Austria’s far-right Identitarian Movement received cash from the man charged with killing 50 people in mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday.
“We can now confirm that there was financial support and so a link between the New Zealand attacker and the Identitarian Movement in Austria,” Mr. Kurz said.
A spokesman for prosecutors in Graz said the head of Austria’s Identitarian Movement, Martin Sellner, received €1,500 ($1,690) in early 2018 from a donor with the same name as the man charged over the March 15 Christchurch attacks.
New Zealand authorities were not immediately available for comment on Mr. Kurz’s statement.
Mr. Sellner published two videos on YouTube in which he said he had received a donation which involved an email address that matched the name of the Australian alleged to have carried out the Christchurch attacks. In one of the videos, he said:
“I’m not a member of a terrorist organisation. I have nothing to do with this man, other than that I passively received a donation from him.” He said the donation was from early 2018 and that he would give the money to a charitable foundation. Mr. Sellner said that police had raided his house over the possible links to the attacker.
Austria’s Identitarians, who say they want to preserve Europe’s identity, are a relatively new, media-savvy far-right movement which uses the Internet to promote their actions on the streets.
Mr. Kurz said Austria was looking into dissolving the Identitarian Movement.
Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), said the FPO had nothing to do with the Identitarian Movement.