Police investigators stated that an attack on a Norweigan mosque Saturday is being handled as a possible act of terrorism. This statement came on Sunday, the day after the armed attack occurred.
The location of the incident was the al-Noor Islamic Centre, stated to be near the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The individual of interest and the suspected shooter is reported to be a young, white male that was carrying several guns.
During a recent update at a news conference, the assistant chief of police, Rune Skjold, stated that the young male had expressed his far-right, anti-immigrant views online before the attack.
It was also reported that the suspect previously indicated his support for Vidkun Quisling. Quisling is a Norwegian politician who allegedly was known for his collaboration with the German occupying forces during World War II.
Skjold went on to say: “We’re investigating this as an attempt at carrying out an act of terrorism.” The suspected shooter was apprehended right after the alleged attack. Multiple shots were reportedly fired with only one reported wounding.
It was also reported that a member of the mosque’s congregation, Mohamed Rafiq, was able to overpower and detain the suspected shooter before law enforcement was able to arrive. Skjold commended the 65-year-old Rafiq and the other members of the congregation, saying: “These people showed great courage.”
A spokesman for the mosque itself, Waheed Ahmed, spoke on Saturday with Reuters, stating that a dozen or more people were reported as actually being present in the mosque, praying just ten minutes prior to the suspect’s arrival.
However, by the time the actual shooting started, reports stated there were only three people still in the mosque. They were preparing for the Eid-al-Adha celebration that was to commence the next day.
The suspected shooter entered the mosque by way of shooting through the locked glass door. Two weapons were found within the mosque, by law enforcement, and are believed to be in some way connected to the shooter.
Although there were no deaths reported from the shooting, law enforcement is looking into the possibility that the suspected shooter may very have killed a family member. This comes from reports that authorities discovered a young woman dead at the suspects home.
After the shooting, Norwegian authorities were working to determine if there was the possibility of more threats involving other mosques. Working towards this end, extra security was put in place Sunday, to protect the mosques during their Eid celebrations.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Was the mosque attack truly one borne out of far-right, anti-immigration views as law enforcement have indicated?