As the gunman drove to the two New Zealand mosques, a Serb nationalist song was heard playing in the background of the haunting video he broadcast live on Facebook.
The mass shooter’s weapons also bore the names of several historical Serb nationalist figures, revealing an unexpected interest in Balkan conflicts.
According to a Bosnian diplomat, the song’s lyrics also say “Turks must be killed”, a term hardline Serb nationalists still routinely use to refer to Bosnian Muslims.
Brenton Tarrant also connected his savage act to figures deep into Balkan history, alongside a roster of other right-wing extremists from across the globe he paid homage to in his hate-filled manifesto.
According to local authorities, Tarrant travelled to the region himself in 2016 and early 2017, passing through Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia, and then Bulgaria in November 2018.
In Sarajevo, the Islamic Community of Bosnia said it was alarmed that the “assassin started his bloody escapade to the sound of a song glorifying war crimes in Bosnia”. He “was clearly inspired by this same extremist ideology and hatred” of the 1990s, the group added.