Gunman, 42, who killed two in ‘extremist Islamic terror attack’ at Oslo gay bar moved to country when he was 12
THIS is the first picture of an Iranian refugee charged with killing two people and injuring 21 others in a terror attack shooting at a gay bar.
Zaniar Matapour, 42, allegedly opened fire at three different locations in Oslo, Norway, during Pride month celebrations.
He has been charged with murder, attempted murder and terrorist acts.
It has now emerged the lone wolf was born in Iranian Kurdistan before moving to Norway when he was 12.
Ex-plumber Matapour was on the police radar back in 2015 amid fears he had become radicalised and was part of an “Islamist extremist network”.
The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) decided he was “not an imminent threat” around a month ago.
PST’s chief Roger Berg said Matapour has a “long history of violence and threats” and had “difficulties with his mental health”.
The suspected gunman is now expected to be put under judicial observation to determine his state of mind, his lawyer confirmed.
The rampage unfolded at around 1.14am local time as gunshots rang out.
The venues targeted were the London Pub gay club, the Herr Nilsen jazz club and a takeaway food outlet that was packed with revellers enjoying the warm summer evening.
Matapour was arrested five minutes later and an automatic weapon and a handgun were seized.
Two people tragically could not be saved while 21 others were injured in the horror shooting.
Of these, ten were rushed to hospital, with three of them in a serious condition and 12 more were treated at the scene.
Security services have raised the terror threat level in Norway in the wake of the “extraordinary” attack.
Police are now investigating whether there were further attacks planned during Pride events.
Olav Roenneberg, a journalist from Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, said he witnessed the shooting.
He told NRK: “I saw a man arrive at the site with a bag. He picked up a weapon and started shooting.
“First I thought it was an air gun. Then the glass of the bar next door was shattered and I understood I had to run for cover.
Another witness, Marcus Nybakken, 46, said he saw a lot of people running and screaming and thought it was a fist fight.
“But then I heard that it was a shooting and that there was someone shooting with a submachine gun,” Nybakken told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.
Police patrols have now been beefed up in the capital and officers were instructed to arm themselves.
A Pride march due to take place this afternoon was called off on the advice of officials and other events have been cancelled.
However, thousands of people marched through Oslo with rainbow banners, chanting: “We’re here, we’re queer, we won’t disappear.”
The shooting has drawn condemnation from world leaders – with French President Emmanuel Macron calling for unity “in the face of hatred” and the “barbarity of an Islamist terrorist”.
Norway’s King Harald V said in a statement he was “horrified”, adding: “We have to gather together to defend our values – liberty, diversity and mutual respect.”
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