A Norwegian man suspected of killing his stepsister and then opening fire in an Oslo mosque has told the first day of his trial that it was an act of “emergency justice” and he regretted not having caused more damage.
Philip Manshaus appeared at a court west of Norway’s capital and denied charges of murder and terrorism 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 “will end up as a minority in their own home countries” and criticised those who “blackmail national socialism”.
The prosecution says Manshaus, 22, killed his 17-year-old stepsister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, by shooting her three times in the head and once 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, Muhammad Rafiq.
During the scuffle, two more shots were fired but no one was hit. Mr Rafiq was slightly injured in the struggle.
The prosecution says Manshaus acted “with the intention to kill as many Muslims as possible”.
Some 30 witness, including the men at the mosque and Manshaus’s father, are expected to give evidence.
If found guilty, Manshaus could face up to 21 years in prison. Prosecutors have said they 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.
Norway’s domestic security agency PST said it had a “vague” tip about Manshaus a year before the shooting but it was not enough to act on because they had no information about any “concrete plans” of attack.