The alleged perpetrator of a mass shooting during an LGBTQ festival in Norway He has refused to explain to investigators and will remain in pretrial detention for the next four weeks, police and his defense attorney said on Sunday.
The attacker, whom authorities described as a 42-year-old Norwegian national from Iran, was arrested shortly after the shooting in Oslo’s nightlife district early on Saturday. He is being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and terrorism.
Look: Shooting at a gay nightclub in Oslo leaves at least two dead and 14 injured
Two people were killed and more than 20 wounded in what the Norwegian security service called an “Islamist terrorist act.”
Oslo police said they tried to question the suspect on Saturday and again on Sunday without success. Norwegian media identified him as Zaniar Matapour.
Matapour’s defense attorney, John Christian Elden, told The Associated Press by email that his client refused to have his statement videotaped unless police made the entire recording public “promptly so that it is not censored or manipulated.”
The recording of interrogations is a common police practice.
Elden previously said his client did not deny being the shooter, but had not disclosed a motive. The lawyer said on Sunday that Matapour was not opposed to being remanded in custody for four weeks, so he would not appear in court on Monday.
In Norway, pre-trial detention hearings are normally held every four weeks.
Norway’s prime minister and members of the royal family joined mourners at a church service Sunday at Oslo Cathedral in memory of the victims of the attack.
The gunman opened fire in three places, including outside the London Pub, a popular gay bar in Oslo. Police investigators said it was too early to say whether the attacker specifically targeted the LGBTQ community.
The Pride parade scheduled for Saturday was called off because of the shooting.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said during Sunday’s memorial service that “the shooting in the night hours ended the Pride parade, but it did not stop the struggle and efforts to combat discrimination, prejudice and hate.” .
He also addressed the Muslim community in Norway.
“I know how many of you felt when it became known that the perpetrator belonged to the Islamic community. Many of you experienced fear and discomfort. You should know this: We are together, we are a community and we are responsible for the community together,” Stoere said during the church service, which was also attended by Crown Princess Mette-Marit.
Norwegian media said Matapour came to Norway with his family from a Kurdish area of Iran in the 1990s.
He had a criminal record that included a drug offense and a weapons offense for carrying a knife. Investigators said they seized two weapons after Saturday’s shooting: a handgun and an automatic weapon.
The Norwegian internal security agency, known by its Norwegian acronym PST, said on Saturday that it first became aware of the suspect in 2015 and subsequently grew concerned that he had become radicalized and was part of an unspecified Islamist network.
On Sunday, Norwegian media reported that Matapour was allegedly in close contact with an Islamic extremist living in Norway that Norwegian police had long known about.