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Islamist terrorism: what we know about Zaniar Matapour, the Oslo shooter – Le Figaro

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Forensic investigators at the crime scene on June 25, 2022, following a shooting outside pubs and nightclubs in central Oslo, killing two and injuring 21. OLIVIER MORIN / AFP FOCUS – Violence, assault and battery, radicalization… The man of Iranian origin was well known to the police. Only a few photos are circulating of Zaniar Matapour, the alleged perpetrator of the deadly attack in downtown Oslo last Friday. We see him handcuffed, his face against the ground. The man, dressed in a yellow T-shirt and black pants, had just been overpowered by bystanders and law enforcement after killing two people and injuring 21 others. On the night of Friday to Saturday June 25, when the streets were still black with people around one o’clock in the morning, Zaniar Matapour arrived in front of a pub – Per på hjørnet – and started shooting on the terraces . He then aimed his gun at a nearby gay club and was quickly neutralized. The following day, the shooting was described as terrorist by police chief Christian Hatlo. The alleged perpetrator is then charged with murder, attempted murder and terrorism. On Monday, he was remanded in custody for four weeks. SEE ALSO – Attack in Norway: two dead and 14 injured in Oslo A heavy judicial past Zaniar Matapour, 42, arrived in Norway in 1991 at the age of 12 with his parents and two brothers and sisters as refugees, note tracing his career through several Norwegian media. It would have been marked by a difficult exodus. He then made himself known for a series of “acts of violence and threats”, according to Roger Berg, head of the internal intelligence services (PST) in charge of anti-terrorism. In 1999, while still in high school, he was sentenced by the Oslo court to ten months in prison for having been involved in a stabbing attack in a nightclub during a school ball. In 2000, he was acquitted on appeal, the Court having found no evidence showing that he was the bearer of the knife. He was then sentenced to 30 days in prison for beating and kicking comrades and violence in the street. In 2007, he was arrested for possession of cocaine and in 2019 for attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm and carrying a knife in a public place. In 2015, the Norwegian internal intelligence services placed him on their radar, “in connection with concerns about his radicalization” and his membership “in an extremist Islamist network”, notes the PST. According to the Norwegian newspaper VG, the man was a “sympathizer” of the Islamic State. Last May, Zaniar Matapour was interviewed by the police after being identified at the scene of a demonstration by the organization Stop Islamization of Norway. He had been arrested while he was in a car with Arfan Bhatti, a recruiter for the Islamic State organization in Norway. Interviews with him last month had led the services to conclude that he had no “violent intentions”. “In retrospect, we can say that we may have misjudged him,” admitted Roger Berg. Especially since two weeks before the attack perpetrated outside a gay bar in Oslo, the day before the freedom march, Arfan Bhatti had posted a burning LGBT flag on Facebook. SEE ALSO – Attack in Oslo: “Everything indicates an attack carried out by a radical Islamist”, according to the Norwegian Prime Minister Psychiatric disorders In addition to his problems with the law, the father of the family also has “problems related to his mental health”, explains the PST, referring to court documents related to his trials. Indeed, according to several reports of hearings consulted by the media, the killer suffered “from psychological problems a large part of his life” and in particular from “paranoid schizophrenia” mental pathologies for which he would never have been followed. In Oslo, however, his neighbors say they are in shock. They refer to a “calm and kind” man. The building where suspect Zaniar Matapour lives in Oslo, pictured after the shooting. NTB / REUTERS Monday, June 27, the Minister of Justice, Emilie Enger Mehl, announced that the way the police and the PST handled the episode will be assessed. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store acknowledged on Saturday that Norwegian society was “vulnerable” to this kind of attack, assuring that his government made “the safety of the population a priority”. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and Norwegian Minister of Justice and Public Security Emilie Enger Mehl at a news conference about the shooting in Oslo on June 25. NTB/REUTERS

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