Philip Manshaus has been identified as the suspect in a terror attack on a mosque in Baerum, Norway, near Oslo, that wounded one person, Nettavisen reports. Manshaus was taken down by members of the mosque before anyone else was shot, according to police.
Manshaus is also suspected in the murder of his 17-year-old stepsister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, prior to the Baerum mosque shooting, police said.
Manshaus appeared in court on August 12 with two black eyes and other bruises and wounds to his neck and face. He is facing charges of murder and terrorism.
The 21-year-old Manshaus posted on an anonymous online message board with a link to his Facebook profile before the attack, and referenced other shootings carried out by far-right attackers. Manshaus tried to inspire others to continue the “race war,” and attempted to post a link to a Facebook livestream of the attack, but the video failed to work. Police said Manshaus had previously shared “far-right” and “anti-immigrant” views.
There were only three elder members of the Al-Noor Islamic Center in Baerum inside the building when the attack occurred. The victim wounded in the shooting was 65. He is expected to survive. The three men inside the mosque were preparing for Sunday’s Eid-al-Adha celebration. About a dozen people had been praying inside the mosque about 10 minutes before Manshaus arrived, but most had left before the attack began, according to CNN International.
Here’s what you need to know about Philip Manshaus:
1. Philip Manshaus Was Wearing a Helmet & Body Armor as He Shot Throught the Glass Door of the Mosque, Before Being Stopped by an Unarmed 65-Year-Old Man
Philip Manshaus was wearing body armor and a helmet when he stormed the Al-Noor Islamic Center mosque in the Oslo suburb of Baerum, Norway, NBC News reports. Manshaus shot through the locked glass door of the mosque, where three men were inside, according to police.
Manshaus was stopped by the three men inside, including 65-year-old Mohamed Rafiq, who overpowered Manshaus and suffered a minor injury, a mosque representative said.
Rafiq held Manshaus in a chokehold until police arrived.
“Mohamed acted immediately when the shooter entered the room. He toppled the shooter and pinned him to the floor, (and) sat on top of him,” a mosque spokesman told reporters, according to CNN International.
“These people have shown great courage,” police spokesman Rune Skjold said at a press conference.
According to Norway’s TV2, Manshaus was armed with two shotgun-like weapons and a pistol when he entered the mosque. Police said that multiple weapons were found inside the mosque, and that they all belonged to the shooter, but did not specify what type of guns were used.
Manshaus was wearing a GoPro camera and police have seized video of the attack. It does not appear to have been posted or streamed online by the shooter.
2. Manshaus’ 17-Year-old Stepsister Was Found Dead at His Home After the Mosque Attack
Manshaus’ 17-year-old stepsister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, was found dead in his home by police investigating the Baerum mosque shooting, according to a police statement. Police have said they are investigating her death as a possible murder.
Police have not said how Manshaus’ stepsister died. According to police, Manshaus has not been cooperating with investigators who have tried to question him.
Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen was adopted by Manshaus’ family from China when she was 2, The Associated Press reports.
3. Manshaus Posted on an Anonymous Message Board – Endchan — Before the Attack & Said He Was Inspired by the Christchurch, El Paso & Poway Attackers, Along With Anders Breivik
Manshaus posted on Endchan, an anonymous image posting message board similar to 4chan and 8chan, before the shooting. In the post, Manshaus referenced three other attacks carried out by far-right gunmen. The post referenced the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque shooting that left 51 people dead on March 15, 2019. It also referenced the April 27, 2019, mosque shooting in Poway, California, that left one dead and three injured, and the August 3, 2019, El Paso, Texas, Walmart shooting that left 22 people dead. All three have been investigated as terror attacks.
Manshaus wrote, “well cobblers it’s my time, i was elected by saint tarrant after all,” a reference to the Christchurch shooter. He added, “we can’t let this go on, you gotta bump the race war thread irl and if you’re reading this you have been elected by me.”
He tried to post a Facebook Live video stream, but it did not work. The Christchurch gunman streamed his attack live on Facebook. He and the El Paso shooters both posted about their shootings online before carrying out their attacks.
Manshaus concluded his post by writing, “it’s been fun, valhall venter,” which translates to “valhalla awaits,” a reference to the hall in Norse mythology where slain warriors would go.
On Instagram, Manshaus had posted three photos, two pictures of himself and a photo of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.
Breivik killed 77 people in an attack on Oslo and Utoya in 2011. The Christchurch gunman wrote in his manifesto that he was also inspired by Breivik. The Poway and El Paso shooters both indicated they were inspired by the Christchurch gunman.
Police in Oslo confirmed that Manshaus had posted extremist views online. They said he also expressed sympathy for Vidkun Quisling, the pro-Nazi party leader who led the Norwegian government during the World War II occupation of the country.
4. Manshaus, Who Attended the Oslo Waldorf School & Is a Baerum Native, Was Reported to Police in 2018, but There Was No Suggestion of ‘Danger’
Philip Manshaus attended Oslo Waldorf School, according to a 2015 article about a literature campaign at the school. Manshaus is a Baerum native and lived in a house he owned with another family member, Nettavisen reports.
Police said Manshaus does not have a “criminal background.”
According to The Guardian, someone reported Manshaus to the Norwegian police service, the PST, in 2018, but they did not investigate further. “There was nothing in that tipoff that suggested there was danger of an act of terrorism or that planning of an attack was under way,” Hans Sverre Sjøvold said, according to The Guardian.
Police said it was a “vague” tip and did not include any information about “concrete plans” for an upcoming attack, CBS News reports.
“Many of the people who have right-wing attitudes share a violent mindset, but experience shows that very few go from word to action. Therefore, it is a demanding mission to capture and prevent those who have the ability and will to carry out attacks,” Sjovold said at a press conference.
5. Manshaus Smirked to Cameras During His First Court Appearance & His Lawyer Says He Is Not Admitting Guilt
Manshaus is facing attempted murder charges in the mosque shooting, which is being investigated as a terror attack. He is also under investigation for murder in the death of his 17-year-old stepsister, according to police.
Manshaus smirked to the cameras during his first court appearance.
His lawyer, Unni Fries, said Manshaus has not spoken to police. “He is exercising his right not to be interrogated. He is not admitting any guilt,” Fries told reporters, according to The Guardian.
Manshaus will remain in custody for at least four weeks as he is investigated on a murder charge and anti-terrorism charges, according to a judge’s order.
“I guarantee that the police are doing everything we can to keep people safe,” police spokesman Jan Eirik Thomassen said at a press conference. Another police spokesman, Rune Skjold, added, “We’re investigating this as an attempt at carrying out an act of terrorism. We have no information indicating that he is part of any larger network.”
Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement, “This is not supposed to happen in Norway. Norway should be safe. All places of worship shall be safe.” She said in a Facebook post that it was an “attack on Norway,” and freedom of religion, “The perpetrator was alone, but we now his attitudes are shared by more.”
Solberg added, “”oday, Muslims all over Norway celebrate Eid with their loved ones. A celebration that many have been looking forward to, but the attack on the mosque in Bærum creates fear and unrest. We must fight hatred and anti-Muslim attitudes.”
Waheed Ahmed, a spokesman for the mosque, told reporters, “We thought we were safe in Norway, but it turns out we were not.”