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Oslo names radical Islamist as suspect in gay bar shooting, say they were keeping an eye on him since 2015


On Monday, a Norwegian court named Zaniar Matapour, a Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin, as the suspect in the deadly rampage at an Oslo gay bar. The rampage killed two people and injured 21 others. According to Reuters, the suspect has been described as having a mental illness and being a radicalized Islamist. The attack occurred on Saturday (June 25th), the day before the city’s annual pride parade. A district court will decide the initial conditions of Matapour’s incarceration, and as part of that process, he will be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation.

Matapour is also charged with murder and attempted murder, in addition to terrorism. His defense strategy is still unknown. According to earlier statements made by Norway’s domestic intelligence service PST, which is in charge of counterterrorism, the attack is being treated as “an act of Islamist terrorism.”

Matapour was a member of a network of Islamist radicals in Norway, according to intelligence agencies, and had been known to them since 2015.

PST chief Roger Berg stated at a press conference that the agency had been monitoring the suspect “since 2015 in connection with concerns about his radicalization” and membership “in an Islamist extremist network.”

The suspect was interviewed by intelligence services last month, but Berg stated that they did not believe he had “violent inclinations” at the time.

The suspect “has a long history of violence and threats,” according to Berg, and PST was also aware of the suspect’s “difficulties with his mental health.” He continued.

While speaking with TV2, the suspect’s attorney, John Christian Elden, stated that there was no way to deduce the objectives or reasons for the attack.

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