New Zealand terrorist listened to song praising Chetniks, massacrist Karadzic during Christchurch attack

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 15.03.2019 16:45
emDHA Photo/em
DHA Photo

The terrorist, who staged the heinous attacks targeting the worshippers inside two mosques during Friday prayers, was listening to a far-right Chetnik song praising Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader convicted of grave war crimes before he carried out the shooting, according to an examination by the Daily Sabah team of the footage of the attacker.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen that staged the attack, is heard listening to the Chetnik song "From Bihac to Petrovac village," while he was preparing to enter the mosque.

Bosnians speaking to the Daily Sabah stated that Serbian soldiers used to play this song in their trucks while heading to conflict zones and massacre areas during the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995, which broke out during the dissolution of Yugoslavia. During the war, Bosnian Muslims were systematically targeted in an ethnic cleansing campaign by the Serbian military and militia.

The song refers to Bosnian Muslims as the "Turk," while also labeling Croatians, the third party in the war, as the "Ustasha," the fascist Croat militia that collaborated with the Nazis and Italians during World War II and formed a puppet regime in western Yugoslavia.

The predominantly Muslim town of Bihac is the westernmost district of Bosnia and Herzegovina while Petrovac is a village in eastern Serbia, thus the song refers to a larger Serbia claimed by ultranationalists.

Karadzic, who served as the president of the Republika Srpska during the war, is accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of ethnic cleansing, genocide and various other crimes against humanity. He is currently jailed as he was found guilty in March 2016 of several accounts of war crimes, including the genocide in Srebrenica, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

It is interesting that the attacker is singing the song praising Karadzic only five days before the announcement of the second instance verdict for the war crimes trial in The Hague.

It is not clear how Tarrant, who is of Scottish descent, has gotten accustomed to a far-right song from the Balkans. However, it is important to note that a huge community of Chetniks, who at times sided with the Nazis during World War II against the Communist partisans led by Tito, fled to Australia and New Zealand after the war, fearing reprisals from the socialist regime. Tarrant might have gotten in contact with this community.

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