Oldham man arrested for Facebook status “supporting” New Zealand mosque attacks

50 people were killed in Friday's double mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

A man from Oldham has been arrested after posting a status on Facebook “supporting” the double mosque attack in New Zealand.

The 24-year-old who cannot be named was held on suspicion of sending malicious communications.

On Friday 15 March, 50 Muslim worshippers were killed and 48 seriously injured in a mass shooting spree in two mosques in Christchurch.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, who live streamed the massacre at Masjid Al-Noor on Facebook appeared in court on Saturday 16 March and charged with murder.

Referring to the arrest in Oldham, Greater Manchester Police said they “became aware of a post on social media making reference and support for the terrible events in New Zealand.”

GMP added: “Police have made urgent enquiries and a man aged 24 from the Oldham area is now under arrest on suspicion of sending malicious communications.

“This is a very difficult time for people. The events in New Zealand have reverberated around the world. Many people are in deep shock and are worried.

“It is at times like this that, as a community, we stand together. Where the law permits and people cross the line, we will take robust action, which may include arrest and prosecution.”

Police forces across the UK have been visiting mosques over the weekends with increasing presence at mosques on Friday for Jumah prayers.

GMP’s Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said: “It is clear that people are worried and we really understand that… It is truly terrible what happened yesterday. It is hard to put into any form of words.

“We have nothing to suggest any threat locally, but none of this can diminish how people feel and that is why we want to be there to offer more support at this difficult time.”

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