The shooting at a mosque near Oslo is being treated as an “attempted act of terror”, Norwegian police said Sunday, with the suspect appearing to harbour far-right, anti-immigrant views.
“We are looking at an attempted act of terror,” acting chief of the police operation Rune Skjold told a press conference.
Skjold said the investigation had shown that the man appeared to hold “far-right” and “anti-immigrant” views.
The suspect entered the al-Noor Islamic Centre on Saturday afternoon armed with multiple weapons and opened fire before being overpowered by a man who suffered “minor injuries” in the process.
Only three people were inside the mosque at the time of the attack, and police said they recovered two firearms from the scene but did not specify which type.
Norway was the scene of one of the worst-ever attacks by a right-wing extremist in July 2011, when 77 people were killed by Anders Behring Breivik.
– Suspicious death –
Hours after the attack on Saturday, the body of a young woman related to the suspect was found in a house in Baerum.
Investigators are treating her death as suspicious and have opened a murder probe.
Norwegian media reported Sunday that the dead woman was 17 years old and the suspect’s adopted younger sister.
Police said earlier Sunday they had tried to question the suspect, described as a “young man” around 20 years old with a “Norwegian background” who was living in the vicinity but he did not want to “give an explanation to police”.
The man had been known to police before the incident but according to Skjold he could not be described as someone with a “criminal background”.
There has been a recent spate of white nationalist attacks in the West, including in the United States and in New Zealand where 51 Muslim worshippers were killed in March at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.