Norwegian police ignored a tipoff about suspected Oslo mosque shooter

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2019

A shooting at a mosque in Norway is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, police say.

Mohammad Rafiq said he threw the suspect to the ground after the gunman entered the al-Noor Islamic Center in Baerum near the Norwegian capital of Oslo on Saturday, before the two other men inside the mosque rushed to help him pin down the man.

A few hours after the Norwegian mosque attack, police discovered the body of a young woman at what they said was the suspect's address. He is also suspected of murdering his 17-year-old stepsister of Chinese origin.

The suspect, a young, white male carrying several guns, had expressed far-right and anti-immigrant views online, said Skjold.

At a detention hearing in Oslo on Monday, a 21-year-old Norwegian man suspected of a "terrorist act" at the city's Al-Noor mosque on Saturday rejected all the allegations against him. Police have called for it to take place behind closed doors.

Shortly before the mosque attack, a person identifying himself as Philip Manshaus had posted a message on the EndChan forum calling on readers to move a "race war" off the web and into real life ("irl").

"We're investigating this as an attempt at carrying out an act of terrorism", he said, according to Reuters.

The suspect, whose exact age has not been released but has been listed as being 21 or 22-years-old, appeared in court with bruises across his face. As the gunman targeted Muslims in the mosque, a 65-year-old man named Mohammed Rafiq managed to overpower the shooter.

"I suddenly heard shooting from outside".

Manshaus did not speak while reporters were present, and has so far declined to talk to the police.

"He is exercising his right not to be interrogated", his defence attorney, Unni Fries, told Reuters. "I represent the mother of the girl", she said, adding that the girl's mother and Manshaus's father were together, and surrounded by friends helping them cope.

Hans Svrerre Sjoevold, head of Norway's domestic security agency PST, admitted police were told to watch Philip Manshaus previous year.

Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Sunday assured Norway's Muslim community of government support.

The name of the Oslo mosque is similar to the one in the New Zealand attacks.

The incident comes almost eight years after Norway's deadliest peacetime attack, when anti-Muslim neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik massacred 77 people at a camp.

Other reports by iNewsToday