Usually, stories about terrorist attacks fall under the category of bad news. But every once in a while, a thwarted terrorist attack has a happy ending. Fortunately, that’s what happened in Norway on Saturday, August 10.
A worshipper at a mosque took down a gunman and stopped a terrorist attack before it could begin.
Mohamed Rafiq was at at the al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum, Norway, when an armed man burst in with “two shotgun-like weapons and a pistol.” The 65-year-old man held the 21-year-old gunman down while another worshipper named Mohamed Iqbal hit him on the head.
The great heroes that stopped the #OsloMosqueAttack shooter.
Mohamed Rafiq (left) overpowered the shooter and Mohamed Iqbal (right) beat him, says witnesses.
Pic: Terje Pedersen/NTB pic.twitter.com/Ffz6pEfNwv
— b9AcE 🐊 (@b9AcE) August 11, 2019
Rafiq was injured, but according to witnesses, he still restrained the gunman with the help of other worshippers until the police arrived.
“I’m thankful for all of the help and support I have received,” Rafiq said to the press after his heroic moment.
The assistant chief of police Rune Skjold said that both Rafiq and Iqbal showed “great courage” and added: “There is no doubt that their efforts prevented this from having entirely different consequences.”
The suspect is being held in custody and the even is being investigated as a potential terrorist attack.
An online messaging board post from the suspect, who is a 21-year-old white man, suggests he is a far-right extremist who was inspired by the Christchurch, Powaym and El Paso shooters. He’s also suspected of killing his 17-year-old stepsister.
“We’re investigating this as an attempt at carrying out an act of terrorism,” Skjold said.
Thanks to the heroism of Rafiq and his fellow worshippers, a deadly situation turned into a much more hopeful one.