KEY POINTS
• 'We are with you': Harry and Meghan visit New Zealand House in London, leaving a personal message for the victims of the Christchurch massacre
• Hunting & Fishing retailer has removed all semi-automatic weapons from its shelves - and says they will never return
• The accused gunman is being denied access to newspapers, television and radio
• PM Ardern says it's 'horrendous' that gunman's video can still be viewed on Facebook
• Foreign Minister Winston Peters is flying to Indonesia and Turkey to talk to Governments about the attacks
• Donations for shooting victims' families surge past $8m


A high-ranking member of ISIS has called for revenge after the deaths of 50 Muslims in Christchurch.

The terror organisation's spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir is believed to have issued an appeal in a 44-minute audio recording.

The New York Times reports that al-Muhajir broke six months of silence to call for retaliation.

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"The scenes of the massacres in the two mosques should wake up those who were fooled, and should incite the supporters of the caliphate to avenge their religion," he said.

Fifty worshipers were killed when the alleged gunman, Brenton Tarrant, opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday afternoon.

Al-Muhajir likened the massacre to the ongoing battle at the terror organisation's only remaining piece of territory in Syria.

"Here is Baghuz in Syria, where Muslims are burned to death and are bombed by all known and unknown weapons of mass destruction," he said.

However, the New York Times reported that coalition officials believe those killed in Baghuz are mostly Islamic State fighters or their wives and children.

The Times reported that throughout his speech, "Mr al-Muhajir belittled the White House's claim of victory over the terrorist organisation, calling it a 'state of confusion and contradiction that make it impossible for any observer to know what is meant by the word 'victory'."

Military officials say ISIS remains a threat despite losing all but a small part of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria.

The Times said al-Muhajir's name is an invention, and his true identity is unknown.

He "is a faceless but important figure inside the terrorist group. He is not known to have ever appeared in photographs or in the group's numerous videos, and almost nothing is known about his personal biography".

His last audio recording was in September 2018, and was less than four minutes long.

"As anti-ISIS forces pursue Mr al-Muhajir and other senior members of the militant group, it is assumed that they avoid detection by shunning electronics, especially cellphones, and limiting contact with couriers, whose movements can be tracked. That raises a number of questions: How did he know about the slaughter of Muslims in New Zealand? Is he hunkered down in a house in Iraq or Syria and relying on local TV coverage? Did one of his aides bring him the news?" reported the Times.

U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces fire on Islamic State militant positions in Baghouz. Photo / AP
U.S. backed Syrian Democratic Forces fire on Islamic State militant positions in Baghouz. Photo / AP

Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday charged with one count of murder and was remanded in custody without plea.

New Zealand Police have said the 28-year-old Australian will likely be facing further charges when he reappears in court on April 5.

Following the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand's national security threat level has been raised to high and senior government officials have met at the Beehive's high security bunker for a national security crisis meeting.

Though the country is collectively grieving following its worst ever terrorism attack, there has also been an outpouring of love and support for the victims and their families.

More than 250 police detectives and specialist staff are working on the investigation, which is being assisted by Australian detectives and the FBI.