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Oslo mosque attack suspect charged with murder and terror offences

Europe

17 February 2020, 17:46

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A man accused of storming a mosque in the Norwegian capital of Oslo after murdering his step-sister with a hunting rifle has been charged with murder and terror offences, Euronews reports.

Philip Manshaus, 22, is accused of killing Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen – his step-sister – before storming the Al-Noor Islamic Center mosque in August.

Manshaus had stormed the Oslo mosque with firearms “with the intention to kill as many Muslims as possible”.

He fired six shots but didn’t hit anyone before being overpowered by three worshippers who were preparing for Eid al-Adha celebrations.

One person was slightly injured when they jumped on Manshaus inside the mosque and held him until police arrived.

Manshaus, 22, is suspected of killing his 17-year-old stepsister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, by shooting her four times, the prosecution said.

He shot her three times in the head and one in the chest with a hunting rifle at their home in the Oslo suburb of Baerum.

After attacking and killing his step-sister, Manshaus drove to the mosque, while wearing a helmet with a video camera attached and a bulletproof vest, according to the charge sheet obtained by The Associated Press.

Armed with a hunting rifle and a shotgun, Manshaus fired four shots with the rifle at a glass door before he was overpowered by one of the men in the mosque at the time, Muhammad Rafiq. During the scuffle, Manshaus fired two more shots but no one was hit.

A trial is scheduled to start May 7 in Oslo.

Norwegian media have reported that Manshaus was inspired by shootings in March 2019 in New Zealand, where a gunman targeted two mosques, killing 51 people, and in August 2019 in El Paso, Texas, where an assailant targeted Hispanics and left at least 22 dead.

Norway’s domestic security agency PST said it had a “vague” tip about Manshaus a year before the August 19 shooting, but it was not enough to act on because they had no information about any “concrete plan” of attack.

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