Norway mosque shooting probed as terror act

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2019

"The police are working at the location", Oslo police said on Twitter.

Police in Norway's capital say the shooting at a mosque that wounded one person is being investigated as an attempted terrorist attack and that the alleged perpetrator is also a murder suspect in a separate case.

The suspect did not speak, and his defense lawyer Unni Fries told The Associated Press he "will use his right not to explain himself for now". "He is not admitting any guilt".

Eyewitnesses said Manshaus entered the al-Noor Islamic Centre with several guns, but was overpowered by a 65-year-old member of the mosque, who managed to wrestle away his weapons in the fight that followed.

Only three people were present in the mosque at the time of the attack.

An initial statement by the police had said one person was shot in the attack.

The suspect's lawyer declined to comment on Norwegian media reports that Manshaus was inspired by shootings in March in New Zealand, where a gunman killed 51 people, and on August 3 in El Paso, Texas, which left at least 22 dead.

Local newspaper Budstikka quoted a mosque board member, Irfan Mushtaq, as saying the shooter wore a helmet and a uniform.

In Norwegian media, neighbours and acquaintances have meanwhile described the suspect as a happy and well-adjusted person, but whose behaviour had changed during the past year.

The mosque had previously implemented extra security measures after a gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier this year.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Sunday said that while her government tries to combat hate speech, more must be done.

"We're investigating this as an attempt at carrying out an act of terrorism", he stated.

In the online post, references were made to a "race war" and it ended with the words "Valhalla awaits".

The attack took place on the eve of the Muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha, marking the end of the Muslim pilgrimage Hajj, and police said they were looking into whether any steps needed to be taken to "improve security". He said he grabbed the attacker, held him down and wrestled the weapons from him.

Other reports by iNewsToday