A 65-year-old Pakistani man tackled, pinned down and took the weapons from an armed shooter attempting a mosque attack in Norway.
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.
Meet Mohammad Rafiq a 65 years old PAF retired officer, stopped a 21 years old white gunman to charge in a mosque in Norway, unarmed him and pinned him down to the ground.
Hats off to this PAF veteran. pic.twitter.com/ywBzuSiNkx
— Aarsh Gujjar (@Aarsh_Khan_DXB) August 13, 2019
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.
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.
A 65-year-old retired Air Force Official, Mohammad Rafiq, is praised for his extraordinary bravery of overpowering a 21-year old Norwegian terrorist, Philip Manshaus, who entered a mosque in Oslo to carry out a gun attack. We salute this hero who saved many lives 🇵🇰 #Pakistan pic.twitter.com/GpSpbHa8ab
— Aziz _Khattak🇵🇰🇦🇪 (@Aziz748864291) August 13, 2019
Dear Mohammad Rafiq!
The entire Pakistani nation greets your bravery.
In Norway mosque you captured white terrorists Just a few moments ago of firing and saved Dozens of worshipers and other citizens.
You brighten the name of Pakistan and Pakistan Air Force pic.twitter.com/scJilwLMHL
— Mohammad Sabir (@ch_sabir) August 13, 2019
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.
EndChan said its moderators have deleted the thread and its primary domain has now been taken offline.
This is an appreciation post for 65 year-old Mohammad Rafiq who took down & pinned this armed white supremacist as he tried to enter al Noor Islamic Centre in Norway while worshippers gathered to celebrate Eid. Mr. Rafiq is a hero. https://t.co/Cr8rFalpQu
— Simar (@sahluwal) August 12, 2019
This story out did not get coverage other #Mosque attacks receive because it did not result in massive bloodshed. That's because of the bravery of 1 human being. Thank you #MohammadRafiq Peace be upon you. #EidAlAdha https://t.co/p7y5mvxjna
— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) August 12, 2019
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.
This (of Mohammed Rafiq vs the racist mass shooter he rescued a mosque congregation from) looks like a Chad vs Virgin meme pic.twitter.com/ozV7jRtcR9
— Molly Crabapple🇵🇷 (@mollycrabapple) August 12, 2019
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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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.