Malta 1565 – this is what seems to have been written in white letters on the weapon which was used by Australian Brenton Tarrant to kill 49 people and injure another 20 in two mosques in New Zealand.
Tarrant is being considered a violent, extreme right-wing terrorist and Malta has been unjustly dragged into the fray because of the reference he made to the Great Siege of 1565 when the Christians threw over the Ottoman Empire in Malta. Apart from this, Tarrant also made reference to a Knight from the Order of St John, Jean Parisot de La Vallette, on the weapon.
However, Tarrant is not the only extremist who ended up using Malta’s name in his actions. In 2011, extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Norway when he threw explosives and shot at a group of young people from the Socialist Party who were at a camping site.
Behring Breivik had come to Malta in 2004 together with his mother to write his manifest against Islam and had visited another 24 exotic countries including Malta.
He had chosen to visit Malta to learn more about how Europe was fighting against North Africa.