An Australian gunman who killed 49 people at two New Zealand Masjids on Friday published a racist manifesto on Twitter before livestreaming his rampage.
The Facebook Live video, taken with a camera that appeared to be mounted on the gunman's body, shows a clean-shaven, Caucasian man with short hair driving to the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch.
He enters the building and fires repeatedly at worshippers as he moves from room to room.
AFP determined the video was genuine through a digital investigation that included matching screenshots of the Masjid taken from the gunman's footage with images available online showing the same areas.
The “manifesto” detailing motivations for the attack was posted on Friday morning onto a Twitter account with the same name and profile image as the Facebook page that streamed the attack.
In the video, the shooter parks his car next to the Masjid and gets out of the vehicle with a rifle. He slowly goes to the boot of his car and retrieves another firearm.
He then walks into the compound of the Masjid and fires at a person standing near the doorway before dropping the rifle and shooting repeatedly with the second weapon as he moves inside.
The gunman fires dozens of bullets at people trying to run away or lying down in huddled groups in corners of the rooms.
In the excerpt of the video viewed by the AFP, which did not appear to be the full clip, he can be seen changing cartridges three times in just under two minutes.
The framing of the video, which shows only the gunman's hands holding the gun as he shoots and reloads, is eerily similar to the style of a first-person shooter video game.
In the 74-page manifesto entitled “The Great Replacement”, the gunman details his intention to attack Muslims.
The title of the document has the same name as a conspiracy theory originating in France that believes European populations are being displaced in their homelands by immigrant groups with higher birth rates.
The gunman identified himself as an Australia-born, 28-year-old white male from a low-income, working-class family.
He said that key points in his radicalisation were the defeat of the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in 2017 elections, and the death of 11-year-old Ebba Akerlund in the 2017 Stockholm truck attack.
The gunman spoke only occasionally while in the car, with what sounded like an Australian accent. Satellite navigational audio could also be heard in the video as he drove to the Masjid.
The song “Fire” by English rock band “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown” can be heard blasting from the speakers.
The singer bellows, “I am the god of hellfire!” and the gunman drives away. The video then cuts out.
There was a second shooting at the Linwood Masjid that killed at least 10 people.
Distinctive writing on his weapons was seen in the footage as well as images posted on the Twitter account.
Scrawled in English and several Eastern European languages were the names of numerous historical military figures -- many of them Europeans involved in fighting the Ottoman forces in the 15th and 16th centuries. A few took part in the Crusades, centuries earlier.
The Facebook account that posted the video was no longer available shortly after the shooting. The Twitter account of the same name was quickly suspended.
“Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video," Facebook said in a tweet. “We're also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we're aware."
A spokesman for New Zealand's interior ministry said the video was likely to be classified as objectionable content under local law, and could be illegal to share.
“The content of the video is disturbing and will be harmful for people to see,” he said. “This is a very real tragedy with real victims and we strongly encourage people to not share or view the video.”