Norwegian-Iranian Citizen Charged with Aggravated Terrorism for Deadly Shooting at 2022 LGBTQ Festival in Oslo

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store attends the mourning service at Oslo Cathedral.

A Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin, Zainar Matapour, has been charged with aggravated terrorism following the deadly shooting in Oslo’s nightlife district on June 25, 2022, ahead of an LGBTQ festival. The attack resulted in two fatalities and nine serious injuries, predominantly occurring outside the London Pub, a well-known gay bar.

Prosecutor Sturla Henriksbø reported that the 44-year-old Matapour fired 10 rounds from a machine gun and eight shots from a handgun into a crowd gathered at a street corner, where around 560 people were present. Prior to the attack, Matapour had allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. “The attack caused great fear,” stated Henriksbø, noting that one victim was struck by four bullets and another was killed by a single shot.

Matapour, apprehended shortly after the incident by bystanders, has remained in custody under suspicion of being the shooter. He has declined to communicate with investigators. Following the shooting, a Pride parade scheduled in the city was canceled due to security concerns.

Prosecutor Aud Kinsarvik Gravås revealed that four additional suspects are linked to the incident, although they have not yet been charged as investigations continue. Two of these suspects are currently abroad, with one, a prominent Norwegian radical Islamist, reportedly in hiding in Pakistan. The location of the other suspect remains unknown.

Gravås emphasized that the ongoing suspicion against these individuals has not diminished, despite the current charges being directed solely at Matapour. The trial for Matapour, who immigrated to Norway from a Kurdish region in Iran during the 1990s, is slated for March and is expected to last two months. If convicted, he faces a 30-year prison sentence.

This shooting has added to a series of ‘lone wolf’ attacks in Norway, a country with a generally low crime rate but a history of significant violent incidents, including the 2011 Utoya mass shooting and bombings in Oslo.

 

darian
Author: darian

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