Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Norwegian police say mosque shooting is a terror attempt

A Norwegian police officer looks on as people gather before morning prayer in Thon Oslofjord hotel in Sandvika Norway on Aug 11 2019 Norway mosque shooting probed as terror act
Patty Aguilar | 13 August, 2019, 18:54

"The fact that the aggressor entered a mosque armed and from the investigation so far has been found to have expressed hostile attitudes against immigrants has led the police to investigate this attack as an attempted act of terrorism", the police department said in a statement.

Manshaus, who briefly smiled at photographers, does not admit to any crime, his lawyer said earlier on Monday.

The "hero" who stopped him was 65-year-old Mohamed Rafiq, who held the terrorist down while another worshiper, Mohamed Iqbal, hit him on the head.

Manshaus wore a helmet camera, filming the shooting, but did not appear to have broadcast the attack, according to prosecutors.

"This video is key evidence", police attorney Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby told a news conference.

The suspect is accused of carrying out Saturday's shooting at the Al-Noor Islamic Centre mosque in Baerum, west of Oslo.

"He put his finger inside my eye, up to here; full finger inside my eye", added Rafiq, who said he used to be a Pakistani Air Force officer.

Shots were fired in the attack, but nobody at the mosque was killed.

The attacker was Philip Manshaus, a 21-year-old resident of the city.

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Norwegian police said they had been in contact with the Oslo mosque attack suspect prior to Saturday's shooting amid concerns over what he was posting online. He is also suspected of murdering his 17-year-old stepsister of Chinese origin. "I suddenly heard shooting from outside", Rafiq told the reporters.

"These are two tragedies, one with the girl and one with the mosque".

"We are trying to combat this, but it's a challenge".

"He rejects the allegations and exercises his right to not explain himself", she said. "He is not admitting any guilt". He has not been named by authorities nor has the motive in the attack; he has been charged with murder and attempted murder. The alleged mosque gunman was being investigated in her death, police said.

Hans Sverre Sjoevold told a news conference Monday that the agency receives many tips from anxious people every day and the information "didn't go in the direction of an imminent terror planning".

He declined to comment on the content and source of the warning.

Investigators so far think no one else was involved in attack.

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.

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

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