Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Five dead in Norway – the attacker was already known because of possible radicalization

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In Kongsberg, Norway, a man shot at people with a bow and arrow, killing at least five. The motive is not yet clear – but the investigators assume an “act of terrorism”.

According to the investigators, the violence in Norway appears to be an “act of terrorism”. This is reported by the AFP news agency.

The police were in contact with the man who killed five people with a bow and arrow in Norway on Wednesday because of alleged tendencies towards radicalization. The Norwegian authorities had contacted the 37-year-old Dane last year about suspected radicalization, as the investigators announced on Thursday at a press conference in Oslo. Accordingly, the man had previously converted to Islam.

The man was arrested on Wednesday evening. He had previously attacked people in Kongsberg, armed with a bow and arrow. The police assume that he acted alone. However, the background to the act initially remained unclear. A terrorist motive could not initially be ruled out either.

The alleged perpetrator is apparently ready to cooperate with the police. His defense attorney told the press that he gave information about the crime during an interrogation that night. The suspect is a 37-year-old Dane who lives in Kongsberg, the police said in a statement. He was charged.

The act took place around 6.13 p.m. in the center in several places in the city of Kongsberg, which is around 80 kilometers southwest of the capital Oslo. Several media reported that a supermarket was one of the locations. The center was temporarily cordoned off over a large area. A large number of armed security guards and ambulances could be seen on television. A helicopter and a bomb disposal team were also dispatched to the crime scene. See here or above in the video recordings from Kongsberg.

Police are investigating in the center of Kongsberg: A man is said to have killed several people there with a bow and arrow.  (Source: dpa / Håkon Mosvold Larsen)Police are investigating in the center of Kongsberg: A man is said to have killed several people there with a bow and arrow. (Source: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / dpa)

When the alleged perpetrator was arrested, the police fired warning shots. He was taken to a police station in the neighboring town of Drammen. According to a TV2 report, the man also had a knife and possibly several other weapons with him. The injured were taken to the hospital, including a policeman who had been traveling privately.

A resident of Kongsberg told NTB news agency that she heard the alarm go off in a supermarket. She didn’t think much about it. But then she also heard police cars and ambulances. The police searched garages and backyards in the city center with flashlights in the evening.

Norway’s outgoing Prime Minister Erna Solberg was “shocked” by the fact. “Our thoughts go first of all to those affected and their relatives,” said Solberg late on Wednesday evening at a press conference called at short notice in Oslo. She will be replaced at the head of government by the Social Democrat Jonas Gahr Støre on Thursday after her election defeat a month ago. The act did not affect the change of government, said Solberg.

“The reports coming from Kongsberg tonight are horrific,” said Solberg. “The perpetrator committed terrible acts against several people. This is a very dramatic situation that hits the community in Kongsberg hard.” It is important to underline that nothing is known about the incident.

Kongsberg’s mayor, Kari Anne Sand, was also stunned. “This is a tragedy for all concerned. I have no words,” she told the Norwegian newspaper “Verdens Gang”. The head of government in neighboring Sweden, Stefan Löfven, wrote on Twitter that his thoughts were with the victims and their families. It was a “terrible attack”.

Norway has been the target of right-wing extremist attacks several times in the past. On July 22, 2011, right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Oslo and on the island of Utöya. In August 2019, the racist Philip Manshaus carried out an attack on a mosque on the outskirts of Oslo. Manshaus had previously killed his Asian-born stepsister. Several Islamist attacks have also been foiled in the past.

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