The Australian man arrested for the slaughter of Muslim worshipers in New Zealand has piqued the interest of Cypriot authorities, after it emerged that the suspected terrorist had traveled to many countries in the region.
Law enforcement authorities in several countries are connecting the dots, following information that the alleged gunman, 28-year-old gym trainer Brandon Tarrant, visited a number of countries prior to a shooting spree last week that left 50 people dead in two mosques in Christchurch.
According to local media, police in Cyprus received an intelligence notification from Interpol asking Nicosia for an investigation into whether Tarrant had visited Cyprus at any point in time.
Police in Cyprus received an intelligence notification from Interpol asking Nicosia for an investigation into whether Tarrant had visited Cyprus at any point in time
Preliminary media reports suggested authorities found no official record of Tarrant traveling to Cyprus. No details were provided as to the nature of the investigation while multiple inquiries into Tarrant’s travels are still ongoing in several countries.
Tarrant is said to have travelled several times to Greece and Turkey, as well as Israel and other countries including Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Pakistan. Turkish and Bulgarian officials opened an investigation after it emerged that Tarrant had traveled to those countries, also prompting Greek officials on Sunday to uncover a brief visit in the country back in 2016.
The shooting suspect was said to have visited Greek islands Crete and Santorini in March 2016. His whereabouts were also uncovered in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he is believed to have traveled by bus between 28 and 30 December that year.
Turkish officials said the alleged gunman visited Istanbul on March 20, while reports said there were more visits and longer stays in that country. He also obtained a three-month visa for Israel where he ended up staying for nine days in late October, while he also had two stopovers in Greece again in November and December according to media reports.
Tarrant, a licenced gun owner, is said to have purchased firearms and ammunition legally but it was not clear whether actual weapons used in the shooting had been bought lawfully.