Norway said yesterday a bow-and-arrow attack that killed five people appears to have been an “act of terror”, with the suspect previously known to police over fears that he had been radicalised.
Four women and a man were killed, and three other people wounded during the rampage on Wednesday in the southeastern town of Kongsberg in Norway’s deadliest attack in a decade.
“There is no doubt that the actual act appears as if it could be an act of terror, but it’s important that the investigation continues and that we establish the motive of the suspect,” the head of Norway’s intelligence service PST, Hans Sverre Sjovold, told a news conference.
Police official Ole Bredrup Saeverud had told reporters earlier in the day that the man was believed to be a convert, adding: “There were fears linked to radicalisation previously.”
Police have identified the suspect as Espen Andersen Brathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen who was a resident of the area.
A police attorney told Reuters that Braathen had acknowledged killing the victims.
His lawyer confirmed only that Braathen was co-operating with police and giving a detailed statement.
It was the deadliest attack since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in 2011. Norwegian police are not normally armed, but after the attack, the National Police Directorate ordered that officers be armed nationwide.
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