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65-Year-Old Worshiper Took Down Suspected Terrorist Who Attempted Mosque Shooting In Norway

by : Cameron Frew on : 13 Aug 2019 07:30
65-Year-Old Worshiper Took Down Suspected Terrorist Who Attempted Mosque Shooting In Norway65-Year-Old Worshiper Took Down Suspected Terrorist Who Attempted Mosque Shooting In NorwayBBC News/PA

A 65-year-old Pakistani man tackled, pinned down and took the weapons from an armed shooter attempting a mosque attack in Norway. 

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On Saturday (August 10), 21-year-old Norwegian Philip Manshaus allegedly opened fire at the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum, west of Oslo.

The mosque’s director said the shooter entered the building wearing armour and carrying multiple weapons. Although shots were fired, there were only three people inside at the time of the attack, and nobody was seriously injured.

The gunman was overpowered before police arrived though, thanks to the heroic efforts of Mohammad Rafiq, a retired air force officer who took the shooter to the ground before he could do any more damage.

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People have praised the 65-year-old online, with many saying he’s a hero ‘who saved many lives’.

Shortly after the attack, the body of Manshaus’ 17-year-old stepsister was found at a house in Baerum.

When the accused attacker appeared at Oslo district court on Monday, his face was marked with bruises and scratches, and smiled at photographers.

He was charged with both attempted murder (with regards to the mosque) and the murder of his stepsister. Prosecutors were granted a four-week extension to his custody with a ban on prison visits and no media coverage.

Manshaus’ defence lawyer, Unni Fries, said he denies all criminal accusations and he won’t be speaking to investigators.

Police said the suspect expressed far-right, anti-immigrant views prior to the attack online, on the EndChan forum; allegedly admiring the Christchurch attack in which more than 50 people were killed at a mosque.

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EndChan said its moderators have deleted the thread and its primary domain has now been taken offline.

BBC News reported that Norwegian police said they were given a tip-off regarding the suspect a year ago, but had no reason to believe an attack was being planned.

In 2011, Norway was hit by one of the worst mass shootings in recent history when Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in attacks against the government and civilians in Oslo, and then teens at a youth summer camp run by the centre-left on the island of Utoeya.

Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the massacre. Manshaus can expect to face a similar sentence if found guilty of murder and attempted murder.

Under Norwegian law, life imprisonment is restricted to the military penal code while the civilian penal code sees a maximum sentence of 21 years applied. It can, in principle, result in life imprisonment though if the prisoner is still considered dangerous, in which case authorities can renew detention for up to five years at a time.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Mass Shooting, Mosque Attack, Norway, World News

Credits

BBC News
  1. BBC News

    Norway mosque attack: Bruised suspect Manshaus appears in court