Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Suspect in Norway mosque shooting not admitting guilt, says lawyer

Suspect in Norway mosque shooting not admitting guilt, says lawyer

Police said earlier Sunday they had tried to question the suspect, described as a "young man" with a "Norwegian background" who was living in the vicinity, but he did not want to "give an explanation to police".

The online messaging board of the mosque said that Manshaus was a far-right extremist who was probably inspired by the shootings in Christchurch, Poway and El Paso.

In Norway, being formally named as a suspect is a step prior to indictment.

"He rejects the allegations and exercises his right to not explain himself", she said.

The suspect, whose exact age has not been released but has been listed as being 21 or 22-years-old, appeared in court with bruises across his face.

Police official Pal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby told a press conference that Manshaus had worn a helmet equipped with a camera during the attack "which was filming and has provided us with important evidence".

Manshaus is being held in custody for four weeks on suspicion of murder and breach of anti-terrorism law after he entered the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum, an Oslo suburb, on Saturday.

Oslo police spokesman Roar Hanssen said in a statement: 'The Oslo police district tonight has found a dead person in a residence... in Baerum.

The police bomb squad was later spotted outside an address linked to the suspect, according to media reports.

The department said it was working with the Norwegian Police Security Service, Norway's national domestic security agency, since the "investigation has given us a better overall understanding of the attack" at the mosque.

"The tip was pretty vague and was not indicative of any imminent terrorism plot", PST chief Hans Sverre Sjovold told reporters.

On Saturday, Norwegian media reported that the suspect was believed to have put up a post to an online forum hours before the attack where he seemingly praised the New Zealand assailant.

Only three people were inside the al-Noor Islamic Centre at the time of the attack, and police said they recovered two firearms from the scene but did not specify which type.

Head of Norway's security police (PST) Hans Sverre Sjovold speaks at a news conference in Oslo, Norway, on August 12, 2019.

The post ended with the words "Valhalla awaits", a mythological Norse reference to the afterlife for those who have died in battle. The attack happened as Muslims around the world were preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha, the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

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