Norwegian police say mosque shooting is a terror attempt

Elias Hubbard
August 13, 2019

The incident took place on Saturday when a gunman tried to storm the al-Noor Islamic Centre in the Norwegian capital, wounding one person.

Just before the attack, there had been about 15 people in the mosque, preparing to celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.

"These people showed great courage", Skjold added.

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

On Sunday, Solberg wrote on Facebook that the latest attempted attack was an assault on all Muslims in Norway, an attack on freedom of religion and "an attack on Norway".

The 21-year-old will remain in pre-trial detention for four weeks, after the court granted a request from prosecutors.

His face and neck marked by bruises and scratches, Philip Manshaus was also charged with attempted murder, as well as the murder of his stepsister.

When officers went to the shooting suspect's residence, they found the body of his 17-year-old stepsister, police said.

"These hours after what happened have been chaotic, unreal, a tragedy", the lawyer, Elisabeth Hagen, told Reuters.

There has been a recent spate of white nationalist attacks in the West, including in the United States and in New Zealand where 51 Muslim worshippers were killed in March at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

"I guarantee that the police are doing everything we can to keep people safe", police spokesman Jan Eirik Thomassen said at a news conference Sunday.

A witness said of Mr Rafiq: "He is a hero". Several shots were fired but no-one was seriously hurt in the mosque. But it was unclear if those measures had helped to interrupt the attack.

The suspect's injuries likely stemmed from Saturday's attack, when he forced his way into the mosque but was overpowered by two members of the mosque.

"He is exercising his right not to be interrogated", his defence attorney, Unni Fries, told Reuters. According to Fries, her client lived in Oslo and was born in 1997.

According to police, the man refused to answer questions.

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

Eight years ago a Norwegian neo-Nazi murdered 77 people, first in Oslo and then at a summer youth camp run by the centre-left on the island of Utoeya.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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