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Norway mosque attack: Bruised suspect Manshaus appears in court

13 August 2019

A suspected gunman tried to shoot up a mosque in Norway over the weekend in an attempted terrorist attack that officials first caught wind of past year - but failed to act on, a police official admitted Monday.

The shooting happened Saturday at the al-Noor Islamic Centre near the Norwegian capital, when the suspect, a man in his 20s, burst through a glass door just after 4 p.m. and started firing, Oslo police official Rune Skjold told reporters.

Mr 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.

Hours after the attack, the body of a young woman was found in a home in Baerum and police on Monday identified her as Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, Manshaus' 17-year-old stepsister.

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The police later said that the woman was the shooter's stepsister. The stifled attack was credited to the people inside the mosque who overpowered the gunman before police arrived.

Online postings under Manshaus' name, made shortly before the attack, expressed admiration for the massacre at two New Zealand mosques in March by a suspected right-wing extremist, in which more than 50 people were killed.

The attack took place on the eve of the Muslim celebration of Eid Al-Adha, marking the end of the Muslim pilgrimage Hajj, stoking fears among Norway's muslims.

Police first reported that the victim had been shot, but later said one person had sustained "minor injuries" and that it was unclear if they were gunshot wounds.

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His face and neck marked by bruises and scratches, Philip Manshaus was also charged with attempted murder, as well as the murder of his stepsister. "I think it's a word-wide challenge in a sense", Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on August 11, referring to hate speech.

"He is exercising his right not to be interrogated", his defence attorney, Unni Fries, told Reuters.

Police said there was no indication that people other than the "young man" arrested were involved in today's incident. Ahead of the attack, a message was posted on the EndChan forum purporting to be from Philip Manshaus. He said he grabbed the attacker, held him down and wrestled the weapons from him.

Oslo police wrote on Twitter: 'There has been a shooting episode inside the mosque'.

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

Norway mosque attack: Bruised suspect Manshaus appears in court