The leader of an Australia white nationalist group claims he tried to recruit the alleged Christchurch shooter for a project to create a "parallel society" of only white people.
Tom Sewell, president of Lads Society, a group that it says is "committed to restoring the traditional elements of our nation as our forefathers envisioned", says he approached Brenton Tarrant to join a group looking to create a society of white people.
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Sewell and other supporters of the group wrote about Tarrant, an Australian, on the day of the Christchurch terror attacks, saying he had "been on the scene for a while," reports The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).
He told the SMH he had approached him online in 2017 to ask about possibly joining Lads Society.
"The specific correspondence I had with him was that he didn't want to be a member," Sewell said.
This was just before Tarrant left for New Zealand.
The group was founded by former members of the United Patriots Front in 2017. A photo on their website shows a group of white men, with some making a known white supremacist sign.
Sewell said he didn't condone violence "at this stage" but "if you make the peaceful alternative impossible, you leave only the other option".
"The difference between my organisation, myself and [Tarrant], is simply that we believe, certainly at this stage, that there is a peaceful solution for us to create the society we want to live in," Mr Sewell said.
"If we are not given that opportunity, well, time will tell. I'm not going to give you any explicit threat but it's pretty f****** obvious what's going to happen."
New South Wales police wouldn't comment on if any investigation into people's activities and rhetoric, but Professor of Law Luke McNamara said Sewell's comments likely wouldn't amount to a crime as it didn't identify a threat.