Norway mosque "terror attack" suspect remanded in custody

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 14, 2019

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his stepsister and opening fire at a mosque near Oslo rejects allegations of murder and attempted murder, his lawyer said Monday.

A 65-year-old man has been hailed as a hero after he successfully took down a gunman who entered a mosque in Norway intent on shooting worshippers.

Mohammad Rafiq (R), one of the members of the congregation who stopped the attacker at a mosque, listens as people speak to media next to the Thon Oslofjord hotel in Sandvika, Norway, Aug. 11, 2019. Police asked the court to detain the suspect in custody in isolation for four weeks.

Security experts believe Philip Manshaus is the latest example of an extremist who was radicalized by far-right conspiracy theories spread online, particularly the "great replacement" theory, which falsely warns of a "genocide" in which white people are being replaced by immigrants and Muslims.

Police said he waved weapons and fired several shots.

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

Police say he has "extreme right views" and "xenophobic positions" and that he had filmed the mosque attack with a GoPro camera mounted on a helmet. Police later named her as his stepsister, Chinese-born Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen.

One of the board members of the mosque, Irfan Mushtaq, confirmed that there were 15 people inside the building just minutes before the terrorist burst in. "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.

Hagen declined to comment on any possible motive for the killing.

"I can confirm" he rejects the allegations, his lawyer Unni Fries told AFP. "He is not admitting any guilt".

On Monday, Norway's domestic intelligence service PST said it had received a tip "about a year ago" about Manshaus, but that they chose not to act on it.

While some of the weapons had been legally obtained by one or more residents at Manshaus's home, others may have been illegal, police said.

"There was nothing in that tip-off that suggested there was danger of an act of terrorism or that planning of an attack was underway", PST head Hans Sverre Sjoevold said at a news conference.

The would-be shooter was also wearing body armour and a uniform and shattered through a glass door in order to reach the place of worship.

Mohamed Rafiq with the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

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

The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Philip Manshaus, appeared in court Monday to face charges of attempted murder and murder in connection with last Saturday's attack outside of the capital, Oslo.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE