Norway sentences Oslo mosque shooter to 21 years in prison

Philip Manshaus was found guilty of racially-motivated murder of stepsister and attempt to kill Muslim worshippers.

Al-Noor Islamic Centre Mosque shooter Philip Manshaus appears for the verdict at Asker and Baerum district court in Sandvika
Manshaus has said in court he regretted not having caused more damage [Hakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix via Reuters]

A far-right Norwegian man has been sentenced to 21 years in prison for a racially-motivated murder of his Chinese-born stepsister and an attempt to kill worshippers in a mosque shooting.

Thursday’s sentence issued by the Asker and Baerum district court in Norway’s Sandvika against Philip Manshaus, 22, was the longest allowed prison term under Norwegian law.

On August 10 last year, Manhaus killed Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, 17, by shooting her four times with a hunting rifle at their family home in the Oslo suburb of Baerum.

He later said he believed the adopted daughter of his father’s spouse posed a risk to the family because of her Asian origin.

After the murder, Manhaus drove to a nearby al-Noor Islamic Centre mosque where three men were preparing for Eid al-Adha celebrations.

Manshaus fired four shots from a rifle at the mosque’s glass door before he was overpowered by one of the men in the mosque. No one was shot or seriously injured.

Manshaus “has proven to be an extremely dangerous person”, prosecutor Johan Oeverberg said as he demanded the maximum penalty.

“He went in with the purpose of killing as many Muslims as possible,” judge Annika Lindstroem said.

‘Emergency justice’

In court, Manshaus confessed to the acts but called them “emergency justice”. He also said he regretted not having caused more damage.

Manshaus expressed admiration for the massacre of more than 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last year by an Australian white supremacist, Brenton Tarrant, who filmed and broadcast the killings live.

The attack also drew comparisons with the murder of 77 people by far-right mass killer Anders Behring Breivik in 2011 in Norway’s worst peacetime atrocity.

Manshaus wore a helmet camera, filming the mosque shooting, but failed in his attempt to broadcast the attack online.

In his first court hearing last August, Manshaus appeared with black eyes and bruises on his face and neck from the ensuing fight at the mosque.

The court rejected the defence’s plea to declare Manshaus insane, relying instead on a psychiatric evaluation which found him fit to stand trial.

The prison term contained a provision that his release can be put off indefinitely should he still be considered a threat to society.

Source: News Agencies