COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A white nationalist Norwegian man who killed his stepsister and then stormed an Oslo mosque and opened fire, hitting no one, was found guilty Thursday and sentenced to 21 years in prison, the longest jail term under Norwegian law.
Philip Manshaus, who had said in court that he regretted not having caused more damage, “has proven to be an extremely dangerous person,” prosecutor Johan Oeverberg said as he demanded the maximum penalty.
Last year, Manshaus, 22, killed his 17-year-old stepsister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, shooting her four times with a hunting rifle at their home in the Oslo suburb of Baerum. Ihle-Hansen was adopted from China as a 2-year-old.
Then he drove to a nearby 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, Muhammad Rafiq.
Manshaus, who wore a bulletproof vest and a helmet with a video camera in the attack, was armed with a hunting rifle and a shotgun. Judge Annika Lindstroem of the Oslo District Court said Manshaus had plans to kill as many people as possible and set the mosque on fire.
Manshaus believed that “Europe is under attack from people of ethnic origin other than his own” and that “the white race is on the brink of extinction,” Lindstroem said.
In court, Manshaus confessed to the acts and called them “emergency justice.” Investigators found a photo of Adolf Hitler on his cell phone.
Lindstroem said Manshaus claims he was acting “in self-defense against the enemy.”
The presiding judge said Manshaus was inspired by shootings in March 2019 in New Zealand, where a gunman targeted two mosques, killing 51 people, and in August 2019 in El Paso, Texas, where an assailant targeted Latinos and killed at least 22.
His plans and his reference to national socialism also recall the views of Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who in 2011 killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway. Breivik, who gave a Nazi salute in the courtroom, is serving a 21-year prison sentence for carrying out a terror attack.
By JAN M. OLSEN