The brother of one of the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks has reached out to reassure family and friends of the man accused that they have nothing to fear from him.

"I don't hold you responsible. You are safe near me. You are safe near my father. You do not have to fear us," Youssef Abukwaik said, in response to a report that some of the gunman's family and friends had gone into hiding.

One man told a Herald reporter that he was scared of retribution for what happened in Christchurch, saying he is a "prisoner" in his own home. The night of the Christchurch attacks, "there were eight to 10 cars waiting for me outside. It was so bad I slept in my car at McDonald's".

Youssef responded that although he hated the person who killed his brother, he did not wish his family or friends harm.


"I have lost my brother and you, too, have lost your son ... I'm sorry for you. Peace be upon you."

Billboard in Grafton New South Wales at CHS training made by Darren Hayes saying
Billboard in Grafton New South Wales at CHS training made by Darren Hayes saying " He Does Not Represent Us. Prayers For Christchurch " in reference to Christchurch Mosque attacks gunman Bre

Youssef, who lives in California, was alerted to the Christchurch attacks while scrolling his Facebook newsfeed.

The imam of Al Noor mosque identified his brother as among the dead and it fell to Youssef to break the devastating news to each of his family members.

His brother leaves a wife and three young children.

Youssef said his family had been Palestinian refugees from the formation of Israel. He emigrated from Egypt to the United States while Osama settled with his family in New Zealand less than two years ago.

He told the Herald On Sunday he posted the comments because "I would hate to think that somebody was scared of me. We are not that type of people."

But he could understand the fear because of the attack in Sri Lanka which Isis has claimed it was behind.

Speaking at a memorial gathering in California for the victims of the Sri Lanka he said claims that it was in response to Christchurch, enraged him.

"I told them I lost my own brother and that I cannot believe someone could go and kill another person's brother in my name."

The service, which was attended by people from all the major religions in Sri Lanka, was emotional.

"I didn't get to travel to New Zealand to attend my brother's funeral. So, for me, putting down the flowers that day was for my brother."

"We are having a problem with humanity. There is too much hate. It is a single planet that we have. We have to must share it. If not for us, for the kids, the children."

It was wrong and dangerous to allow the actions of a tiny minority of extremists to taint your view of a faith or race, he said. "It is the same thing I am trying to say in my message."