Could have done more with Manshaus tip

manshaus terror mosquePhilip Manshaus at the prison meeting in Oslo District Court. Philip Manshaus is charged with terror after the attack on the Al-Noor Islamic Centre mosque in Bærum. He is also charged with murdering his step-sister. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

The police could have done more with Manshaus tip

The Police Security Service (PST) received a tip about the terrorist Philip Manshaus a year ago. “The police could have done more to follow up on the tip,” Deputy Police Chief, Bjørn Vandvik, states.

PST confirmed on Monday that they have received tips on the accused 21-year-old. The tip was vague. It was considered not to be of such a nature as to indicate planning of an act of terror.

“There was a collaboration between the police and PST, which found no basis for proceeding with this tip,” Chief of PST, Hans Sverre Sjøvold, states at a press conference on Monday.

Oslo Police District was contacted about the 21-year-old last summer. Deputy Police Chief, Bjørn Vandvik, admits that the police could have done more to prevent the act.

“The police contacted neither the accused nor family members when they received the concern notification last summer. They could have done something more, but it is also demanding to follow up on these matters. We don’t always know if we hit. In this case, we considered that there was no reason to follow up further,” Vandvik explains.

Behind closed doors

The 21-year-old was jailed on Monday afternoon for four weeks, partly because of a danger of repetition.

there was a large media attendance during the prison meeting in courtroom 250 of the Oslo Courthouse. Police Attorney, Pål-Fredrik Hjort Kraby, asked for the meeting to be closed beforehand. Following objections from both the press and extremist researcher Lars Gule, District Court Judge Sven Olav Solberg ruled that the prison meeting should be held behind closed doors out of consideration to the investigation.

The murder and terror charged 21-year-old looked at the press and smiled as he allowed photographs to be taken. He had obvious bruises on his face and neck. During the prison meeting, which was finished at 2.30 pm, he directed his gaze at the press several times.



Does not acknowledge culpability

It was clear in advance that the 21-year-old would not give any explanation in court Monday. He has not provided an explanation during questioning from the police either.

“He has said what he has to say in court today. He said he did not want to explain himself, he stated his personalities, and then he answered the question of culpability,” his defence lawyer, Unni Fries, informs.

21-year-old Philip Manshaus is born and raised in Bærum. He entered the mosque of the Al-Noor Islamic Center at Skui in Bærum on Saturday just after 4 pm, where he started to shoot. No one was killed in the attack.

Later in the day, his 17-year-old adopted step-sister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, was found dead in the residence at Eiksmarka in Bærum where both lived. Manshaus is charged with murdering her. The police believe he killed her before driving his stepmother’s car to the mosque.

Police extended the charges against Manshaus on Monday. He is now charged with murder and an act of terror.

Researcher is not surprised

Extremism researcher and associate professor at the Oslo Met, Lars Gule, believes that the matter is of great interest to researchers. He tells NTB that he is not surprised by the weekend’s incident.

“We have seen several examples of such ‘copycats’ lately. Especially after the attack in New Zealand,” Gule explains.

51 persons were killed in the Christchurch attack March 15th this year.

Gule says that Islam hatred does not necessarily grow in scope, but in intensity. Much of it can be explained by rhetoric.

“With the rhetoric that we experience, right up at the presidential and government level, it is hardly surprising that some people are being triggered by this hateful context to commit acts of violence,” Lars Gule concludes.

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al-Noor Mosque attack was an act of terror
One person shot in a mosque in Bærum
New Zealand asked Norway for help after Christchurch terror attack

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