(TMU) — The failed terrorist accused of trying to launch an attack on a Norway mosque appeared in court Monday with his face battered and bruised, with blackened eyes revealing the beating he received from a 65-year-old Muslim worshipper who disarmed him as he attempted to carry out his massacre.
This is Philip Manshaus. He has been charged with an attempted act of terror after entering a mosque in Norway. He was tackled by a 65-year-old man names Mohammed Rafique and was held down until the police came. pic.twitter.com/rxsYyyReaH
— IlmFeed (@IlmFeed) August 12, 2019
21-year-old Philip Manshaus killed his teenage step-sister on Saturday before targeting the Al-Noor Islamic Center in the Oslo suburb of Baerum in what police suspect to be a lone wolf terrorist attack, according to Aftenposten. However, beside Manshaus’ 17-year-old step-sister, no one else was killed in the attack.
The young man’s two black-and-blue eyes are the result of a desperate fight that ensued after 65-year old Muslim worshipper Mohammad Rafiq and fellow worshipper Mohamed Iqbal quickly acted to subdue Manshaus.
Two men were able to stop a shooting at a Norway mosque before anyone was killed.
— Complex (@Complex) August 12, 2019
After the attacker broke through a glass door to the mosque clad in body armor and wielding at least two rifles, he began to fire before Rafiq bolted toward him, tackling Manshaus and pinning him down as Iqbal assisted in neutralizing the man.
The gunman was also beaten in the face and head as the two Muslim men disarmed the would-be terrorist, according to the Independent.
The failed attack coincided with the beginning of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.
Oslo assistant chief of police Rune Skjold has hailed the courage of Rafiq and Iqbal, noting that “these people showed great courage.”
Rafiq, a former officer in the Pakistani Air Force, told members of the press on Sunday:
“I’m thankful for all of the help and support I have received.”
Explaining the ordeal, Rafiq, who was injured during the struggle, said:
“I suddenly heard shooting from outside … He started to fire towards the two other men.”
“He put his finger inside my eye, up to here; full finger inside my eye,” Rafiq added.
On Monday, the 21-year-old wore a broad smile despite his face being visibly swollen and bruised, as photographers and journalists recorded his court hearing.
The terror suspect chose not to speak in court, but defense attorney Unni Fries later told reporters that “he will use his right not to explain himself for now.” Manshaus has also not confessed to any of the charges, she said.
Manshaus faces charges for the murder of his teenaged step-sister and attempted murder in relation to the botched terrorist attack on the mosque.
Fries declined to comment on media speculation that her client was inspired by the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, where an anti-Muslim terrorist massacred 51 people in March.
While the suspect has no criminal record, he has spread numerous right-wing extremist statements online that reveal his bigoted anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant views.
According to some reports, the failed terrorist had written online that he was personally “chosen” by the Christchurch gunman to undertake this latest attack.
The chief of Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) said Monday that while officials had received a “vague” tip last year about the suspected terrorist, the information didn’t provide the agency with sufficient cause to act due to the lack of any proof that there were “concrete plans” of an attack, the AP reported.
Hans Sverre Sjoevold added that while his agency receives many tips from worried people every day, the information “didn’t go in the direction of an imminent terror planning.”
Prosecutors are demanding that he be held in custody for at least four weeks on terror charges.
In 2011, white supremacist Anders Behring Breivik slaughtered 77 people at a youth camp in the worst atrocity to occur in the Scandinavian country since the end of the Second World War.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg posted a message of solidarity with Norwegian Muslims to Facebook, writing:
“Today we stand shoulder to shoulder with Norwegian Muslims in condemnation of the attack and for the right to safely be able to believe in who you want and what you want in Norway. Eid Mubarak!”