COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – A Norwegian man suspected of killing his stepsister and then storming an Oslo mosque and opening fire said Thursday on the first day of his trial that it was an act of â€œemergency justice” and that he regretted not having caused more damage.
Philip Manshaus appeared at a court west of Norwayâ€™s capital and denied charges of murder and terror read to him by a prosecutor, the Norwegian news agency NTB said. Manshaus has acknowledged the facts but denies the accusation, saying he opposes non-Western immigration.
Broadcaster NRK said that during his testimony Manshaus claimed the white race â€œwill end up as a minority in their own home countriesâ€ and criticized those who â€ blackmail national socialism.â€
The prosecution says Manshaus, 22, killed his 17-year-old stepsister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, by shooting her four times – three in the head and one in the chest – with a hunting rifle at their home in the Oslo suburb of Baerum.
Shortly after that, prosecutors say, Manshaus drove to a nearby mosque where three men were preparing for Eid al-Adha celebrations. He wore a helmet with a video camera attached and a bulletproof vest,
They say Manshaus was armed with a hunting rifle and a shotgun and fired four shots with the rifle at a glass door before he was overpowered by one of the men in the mosque at the time, Muhammad Rafiq.
During the scuffle, two more shots were fired but no one was hit. Rafiq was slightly injured in the struggle.
The prosecution says Manshaus acted â€œwith the intention to kill as many Muslims as possible,â€
Some 30 witness, including the men at the mosque and Manshausâ€™ father, are expected to give evidence.
If found guilty, Manshaus could face up to 21 years in prison. The prosecutor has said it would consider a sentence where he would be sent to a secure mental facility for as long as he is considered a danger to others.
Norwegian media have reported that Manshaus was inspired by shootings in March 2019 in New Zealand, where a gunman targeted two mosques, killing 51 people, and in August 2019 in El Paso, Texas, where an assailant targeted Hispanics and left at least 22 dead.
Norwayâ€™s domestic security agency PST said it had a â€œvagueâ€ tip about Manshaus a year before the shooting, but it was not enough to act on because they had no information about any â€œconcrete plansâ€ of attack.