Norway court jails 2019 mosque gunman for 21 yrs

Crime.

Oslo, (Samajweekly) A Norwegian court on Thursday sentenced a gunman to 21 years in prison for killing his teenage step-sister and opening fire at a mosque last August.

Philip Manshaus, 22, opened fire at the al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum, west of the capital Oslo, reports the BBC.

Several shots were fired in the mosque but nobody was seriously hurt.

Manshaus was heavily armed when he stormed into the mosque, but he was overpowered by a 65-year-old retired Pakistani air force officer, Mohammad Rafiq. He pinned Manshaus down and managed to disarm him.

Shortly after the attack, the body of the gunman’s 17-year-old stepsister was found at a house in Baerum.

It was treated as an act of far-right racist terror.

Police found evidence that Manshaus was inspired by Brenton Tarrant, accused of deadly attacks on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch in March 2019, said the BBC report.

Tarrant has pleaded guilty to 51 charges of murder in New Zealand.

The 14-year minimum sentence for Manshaus is more than the minimum 10 years in the case of Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

Norway increased the minimum sentences for such cases in 2015.