Soldier believed to have ties to far-right 'Christian brotherhood' arrested at Linton Military Camp

New Zealand Defence Force trainers conducting lessons in the field during the Task Group Taji Rotation 2 mission rehearsal exercise at Kokoda Barracks, Canungra, QLD. *** Local Caption *** Australian Army personnel worked with members of the New Zealand Defence Force during the certification exercise for the second rotation of Task Group Taji at Kokoda Barracks, Canungra from 26 to 30 October 2015. 



The mission rehearsal exercise consisted of a number of realistic training serials which were designed to replicate the dynamic training environment which exists in Iraq.



Australian Army soldiers, primarily from 7th Brigade, will deploy on Operation Okra as part of the broader international Building Partner Capacity mission. The training includes weapon handling, building clearances and obstacle breaching techniques; as well as training in the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for squad through to company-level operations to use in their fight against Daesh.



Task Group Taji Rotation 2 comprises approximately 300 ADF and 100 New Zealand Defence Force personnel. The contingent consists of a training team with command, force protection and support elements.
Photo credit: File

A soldier has been arrested at Linton Military Camp following a "joint criminal investigation" by NZ Police and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), a police spokesperson confirmed.

The soldier is believed to have ties to a far-right religious organisation and bodybuilding club, Wargus Christi, which styles itself as a "martial-monastic order". 

According to Newsroom.co.nz, the group claimed one of its members had been taken into military custody last week via its Telegram channel.

"One of our boys has been arrested for reasons still unknown. They have him in custody at the moment," Wargus Christi reportedly posted on December 14.

A user later added that the man was in "military prison". 

"New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand police have been conducting a joint criminal investigation. New Zealand Defence Force is currently the lead agency. As this is an ongoing investigation no further comment will be made," the police spokesperson told Newshub.

An NZDF spokesperson confirmed to Newshub that police "executed a search warrant and one soldier was taken into military custody" at Linton Military Camp, the largest New Zealand Army base located south of Palmerston North.

Wargus Christi's public Facebook page regularly promotes far-right ideologies and values, referencing homophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. 

A post from the "Christian brotherhood" earlier this month promoted mortification of the flesh, or "severity to the body," as an act of "spiritual warfare" and' 'sanctification". 

"Wargus Christi promotes and participates in the tradition of flagellation - the striking of the flesh in penance. Flagellation is first introduced with padded clubs that bruise and condition the body toward the more testing methods our forefathers mastered," it wrote, alongside a photo of severe bruising and broken skin on the back of an assumed member.

A post from October 15 also declared, "like Islam, Judaism is a diametrical enemy of Christ".