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Norway: Oslo mosque shooting suspect denies allegations in court

Norway: Oslo mosque shooting suspect denies allegations in court

The man identified by media as 21-year old Philip Manshaus is formally suspected of murder in the death of his 17-year-old stepsister and of a "terrorist act" at the Al Noor mosque on Saturday, police said in a statement.

Authorities say that the suspect holds "far-right" and "anti-immigrant" views.

They said the alleged perpetrator is also a murder suspect in a separate case.

She was adopted to Norway from China and the two were step-siblings.

"He is exercising his right not to be interrogated", said his defence lawyer, Unni Fries.

The 21-year-old will remain in pre-trial detention for four weeks, after the court granted a request from prosecutors.

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".

Police vehicles are seen on Saturday near the Al-Noor Islamic Centre mosque where a gunman, armed with multiple weapons, went on a shooting spree in the town of Baerum, a suburb of Oslo.

There were only three men present in the mosque at the time, and "He started to fire towards the two other men", Rafiq told Reuters.

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

The Norwegian police security service, PST, which monitors and investigates extremist threats, said on Monday it had received a tip regarding Manshaus past year, but had not launched an investigation at the time.

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

He added there was no reason to change the overall threat assessment for Norway.

A man in his 20s was taken into custody after the shooting inside the mosque that wounded one person, Oslo police said.

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

In the online post, references were made to a "race war" and it ended with the words "Valhalla awaits", a reference to the afterlife for those who have died in battle in Norse mythology.

The Norwegian media said the perpetrator may have been inspired by recent gun attacks committed by several white supremacist assailants, including in Christchurch, New Zealand and El Paso, USA.

The attempted attack on al-Noor Islamic Center happened a day before Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, one of the most important holidays on the Islamic calendar marking the end of the hajj pilgrimage.