Norway mosque shooter rejects terrorism, murder allegations

13 Août, 2019, 18:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The victim was a 75-year-old member of the congregation mosque director Irfan Mushtaq told TV2

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.

Only three people were inside the al-Noor Islamic Centre at the time of the attack, and police said they recovered two firearms from the scene but did not specify which type.

"We're investigating this as an attempt to carry out an act of terrorism", assistant chief of police Rune Skjold said on Sunday.

The suspect was charged with murder after the body of a young woman, identified as his 17-year-old stepsister, was found late Saturday in his home in Baerum.

A suspected gunman accused of an attempted terrorist attack on an Oslo mosque and separately killing his teenage stepsister appeared in court Monday for a hearing, but his defense lawyer said he "will use his right not to explain himself for now".

Norway's al-Noor Islamic centre shares its name with the worst-affected mosque in the New Zealand attacks. The stifled attack was credited to the people inside the mosque who overpowered the gunman before police arrived.

Norway suffered the bloodiest act of political violence of this kind in 2011, when extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utoya.

Following Saturday's attack the police have increased security around the celebration of the Muslim holiday of Eid.

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He told Reuters news agency: "I suddenly heard shouting from outside".

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

Authorities were seeking to hold him on suspicion of murder and for breaching anti-terrorism law by spreading severe fear among the population.

A judge is expected to rule later in the day on the police request to formally detain him, the Oslo District Court said.

"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.

"He is exercising his right not to be interrogated", his defence attorney, Unni Fries, told Reuters. Several shots were fired in the shooting, but no one was seriously injured.

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.

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