Bruised Norwegian mosque shooter appears in court smirking

A man accused of shooting people inside a Norwegian mosque smiled for photographers as he appeared in court with black eyes and wounds on his face and neck.

A judge gave police permission to hold 21-year-old Philip Manshaus in custody for an initial four weeks while he is investigated on suspicion of murder and breach of anti-terrorism law, the court's ruling later showed.

He’s also accused of killing his Chinese-born stepsister Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, 17.

Philip Manshaus, who is accused of firing a gun in a Norwegian mosque, appears in court smirking. Source: Reuters

Witnesses said Manshaus entered the al-Noor Islamic Centre, on the outskirts of Oslo, with several guns, but was overpowered by a 65-year-old member of the mosque, who managed to wrestle away his weapons in the fight that followed.

Manshaus wore a helmet camera, filming the shooting, but did not appear to have broadcast the attack, according to prosecutors.

Police attorney Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby told reporters the video “is key evidence” in the case.

Manshaus, whose home is near the mosque just outside the Norwegian capital, had expressed far-right, anti-immigrant views before the attack, police said.

Residents gather outside the Islamic Cultural Centre to show support for Oslo's Muslim community following the shooting. Source: Reuters

Online postings under Manshaus' name, made shortly before the attack, expressed admiration for the massacre of more than 50 people at two New Zealand mosques in March by a suspected white supremacist, who filmed and broadcast the killings live online.

Reuters could not independently verify that the postings were made by Philip Manshaus.

Police find stepsister’s body after mosque attack

A few hours after the Norwegian mosque attack, police discovered the body of a young woman at what they said was the suspect's address. Police later named her as his stepsister.

Johanne was adopted as a small child by a Norwegian woman, who is now the spouse of Philip Manshaus' father, the mother's lawyer Elisabeth Hagen said.

"These hours after what happened have been chaotic, unreal, a tragedy," she said.

"These are two tragedies, one with the girl and one with the mosque. I represent the mother of the girl," she said, adding that the girl's mother and Manshaus' father were together, and surrounded by friends helping them cope.

Philip Manshaus with his lawyer Unni Fries. Source: Reuters

Ms Hagen declined to comment on any possible motive for the killing.

Manshaus did not speak while reporters were present, and has so far declined to talk to the police.

His lawyer Unni Fries said Manhaus is “exercising his right not to be interrogated”.

"He is not admitting any guilt,” Ms Fries said.

Police sought to hold him on suspicion of murder, as well as of breaching anti-terrorism law by spreading severe fear among the population when firing several guns at the mosque.

While some of the weapons had been legally obtained by one or more residents at Manshaus' home, others may have been illegal, police said.

The All-Hoor islamic centre mosque where it's alleged Manshaus opened fire. Source: Getty Images

Police received ‘tip-off’

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

PST head Hans Sverre Sjoevold told reporters “there was nothing in that tip-off” which suggested there was any danger Manshaus was going to commit an act of terrorism.

He declined to comment on the content and source of the warning.

PST will now explore whether Manshaus had links to any domestic or foreign extremist networks, although investigators have said they believed he acted alone in the attack, Mr Sjoevold told Reuters.

A police officer with a robot at the mosque. Source: Getty Images

In 2011, anti-Muslim neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik massacred 77 people in Norway's worst peacetime atrocity, the majority of them teenagers at a youth camp.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Sunday said that while her government was trying to combat hate speech, more must be done.

"We are trying to combat this, but it's a challenge. I think it's a word-wide challenge in a sense," Ms Solberg said.

Any formal charges in the case, and a trial to decide whether Manshaus is guilty or not, are likely to still be months away.

A guilty verdict on charges of breaching anti-terrorism laws can carry a sentence of up to 21 years in prison, as can the killing of the suspect's 17-year old stepsister, according to Norwegian sentencing guidelines.

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