OSLO — A worshiper prevented an attack Saturday on a mosque by a young, white man wearing a helmet and body armor, the authorities and witness at the mosque said.
Police described the suspect as “a young white man” who appeared to have acted alone. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
The suspect was overpowered by a 75-year-old member of the congregation sustained light injuries, said Irfan Mushtaq, a former director of the al-Noor Islamic Centre mosque and a board member.
“The man carried two shotgun-like weapons and a pistol,” and was wearing body armor, a helmet and black clothes, Mr. Mushtaq said told TV2. “He broke through a glass door and fired shots.”
Only three people were in the mosque at the time, at about 4 p.m., but if he had arrived earlier the attacker could have hurt many more people during a prayer service, he said.
A police spokesman, Rune Skjold, said the authorities had no evidence that the suspect belonged any kind of network of extremists. He told public broadcaster NRK that the suspect had been known to police, without elaborating.
After the attack, the police’s special unit and bomb detecting unit later arrived at an address connected to the suspect, the newspaper VG reported.
The local newspaper Budstikka reported in March that the mosque had taken new security measures, like introducing ID cards to enter the doors, after the slaughter of more than 50 people at two New Zealand mosques.
In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed eight people with a bomb at a government building in central Oslo and then fatally shot 69 people at a summer camp on the island of Utoya. He claimed that he had been on a “martyr operation” to stop a Muslim invasion of Europe.