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Wednesday May 29, 2024

Norway intelligence agency apologises over Oslo Pride shooting

By AFP
June 09, 2023

OSLO: Norway‘s domestic intelligence service apologised on Thursday after a report concluded it could have prevented a shooting on the sidelines of Oslo’s Pride festival last year that left two dead. On the night of June 25, 2022, a man opened fire outside a gay bar in central Oslo during the Pride festival, killing two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounding nine others.Just after the attack, police arrested the suspect, Zaniar Matapour, a 43-year-old Norwegian of Pakistani origin who had contacts with a known Islamist in Norway, Arfan Bhatti. The motive for the attack has yet to be officially established. But a report commissioned by the chief of police and the PST intelligence service, published on Thursday, concluded that it would have been “possible” to prevent the shooting if agents had followed up on early warning signs.

The PST was criticised for failing to take preventive measures despite information suggesting that Bhatti could use Matapour for an act of “political violence”, as well as for lowering its surveillance of Bhatti, who posted an image on Facebook of an LGBT flag in flames a few days before the shooting.