Man thwarts possible terrorist attack at Norway mosque
OSLO, Norway — A 65-year-old man overpowered a suspected active shooter at a mosque near the Norwegian capital of Oslo on Saturday, possibly saving countless lives.
Mohamed Rafiq toppled the shooter and pinned him to the floor, sitting on top of him, his lawyer told Norwegian press.
Imran Mushtaq, a board member at the Al-Noor mosque, told journalists that more than a dozen people were praying inside the mosque just 10 minutes before the suspect arrived. But by the time the shooting began, only three older men were left inside.
The suspect entered Al-Noor Islamic Center in Baerum, a district just west of Oslo by shooting through the mosque’s locked glass door, authorities said. Two weapons were found inside the mosque, police said. The weapons are believed to be connected to the suspect.
Superintendent Rune Skjold told reporters the suspect, described only as a Norwegian man in his 20s, has praised figures like Vidkun Quisling, the leader of Norway under Nazi occupation during World War II.
The shooting is being investigated as a “possible act of terrorism,” police said.
One person was injured in the incident, sustaining minor injuries, police said.
Shortly after the attack, investigators found the body of a young woman at the suspect’s home in Baerum. Police said the victim is the 17-year-old stepsister of the suspect.
The man has been charged with the murder of the woman found dead in his home and is also facing an attempted murder charge in the shooting at the mosque.
The shooting occurred as Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha this weekend, one of the most important holidays of the Islamic calendar.
Extra personnel were deployed Sunday to protect mosques and Eid celebrations.