Norway probes ‘Islamist terror’ in deadly Oslo attack

A participant (C) of the WarsawPride and KyivPride parade holds flags of Norway and Ukraine as he marches throught the streets of Warsaw, Poland, on June 25, 2022. Due to the war in Ukraine, the Kyiv march can't take place in the usual format. Therefore, LGBT+ Ukrainians join the march in Warsaw. (Photo: AFP)
OSLO — Norwegian police have arrested a man suspected of “Islamist terrorism” after two people were killed and 21 wounded in shootings near a gay bar in the capital Oslo on Saturday, causing the city’s Pride march to be canceled.اضافة اعلان

The suspect, who was already known to the anti-terrorism services, was arrested quickly after the shooting started around 1am in central Oslo.

Norway’s domestic intelligence service PST, which is responsible for counterterrorism, said it was treating the attack as “an act of Islamist terrorism”.

The suspect “has a long history of violence and threats”, PST’s chief Roger Berg said.

The suspect had been on the PST’s radar “since 2015 in connection with concerns about his radicalization” and membership “in an Islamist extremist network”, Berg told a press conference.

Intelligence services spoke to the suspect last month but did not consider him to have “violent intentions”, Berg said.

He added that the PST was also aware the suspect had “difficulties with his mental health”.

The suspect’s lawyer, John Christian Elden, told Norwegian news agency NTB he expected his client to be put under “judicial observation” to determine his mental state, as is usually done in such cases.

Police had earlier said the suspect was a 42-year-old Norwegian man of Iranian descent.

Norwegian media named him as Zaniar Matapour, describing him as a father of Iranian Kurdish origin who arrived in Norway as a child.

Police said that of the 21 people wounded in the attack, 10 were seriously injured — but none had life-threatening injuries. An automatic weapon and a handgun were also seized.

Police said they received the first reports at 1:14am, and the suspect was arrested five minutes later.

They added that the suspect was quickly apprehended thanks to the “heroic contribution” of bystanders.

Generally peaceful Norway was the scene of bloody attacks on July 22, 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people.

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