Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Norway mosque shooting suspect to remain in custody for four weeks

Rune Skjold Assistant Chief of Police holds a news conference after a shooting in al Noor Islamic centre mosque in the police headquarters in Oslo Norway on Saturday. — Reuters Norway mosque shooting probed as terror act
Deanna Wagner | 13 August, 2019, 18:54

Police said they had tried to question the suspect - described as a young man around 20 years old with a "Norwegian background" who was living in the vicinity of the attack - but he did not want to "give an explanation to police".

The suspect entered the mosque in the affluent Oslo suburb of Baerum on Saturday armed with multiple weapons and opened fire before being overpowered by a 65-year-old man who suffered minor injuries.

After the attack, police said a young woman found dead in the victim's home was the gunman's 17-year-old stepsister.

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

"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.

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.

According to local media, she was of Chinese origin and had been adopted by the companion of the suspect's father.

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. The suspect was arrested after the attack.

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Buckingham Palace said on Saturday this related to United States proceedings "to which the Duke Of York is not a party". In addition to the Queen and Prince Andrews eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice (31) was with.

Acting chief of the police operation Rune Skjold said that the man appeared to hold "far-right" and "anti-immigrant" views and had expressed sympathy for Vidkun Quisling, the leader of Norway's collaborationist government during the Nazi occupation.

The suspect, who has not revealed his motives to police, also recently wrote in an online forum that the gunman who killed more than 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was "a saint", and wrote: "It's been fun".

Head of Norway's security police (PST) Hans Sverre Sjovold speaks at a news conference in Oslo, Norway, on August 12, 2019.

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

In 2011, white supremacist Anders Behring Breivik massacred 77 people - the majority of whom were teenagers - in Norway's worst ever peacetime atrocity.

In Norwegian media, neighbours and acquaintances have meanwhile described the suspect as a happy and well-adjusted person, but whose behaviour had changed during the past year.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the attempted attack a 'direct attack on Norwegian Muslims'.