He is being hailed as a hero for restraining the shooter.
A brave retired Pakistani Air Force officer didn’t think twice when he hurled himself on the Norwegian mosque attacker and restrained him, averting mass killings.
Mohammad Rafiq, 65, who is being hailed hero, was the first of the three people who tackled a heavily armed gunman who allegedly stormed into a mosque in Norway, according to the administration.
According to reports in The Washington Post, the gunman barged into the al-Noor Islamic Center, near the Norwegian capital of Oslo, but was pinned to the ground by Rafiq and two other worshippers.
“I suddenly heard shooting from outside. He started to fire towards the two other men. He put his finger inside my eye, up to here, full finger inside my eye,” said Rafiq, adding that he used momentum to tackle the shooter, throw him to the ground and disarm him before the other men present at the mosque rushed to his help.
“There is no doubt that the swift and firm response from the persons inside the mosque stopped the aggressor. These persons showed great courage,” acting police station chief, Rune Skjold, said in a statement. The foiled attack on the mosque happened a day before Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, marking the end of the Haj pilgrimage.
The attack is being treated as a suspected act of terrorism, and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has condemned the incident as a “direct attack on Norwegian Muslims”.