His only regret, he told a court outside Oslo, was that he did not kill more people.
Philip Manshaus, 22, went on trial on Thursday, eight months after he opened fire in a mosque in Oslo on August 10 last year, with the aim, the prosecutor claims, of killing as many people as possible.
Manshaus made the “OK” sign with his hand as he entered the courtroom, a gesture used by some to signify white supremacy.
He then launched into a long speech in which he denied the Holocaust, warned of the extinction of the white race and ranted against homosexuals and pornography, during which he was repeatedly interrupted by the judge.
“I want to apologise to all like-minded people that I did not do more harm,” he said. “That is something I am ashamed of. I behaved impulsively, and was stressed, and should have planned the attack better.”
“But I am proud that I had the opportunity to fight at a time where help is desperately needed.”
Phillip Manshaus, 22, makes a sign with his hand connected to the fair Right on the first day of his trial in Oslo. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB Scanpix / AFP
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Manshaus shot and killed his step-sister Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen at the home they shared in Bærum on August 10 last year, before going to the nearby Al-Noor Mosque carrying a shotgun and a hunting rifle.
After entering, he opened fire but was then quickly overpowered by a 65-year-old member of the congregation, who managed to wrestle his weapons from him, after which he was held until his arrest by police.
There were just three worshippers in the mosque at the time, and no one was injured.
At the start of the court hearing, Manshaus made a hand gesture linked to the far right, following a pattern set by the Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, made a closed fist salute in the courtroom.
Manshaus began his speech by announcing that to understand his actions, people would need to read the manifesto of the New Zealand terrorist Brentan Tarrant, who killed 51 people and wounded dozens more when he attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand's capital in 2019.
When asked by the prosecutor why he had a picture of Adolf Hitler as the background image on his mobile, he said that he viewed the Nazi leader as a role model.
“We who question whether the Holocaust ever happened do not deny that there were concentration camps, or that Jews, along with other foreigners, communist revolutionaries and prisoners of war were transported to these camps,” he said. “What we dispute is that six million Jews were killed in a systematic genocide.”
The trial is due to last until May 26. Manshaus faces 21 years in prison if convicted