Suspect in Norway Mosque Attack Smirks in Court Appearance

(AP) -
Suspected gunman Philip Manshaus appears in court, in Oslo, Norway, Aug. 12, 2019. (Cornelius Poppen, NTB scanpix via AP)

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his stepsister and then storming an Oslo mosque with guns appeared in court Monday with a smirk on his bruised face as evidence grew that he sought to emulate attacks by white supremacists in the U.S. and New Zealand.

Security experts believe Philip Manshaus is the latest example of an extremist who was radicalized by far-right conspiracy theories spread online, particularly the “great replacement” theory, which falsely warns of a “genocide” in which white people are being replaced by immigrants and Muslims.

Manshaus, 21, was arrested Saturday after entering a mosque in the Oslo suburb of Baerum, where three men were preparing for Sunday’s Muslim celebrations. Police said he waved weapons and fired several shots.

They did not specify what type of weapon was used. One person was slightly wounded before people inside the Al-Noor Islamic Center held the suspect down until police arrived.

Police then raided Manshaus’ nearby house and found the body of his 17-year-old stepsister, identified Monday as Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, who was reportedly adopted from China as a 2-year old. Manshaus is suspected in her killing, police said, but they did not provide details.