed moment. Do you believe that? Particularly in light of what you just said? we condemn, we investigate, we have names in databases to choose one Islamic fundamentalists, one religion specifically, but we don't have any real sense of control of this kind of far-right noise and abuse and rhetoric, whether it is online or beyond. Is this a watershed, do you think?

KAYYEM: I think it is in one sense that we are, we are going to have to name it, right? So yes, there is different names for it, so, you know, right, white radical, extremism, white supremacy extremism, there has to be a name for, it because I think that one of the challenges is, is that we used to see these cases as individual, like that crazy perrson, and that crazy person did this, in a mosque or a synagogue, and now, we need to be able to look at this, as an overall global trend, like what Clarissa was saying, and address it as that. Which means that you address the ideology of course. You try to stop the public, or minimize the impact of the public discourse that gives this kind of radicalization sort of a safe haven, and then I have to say, you know, for politicians, who use this kind of language, you know, either here in the United States, or anywhere globally to condemn it, but also to provide a space for those who may support that politician. But, you know, they're going too far, to really understand the imact of language like that on the radicalization process.

You cannot tell me as a counterterrorism expert that words matter when it comes to, you know, Islamic extremism terrorism --


KAYYEM: -- but we can excuse all of this language when it comes to white supremacy terrorism. It says, it doesn't work that way. Words matter. And they matter from our leadership

CHATTERLEY: Right. Juliette, thank you so much for that. Juliette Kayyem there.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Still ahead we're across, our top story this hour, two New Zealand mosques become the scenes of mass shootings. We speak to a former FBI agent, next.


[10:40:24] CHATTERLEY: More now on our continuing coverage of what New Zealand's prime minister calls one of the countries darkest days. Mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch have left at least 49 people dead, and 20 others seriously wounded. The attacks happened during Friday prayers. Authorities have charged a 28-year-old man with murder. He will appear in court in the coming hours. Two others were also arrested in the aftermath of the attack, but their involvement remains unclear.

I want to bring now reporter Sally Round, from "Radio New Zealand", she joins us on the line from Wellington. Sally, thank you so much for joining our show. Can I just ask you what you're expecting to see in the coming hours, in terms of the suspect, that's set to appear in court? And if you have any further news on the ongoing investigation at this time?

SALLY ROUND, RADIO NEW ZEALAND: Yes. So it is the very early hours, it Saturday morning here in New Zealand. We know that the suspect, the 28-year-old man is due to appear in court this morning in the South Island City of Christchurch where the shooting happened, charged with murder. Three people, as you say, are in custody, including that man.

The country is on high alert. It is the middle of the night. But we've been told by the police that armed police and special tactics groups are set up at mosques around the country. That the country is basically on high alert, and they are telling everyone that things are under control.

CHATTERLEY: Sally, can you describe the reaction there to the events of the last several hours. I appreciate as you said, it is the small hours of the morning now, but we have discussed many times over the last several hours of how tolerant a community, a country New Zealand is. How are people absorbing what we've seen?

ROUND: Well, it's been very difficult to absorb, walking on the street, this evening, just taking in the news, you can see people bowing their heads, looking over their phone, people stopping and chatting, and New Zealand is a small place, and everyone will know somebody who has been affected by what's been happening in Christchurch. Whether they know somebody who was in the mosques, somebody injured. Children that were in those lockdown situations in school, throughout the afternoon. Everyone will have heard a story or know somebody involved. But yes, it is definitely a shock for all the country.

CHATTERLEY: And is it an inclusive community? I mean we know that the Islamic community in Christchurch but also in New Zealand is very small. Is it a very broad or tolerant society? They're made to feel welcome?

ROUND: Yes, the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern alluded to that in her speech this evening. She shared a very emotional message on behalf of all New Zealanders, with the victims and their families, she said that New Zealand is not a target, because we are, people have chosen New Zealand as a place to come to, because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, those were her words. She said that those values would not be changed by the attack.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, one of New Zealand's darkest days. Sally Round on the line there in Wellington, thank you so much for joining us.

Foria Younis, is a former special agent for the FBI and a consultant on Muslim Culture and Security Issues, in South Asia and the Middle East. And she joins us from New York. Foria, great to have you on the show. Your observations to start with.

FORIA YOUNIS, CONSULTANT, SOUTH ASIA-MIDDLE EAST CONSULTANTS: Good to be here. I want to echo little bit what Juliette said earlier and that is are we putting enough law enforcement and intelligence effort into some of these other groups, so we know we focus a lot on ISIS and al-Qaeda in the past, we put a lot of energy and training and watch lists for those individuals.

Are we putting enough effort, as law enforcement officers, for the safety of all of our citizens, on a white supremacist group, in the same amount that we would otherwise. Are we looking at the people and the groups that influence these individuals? So what type of investigative resources are we putting into these other groups? Or are we just letting them exist because of our own intelligence and law enforcement biases? These are some things we have to look at.

I do a lot of training for law enforcement on Jihadi extremism. There should be just as many if not more, other individuals, who are experts of white supremacists, doing training for that type of groups. And I'm not sure if I see a fair investigative effort out there in law enforcement.

[10:45:06] CHATTERLEY: You're arguing this simply isn't enough. There isn't enough resources put into looking at far right extremism or other forms of extremism where ever it is around the world. That's the point you're making. That just isn't the emphasis right now because part of the challenge is some of this rhetoric whether its anti--immigration, whether its anti-certain religions comes from people in power, it comes from policy makers, it's something not condemned the same way we see for things like Islamic fundamentalism. This is surely a key point, too.

YOUNIS: It is and that's part of human nature. Is part of the groups that we align with. Sometimes the majority may not easily see some dangers within their own majority. And they don't want to see that. Maybe they don't like to see that. They minimize that threat many times. So they don't want to put as many -- as much effort into it.

You can even look at the United States where the government of the United States, there was a report put out some years ago, on the dangers of white supremacy. But that report was pushed down. It wasn't taken seriously because we -- the majority individuals or the groups that are in charge of looking at these threats don't feel it as a dangerous threat.

CHATTERLEY: Foria, how do we change that? How do we change that lack of belief or emphasis that this is a critical problem? And Clarissa Ward just said to us earlier on the show this could be a watershed moment. Do you believe that?

YOUNIS: Yes, yes for New Zealand, but we also had many moments in our country. We had that --


YOUNIS: -- synagogue attack on the Jewish people of our country not too long ago. So we have these moments, but still, we kind of put them aside. We don't put as much emphasis on the dangers of groups that attack places like the synagogue outside of Pittsburgh or other individuals. So these moments do come. And sometimes we don't take them as seriously as we should.

We need really upper management in law enforcement to take a close look, to take a close look at how they are spending their resources. And it's a matter of facts. How many people get killed from one type of group compared to the other and resources should be allocated with enough serious effort. But what I have found and it's, you know, it's just human nature in some ways, we are less likely to look at people that we consider similar to us.

But we should not be so biased in law enforcement and the intel communities because if we are biased, then we're going to let these type of individuals get through and they're going to end up killing our own citizens.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, human nature. Not good enough. Foria Younis, thank you so much for that.

YOUNIS: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Our coverage of the terror attack in New Zealand continues.

Coming up, the Bangladesh's cricket team was about to attend Friday prayers when the gunman began shooting. One says they are extremely lucky to have escaped with their lives. Stay with CNN.


[10:50:22] CHATTERLEY: We continue our coverage out of New Zealand. Members of Bangladesh's cricket team narrowly avoided the terror attacks in Christchurch.

The team is visiting New Zealand and arrived for Friday prayers just as the attack was unfolding. World Sports Alex Thomas joins us with more.

Alex, great to have you here and you've been there, you've been to that mosque just a few weeks ago.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Yes, we went to the park just bordering it, just over a month ago for our monthly Rugby Show. The most peaceful idyllic, the absolute epitome of a sort of peaceful inner city parkland. So amazing to see that piece shattered and the Bangladesh cricket team turning up just minutes after the shooting started, seeing bloody victims coming out of the mosque, eventually got off their caution and left the scene and that's probably what saved them.

They have now canceled the cricket match. They were due to play against New Zealand the following day. There -- one of their batsman Tamim Iqbal, tweeting the entire team got saved from active shooters frightening experience and please keep is in your prayers.

New Zealand of course they are famous for its Rugby culture --


THOMAS: -- and the star of their old back team, Sonny Bill Williams, has been a Muslim now for 10 years. He converted in 2009 and left this tearful message on Twitter.


SONNY BILL WILLIAMS, RUGBY UNION FOOTBALLER NEW ZEALAND: Just heard the news in. I can't put it into words how I am feeling right now. Just sending my bless (ph) to the families, apparently this close to 30 people dead. Just -- yes, sending out my bless (ph) and Shallah, Yvonne that's been killed today in Christchurch, your families you can take.

Just, yes, just sending my (INAUDIBLE) to your loved ones in Shallah, you guys all in paradise. And, yes, I'm just deeply, deeply saddened, sad and that this would happen in New Zealand.


THOMAS: He's a sporting superstar in our country like as Lebron James as in the United States, for example, Julia. The shows he is reduced to the same emotions the rest of us happened on this terrible tragedy.

CHATTERLEY: Heartbreaking. Thank you for that, Alex Thomas there.

Shock doesn't begin to even describe how people in New Zealand felt after the attacks.

Political leaders, shooting survivors, reporters, they are all appalled to see something like that play out in their nation. Just watch some of their reactions.


ARDERN: It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hard, you know, the fighting and it was from the main entrance, the main entrance of the building. And everybody just run toward the back doors and just to save themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just continuously like shooting and coming inside slowly because he was killing all the people who were in the entrance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it turned to the -- open the door to the toilet and there start the firing (INAUDIBLE). And they just keep firing, firing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was jumping out of the wall and then I stayed there in the house and still we were listening the gunfire, a loud sound, which was continuously happening 14 to 15 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was basically waiting for there and praying to God, oh God, please let this guy run out of bullets.

ROSEMARY OMAR, EYEWITNESS: No, I didn't see the gun but I just see those bodies, it was very scary.

ARDERN: There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.

BUSH: We have recovered a number of firearms from both of the scenes, every available police and emergency resource with other government agencies and defense force are doing everything they can to keep our community safe.

JACKSON WILLIAMS, SKY NEWS AUSTALIA REPORTER: This is very much a country in shock, a country in mourning. Many people struggling to come to terms to be able to comprehend what's taken place here today.

ARDERN: I can tell you now this is and will be one of New Zealand's darkest days.


CHATTERLEY: Incomprehensible. Just to reiterate the latest headlines on this story. Cities around the world are stepping up security at places of worship, in the aftermath of mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Extra security will be in place in London, New York, San Francisco and cities across France. U.S. President Donald Trump sent out his condolences Friday morning and British lawmakers held a minute of silence for the victims.

[10:55:15] We're learning that members of the Bangladesh National Cricket Team missed the attack by minutes.

And ESPN reporters say they were just about to walk into one of the two mosques when gunshots rang out.

As we mentioned earlier, the rampage left at least 49 people dead and dozens more injured.

Three people are in police custody. And one of them will face murder charges Saturday.

We will continue to bring you up to speed with this story. For now, though, I'm Julia Chatterley.

Another hour of the International Desk with Robyn Curnow is just ahead. Stay with us.