At least 49 people were killed in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday when a terrorist entered two mosques and opened fire with several guns.
The person responsible for the attack live-streamed his actions ahead and during the attack.
Daily Mail reports the assailant identified himself as Brenton Tarrant from Grafton, New South Wales, Australia in the live-streamed video and told his viewers to “subscribe to PewDiePie” before carrying out one of New Zealand’s worst terror attacks.
Here’s more, from Daily Mail:
The white supremacist shooter has named a number of individuals in both his livestream and 74-page manifesto.
Tarrant identified himself as a Donald Trump supporter, as he ‘is a symbol of renewed white identity’, and said conservative activist Candace Owens was his biggest influence.
Tarrant was one of four people arrested over the dual mosque attacks today. Around the same time as the attack at the Al Noor mosque, a second was launched at Masjid mosque in Linwood, where seven more were killed.
Early reports indicated a shooting at Christchurch Hospital. However, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the mosques were the lone targets.
She did confirm multiple bombs were attached to two cars belonging to the suspects near the mosque. The explosives were disarmed before they could detonate.
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is the highest-paid YouTuber in the world and is known for uploading comedic content and often playing video games.
“Kjellberg, who has nearly 90 million subscribers, shot to fame recording video game playthroughs with hilarious commentary,” the Daily Mail reports.
The star said he was “absolutely sickened” by the assailant using his name ahead of the attack and disavowed any perceived correlation.
“Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person,” PewDiePie tweeted. “My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
Some people quickly came to the star’s defense and said the terrorist did not act in accordance with views reflected in his videos.
PewDiePie is currently in a “subscription war” with Indian music record label and film production company T-Series where the two entities are competing for the largest brand on YouTube.
Business Insider has more:
In October, Tubular Labs noticed that T-Series had racked up 66 million subscribers at the time, and was growing so quickly that it would overtake PewDiePie’s 67 million subscribers within a week.
It never happened, thanks to PewDiePie’s campaign asking people to “smash subscribe.”
This resulted in a massive groundswell of support, with PewDiePie fans sticking up posters around their cities asking people to subscribe to his channel. Perhaps more effectively, fellow YouTubers Logan Paul and Mr. Beast made videos asking their audiences to subscribe.
PewDiePie racked up more subscribers in the last four months of 2018 than in the entirety of 2017. Using statistics site SocialBlade, we worked he gain more than 13 million subscribers between September and December. It took him all of 2017 to gain 7 million subscribers.
In December alone, 6.62 million people subscribed to PewDiePie, which is a 700% acceleration in growth on his 855,000 subscriber haul in September, before the campaign to keep him ahead of T-Series began in earnest. At the time of writing, PewDiePie’s total subs base stands at 80.9 million. T-Series is close with 80.5 million fans.