Oslo Mosque Shooting Being Investigated as Possible Terrorist Attack

Norway mosque shooting probed as terror act

Acting chief of the police operation Rune Skjold said that the suspect, described as a white male, had been known to police before the incident but could not be described as someone with a "criminal background".

The 17-year-old was adopted as a small child by a Norwegian woman, who is now the spouse of Philip Manshaus's father, the mother's lawyer said.

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

The author said he was selected by "saint Tarrant", an apparent reference to the New Zealand mosque attack suspect Brenton Tarrant, accused of killing 51 people in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch in March.

When officers went to the shooting suspect's residence, they found the body of his 17-year-old stepsister, police said Sunday evening.

Shortly before the mosque attack, a person identifying himself as Philip Manshaus had posted a message on the EndChan forum calling on readers to move a "race war" off the web and into real life ("irl").

Skjold said the alleged gunman was prepared to cause deaths and more injuries at the Al-Noor Islamic Center and didn't succeed because of the "great courage" of people inside the mosque.

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The 21-year-old will remain in pre-trial detention for four weeks, after the court granted a request from prosecutors.

The Norwegian police security service, PST, which monitors and investigates extremist threats, said on Monday it had received a tip regarding Manshaus a year ago, but had not launched an investigation at the time. The suspect was arrested after the attack. Police said several shots were fired and one person was slightly injured, but the suspect was held down by others in the mosque.

Oslo police increased security around Sunday's celebrations, including ordering their patrols to be armed, which is generally not the case.

The shooting follows a rise in white supremacist attacks, including the recent El Paso massacre in the United States. The attack happened as Muslims around the world were preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha, the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

The incident comes almost eight years after Norway's deadliest peacetime attack, when anti-Muslim neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik massacred 77 people at a camp.

According to reports, only three people were inside at the time. "I think it's a word-wide challenge in a sense", Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on August 11, referring to hate speech.

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