PICTURED: Iranian-Norwegian ‘terrorist’, 42, ‘who killed two in Islamist attack’ on Oslo gay bar
The terror suspect accused of killing two people and injuring 21 others last night at a gay bar in Oslo has been named as a 42-year-old former plumber born in Iran.
Zaniar Matapour was born in Iranian Kurdistan before coming to Bergen, Norway as a refugee at the age of 12.
He was charged early this morning with two counts of murder, attempted murder and terrorism after the homophobic terror attack in the center of the LGBT+ venue London Pub.
The suspect filmed being pinned down after the shooting was mentioned is named Zaniar Matapour
Matapour, filmed by a close eyewitness in footage posted to Snapchat, has been charged
Multiple police officers leaned on 42-year-old to hold him after mass shooting
The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) investigated Matapour a month ago, but decided he posed “no imminent threat,” according to Norway’s national broadcaster. VG reported.
PST chief Roger Berg told a press conference this afternoon: “In May, the PST conducted interviews with the… [suspected] perpetrator in connection with the fact that he had shown interest in statements that are perceived as a violation of Islam.
Eyewitness footage shows how officers arrested Matapour in the early hours
“It was not considered in these talks that the… [suspected] perpetrator had no intention of violence.’
Security forces have increased the terror threat from level 3, described as ‘ordinary’. up to ‘extraordinary’ level 5.
The PST stated that level 5 warning carries no special requirements among the population, other than added ‘vigilance’ and ‘a easy to contact the police.
VIdeas shared on social media nevertheless showed hundreds of Pride protesters gathering in Oslo, seemingly spurred on by last night’s alleged hate crimes.
Despite the ‘extraordinary’ terror threat, defiant LGBT+ Norwegians and allies gathered today
Matapour, a school dropout with a long history of mental health problems, was sentenced to 10 months in prison as a teenager after being involved in a stabbing at a prom.
He was acquitted by the Court of Appeal, according to court documents reviewed by the Norwegian outlet NettaVisen†
Matapour’s involvement in serious crime didn’t end there, with the Oslo terror suspect charged in 2019 with attempted murder and possession of a firearm.
He was released again after an appeal.
The victims of Matapour’s alleged attack last night have not yet been identified.
Matapour’s first mental health diagnosis was made in the 1990s, with his listed conditions including: paranoid schizophrenia, PTSD and “delusions,” the website added.
His lawyer, the well-known Norwegian John Christian Elden, insisted that investigators consider the suspect’s mental health problems.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said this afternoon: ‘I know that many Muslims are afraid and desperate. Then it is our responsibility that no one other than the person behind the attack is responsible.
“Let there be no doubt, we are one community, we are a diverse community.”
Proud protesters marched through the streets of the city center, leaving flowers to commemorate the dead
Despite police pleas to be vigilant – and the cancellation of official events – marches took place
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the “barbarity of the Islamic terrorist” in a tribute tweet posted over lunch today.
After the deadly melee in central Oslo last night, a man was filmed being wrestled to the ground by police with the help of revelers.
One woman described having to play dead to dodge the gunfire from the gunman.
The other location hit in the attack around 1.15am today was the Herr Nilsen Jazz Club next door, where revelers were described being hit by flying shards of glass.
The man then shot directly behind her on the table. She escaped London Pub unharmed.
Police attorney Christian Hatlo said: “Our overall assessment is that there is reason to believe that he intended to cause serious fear in the public.
The police arrive on the scene in the early hours this morning right after the shooting
London Pub gay nightclub in central Oslo is depicted on a map of the Norwegian capital
“We need to go over his medical history, if he has one. It’s not something we’re aware of now.’
Oslo was scheduled to hold its annual gay pride parade later on Saturday, but organizers canceled the event for fear of possible ‘copycat’ attacks.
Oslo Pride planners wrote on Facebook this morning: ‘Oslo Pride has been given clear advice and a recommendation to cancel the parade, Pride Park and any other event associated with Oslo Pride.
“We will follow the advice of the police and take care of each other,” added chief organizer Inger Kristin Haugsevje.
Oslo’s precinct confirmed last night: ‘Two people have been confirmed dead in the shooting. There are several seriously injured.’
The Norwegian national newspaper VG reported that “witnesses said people ran in panic.”
Oslo University Hospital said it had gone on red alert after the shooting.
Olav Roenneberg, a journalist for the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, said he witnessed the shooting.
Video on social media shows emergency services outside London Pub, a gay nightclub in Oslo (pictured, file photo) at 1.15am on Saturday morning. Two were killed in the terror attack
‘I saw a man coming with a bag. He grabbed a weapon and started shooting,” Roenneberg told NRK.
“At first I thought it was an air pistol. Then the glass of the bar next door broke and I realized I had to take cover.’
Oslo’s precinct also said a person was arrested near the crime scene shortly after the incident (pictured)
Police Inspector Tore Soldal said two of the victims of the shooting died and ten people were being treated for serious injuries, but none of them were life-threatening.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a Facebook post that ‘Tonight’s shooting outside the London Pub in Oslo was a cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people’.
He said that while the motive was unclear, the shooting had caused fear and grief in the LGBTQ community.
“We are all behind you,” wrote Mr Gahr Stoere.
Christian Bredeli, who was sitting at the bar, told VG that he hid with a group of about 10 people on the fourth floor until he was told it was safe to get out.
“Many feared for their lives,” he said. “We saw several injured people on our way out, so we understood that something serious had happened.”
Norwegians paid their respects on the spot this morning, hours after the deadly terror attack
Video on social media shows emergency services outside London Pub, a gay nightclub in Oslo, at 1.15am on Saturday morning. Police arrested a suspect at the scene (photo)
Images online show nightclubbers being treated by emergency workers with blood on their faces.
Two people have been killed and several seriously injured in a shooting at a nightclub in Norway, police have confirmed (pictured is the scene outside the nightclub)
Images shared on social media, which have not been officially verified, appeared to show a man with a serious head injury.
It was reported that ‘up to 20 shots’ were fired at the nightclub.
Norway’s BNN Newsroom tweeted: ‘Police are asking people in the area to leave, to make way for ambulances.’
A major police action was underway, with a number of ambulances in the area treating the injured.
Helicopters hovered over central Oslo as sirens from ambulances and police cars sounded through the city.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted this morning: “London is behind Oslo. Our thoughts and solidarity are with the victims, their families and all those affected by this horrific attack hours before Oslo’s #Pride was due to take place. #LoveIsLove and hate will never win.’
The chaotic scene in Oslo is depicted, with emergency services on the sidewalk treating the injured. The police have made an arrest