Arfan Bhatti, the Norwegian Islamist who’s been in trouble with the law for years, has now been charged with five counts of terror in connection with a mass shooting during Oslo Pride last summer. Prosecutors think Bhatti is behind the shooting that was carried out by another man who remains mum in custody.
Officials were quick to brand the shooting that left two people dead as a terrorist act, and Bhatti, who has a long police record ranging from arms dealing to family violence and firing shots at a synagogue in Oslo, was implicated shortly thereafter. He’s believed to be in Pakistan and an international warrant has been issued for his arrest.
State broadcaster NRK reported during the weekend that Bhatti is now charged as an accomplice to terror, murder, attempted murder, entering into a terrorist pact and another for murder. He was not in Norway when the actual shooting was carried out by the defendant already in custody, Zaniar Matapour, but the two are believed to have worked together.
Police claim to have digital tracks of their cooperation including a media file that newspaper VG has reported contained a statement from Matapour pledging allegiance to the brutal Islamic organization IS. Bhatti thought he was sending the file to a leader of IS, reports NRK, but instead Bhatti sent it to an agent on assignment from Norwegian intelligence service E-tjenesten.
Two other men have also been charged in the case for contributing to terror. Bhatti, who also reportedly has published religious texts urging murders of homosexuals, faces up to 30 years in prison in Norway if he’s found, arrested and extradited.