Norway: what we know about the suspect in the archery attack that killed 5

According to the first elements provided by the police, he is a 37-year-old Danish convert to Islam and suspected of radicalization.

The investigation is making great strides. In the aftermath of an archery attack that killed five in Kongsberg, south-eastern Norway, the main suspect, a 37-year-old man who converted to Islam and previously suspected of radicalization is still being questioned . At this stage, the attack looks like a “terrorist act”, estimated the Norwegian security services on Thursday, which did not however raise the level of alert in the country.

“The events in Kongsberg (town in south-eastern Norway, editor’s note) have the appearance of a terrorist act at this stage, but the investigation (…) will shed more light on what motivated them”, a indicated the PST in a press release.

· Who is the suspect?

Danish citizen and resident of this small town without history of about 25,000 inhabitants some 80 kilometers west of Oslo, the suspect was arrested Wednesday evening. Shortly after this bloody attack with the unusual modus operandi, described in words of horror by witnesses.

The man, who admitted to the facts during his overnight interrogation, is a convert to Islam, Norwegian police said.

“There have been fears related to radicalization previously,” Officer Ole Bredrup Saeverud told a press conference on Thursday, adding that these fears date back to 2020 and before, and that they had given rise to a police tracking.

· Who are the victims?

Five people were killed and two others were injured in the attack which shocked the peaceful Scandinavian kingdom, already ravaged by two far-right attacks in the past decade.

The attack occurred in several places over a large area of ​​Kongsberg, including a supermarket. It was there that a policeman, who was not on duty at the time, was injured.

“We are investigating among other things to clarify whether it is a terrorist attack,” said Ole Bredrup Saeverud. “We are relatively certain that he acted alone.”

The victims are four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70. As for the two injured, they are not in critical condition.

· What does the suspect say to investigators?

The suspect is due to be brought before a judge on Friday for remand in custody. According to the prosecutor in charge of the case, he must also undergo psychiatric examinations.

According to his lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, the man “explains himself in detail and he speaks and cooperates well with the police”.

The attack occurred in several places over a large area of ​​Kongsberg, including a supermarket. It was there that a policeman, who was not on duty at the time, was injured.

Alerted at 6:12 p.m., the police arrested the suspect more than half an hour later at 6:47 p.m. They came under fire from arrows at the time of the arrest and had to fire warning shots. On the first images of the crime published Wednesday evening, we see black arrows, visibly of competition, lying on the ground or, for one of them, firmly embedded in a wall.

Police said the suspect also used other weapons, the nature of which has not been specified.

· How are the authorities reacting?

The attack occurred on the last day of the mandate of Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who is due to hand over the reins on Thursday to a new center-left government led by Jonas Gahr Støre, winner of the September 13 legislative elections. The new head of government deplored Thursday of “horrible acts”.

“We are horrified by the tragic events in Kongsberg”, also reacted King Harald V, while the head of the UN, Antonio Guterres, said he was “shocked and saddened”.

In response to the attack, police, who are usually unarmed, will temporarily carry weapons across the country. Several planned Islamist attacks have been foiled in Norway in the past. But the peaceful Scandinavian nation has been bereaved by two far-right attacks in the past decade.

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people by detonating a bomb near the seat of government in Oslo, killing eight, before opening fire on a Labor Youth rally on the island of Utøya, causing 69 other victims. In August 2019, Philip Manshaus also shot in a mosque near Oslo, before being overpowered by worshipers, without causing serious injuries. He had previously racially shot his adopted half-sister, of Asian origin.

Leave a Comment