Norway mosque suspect rejects murder allegation

OSLO (AFP) – A Norwegian man suspected of killing his stepsister and opening fire at a mosque near Oslo rejects allegations of murder and attempted murder, his lawyer said yesterday.

The man, identified by media as 21-year-old Philip Manshaus, is suspected of murder in the death of his 17-year-old stepsister and attempted murder at the Al-Noor mosque last Saturday.

But police are considering adding a charge of “attempted act of terror”.

“I can confirm” he rejects the allegations, his lawyer Unni Fries told AFP.

The suspect is due to appear before a judge at 1pm for a detention hearing. Police have called for it to take place behind closed doors.

The suspect entered the mosque in the affluent Oslo suburb of Baerum armed with at least two weapons and opened fire before being overpowered by a 65-year-old man who suffered minor injuries.

Hours after the attack, the body of a young woman was found in a home in Baerum and police last Sunday confirmed that it was the suspect’s 17-year-old stepsister.

According to local media, she was of Chinese origin and had been adopted by the companion of the suspect’s father.

Oslo’s Acting Chief of the police operation Rune Skjold said last Sunday the investigation showed that the suspect appeared to hold “far-right” and “anti-immigrant” views.

Flowers and police cordon are pictured in front of the Al-Noor Islamic Centre Mosque in Baerum near Oslo, Norway. – AFP