Two people were killed and 21 injured in gunfire near a gay nightclub in Oslo on Saturday, leading to the cancellation of the city’s Pride march. Norwegian police have detained a man on suspicion of “terrorist.”
After the shooting in central Oslo began at around 1 am, the suspect—who was already known to the anti-terrorism services—was promptly taken into custody.
The attack is being treated as an instance of “Islamist terrorism,” according to Norway’s domestic intelligence service PST, which is in charge of counterterrorism.
PST’s chief Roger Berg states that the suspect “has a long history of violence and threats.”
According to Berg, the PST had been keeping an eye on the suspect “since 2015 due to worries about his radicalization” and membership “in an extremist network.”
The suspect was interviewed by intelligence services last month, but Berg said they did not believe the man had “violent inclinations.”
The PST was also aware of the suspect’s “difficulties with his mental health,” he continued.
John Christian Elden, the suspect’s attorney, told the Norwegian news agency NTB that he anticipated having his client placed under “judicial surveillance” to ascertain his mental state, as is customary in such circumstances.
Police described the suspect as a 42-year-old Norwegian male of Iranian heritage.
The Norwegian media identified Zaniar Matapour as a parent with Iranian Kurdish ancestry who immigrated to Norway as a young child.
Police reported that out of the 21 victims of the attack, 10 had significant injuries, although none were life-threatening. Additionally, a handgun and an automatic weapon were taken.
The guy was taken into custody five minutes after police claimed they got the first reports at 1:14 am.
They stated that the “heroic contribution” of onlookers allowed for the rapid capture of the culprit.
“We won’t vanish,”
Pride march organizers canceled the event on Saturday afternoon, citing “clear” police advice regarding their justification.
However, following the attack on Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated in a spontaneous show of support, yelling, “We’re here, we’re gay, we won’t disappear.”
An unhappy protester in her 50s told AFP, “I think it’s good that this march is going place. Otherwise, he would have won.”
Numerous individuals, some in tears, placed rainbow flags and flowers close to the attack’s scene, which had police sealed off.
Trond Petter Aunas commented close to the incident, “Today is a day that reminds us that Pride is a day we have to work for – the goal has not yet been achieved.”
The gunshots took place in a central area crowded with people on a sunny summer night, close to the Herr Nilsen jazz club, the London Pub homosexual bar, and a takeaway restaurant.
“He appeared to be shooting with great determination. I fled when I realized how terrible it was. A bleeding man lay on the ground. “An eyewitness who spoke to the Verdens Gang newspaper was a woman.
The newspaper quoted another witness stating, “There were a lot of injured persons on the ground who had head injuries.”
The threat level for Norway was increased, and the intelligence agencies described the situation as “exceptional.”
Although they stated that they were investigating the possibility of other assaults, “we do not indicate this at this time.”
Police personnel, who do not typically carry weapons in Norway, were told to equip themselves as the police presence was increased throughout the capital.
According to the French authorities, increased security was implemented for Saturday’s Pride marches throughout France due to the incident.
Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, offered his sympathy for the victims and urged togetherness “in the face of hatred.”
The shooter arrived with a bag from which he took a weapon and began firing, according to an NRK radio journalist at the time of the shooting.
“Today was intended to be a day to celebrate love and brighten our streets in the rainbow colors,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store stated.
Instead, he said at a press conference, “We are overcome by grief.
King Harald V of Norway expressed his horror in a statement.
He declared, “We must band together to defend our principles, including liberty, diversity, and respect for one another.
On July 22, 2011, right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik carried out a series of heinous atrocities in Norway, which is typically calm.