The assailant is also accused of killing his 17-year-old sister, whose body was found by police in the defendant’s home hours after the attack.
Norwegian police have reported on Sunday that they have considered the shooting in a Bærum mosque on Saturday outside Oslo, in which the perpetrator was slightly injured, as an episode of terrorism. “We are facing an attempted terrorist attack. The investigation has shown that [the aggressor] has ideas from the extreme right. He has expressed his support for Quisling [leader of the Nazi collaborationist regime in Norway in World War II] and opinions against immigrants.” , police inspector Rune Skjold explained in a press conference.
Skjold has clarified that the charges against the arrested are for attempted homicide and homicide, the latter for the death of his roommate, who is his sister and was 17 years old. His body was found by agents hours after the shooting in the Islamic center Al Noor, where the attacker opened fire after breaking into several weapons. There he was reduced by several men who notified the authorities. The police are in contact with the intelligence services and can add the charge of terrorism, Skjold has clarified.
The aggressor, a Norwegian citizen in his 20s and a neighbor of Bærum, has refused to testify, although he will be subjected to a new interrogation throughout the day and it is expected that tomorrow he will be taken before a judge to request his entry into pretrial detention . During the shooting there were several shots and two weapons were found in the mosque, as confirmed by the police on Sunday, who ruled out more people involved and said he knew the detainee before, but has not explained why.
As published by the newspaper Dagbladet, the detainee published hours before the shooting messages on social networks in which he invited the war of races and praised the author of the attacks a few months ago against two mosques in Christchurch (New Zealand), in those who died half a hundred people. He also wrote before the attack a hateful manifesto in which he explained to be influenced by far-right ideologues, including Norwegian neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik, who on July 22, 2011 committed the biggest attack in recent Norwegian history. by first exploding a bomb van that caused eight deaths in the Oslo government complex and then perpetrating a massacre at the Labor Youth camp in which 69 people died.
In addition to the New Zealand attack, on Saturday, August 3, another white supremacist, Patrick Wood Crusius (21 years old), killed 22 people in a shopping center in El Paso (Texas, USA). He did it after publishing a racist manifesto on the Internet in which he spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas” and stated: “If we can get rid of enough people, our way of life can be more sustainable.”
The Norwegian Islamic Council, the main Muslim organization in the country, already condemned the shooting last night and called it a “terrorist attack”, relating it to “Islamophobia that has spread in Norway without being taken seriously by the authorities.” The authorities have increased security since the attack, especially in Oslo, where it has been decided that all police officers will be armed.
The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, went to Bærum on Sunday to participate in the Islamic celebration of Eid al Adha or Feast of Sacrifice with the Muslim community. “Many Muslims today celebrate Eid throughout Norway, a party that many looked forward to, but the attack in the mosque has created fear and uneasiness. Hate and Islamophobic attitudes must be fought together,” Solberg said in his Twitter account. According to official estimates, Norway had about 200,000 Muslims in 2016, which represents about 4% of the country’s population.