Norwegian authorities indicate that the archery attack that yesterday caused five deaths in Norway could be a “terrorist act”. They also indicated that the alleged perpetrator is a Danish convert to Islam with whom the police had been in contact “for fear that it would become radicalized.”
The 37-year-old Kongsberg resident suspect the city where the attack took place, was arrested on Wednesday night.
The Norwegian security services today pointed out that the facts “appear to be a terrorist act, at the moment” but they clarified that “the investigation (…) will shed more light on (the) motives” of the attacker.
The man, who acknowledged the facts during questioning, is a convert to Islam, Norwegian police said.
“There were fears related to a radicalization” of the individual, explained the officer Ole Bredrup Saeverud during a press conference offered this Thursday in Tønsberg, specifying that those fears, which led the authorities to monitor him, date back to 2020 and earlier.
According to this person in charge, the researchers they are “relatively certain that he acted alone.”
Five people died and two others were injured in this attack, which caused a great commotion in the peaceful Scandinavian kingdom, where two far-right attacks were perpetrated in the last decade.
The victims are four women and a man between 50 and 70 years old, he specified, and explained that none of the injured was in critical condition.
The suspect must appear before a judge for provisional arrest. According to the prosecutor in charge of the case, also You will be subjected to psychiatric examinations.
According to his lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, the suspect “explains himself in detail and talks and cooperates with the police.”
Other weapons used in the attack in Norway?
The attack took place at various points in a large area of Kongsberg, notably at a supermarket, where an off-duty police officer was injured.
Alerted at 6:12 p.m. (4:12 p.m. GMT), the police arrested the suspect more than half an hour later, at 6:47 p.m. The officers were attacked with arrows during the operation, so they fired warning shots.
According to the police, the suspect also used other weapons, although he did not specify what type.
The testimonies gave an account of the terror that gripped the residents of Kongsberg, a town of 25,000 inhabitants located about 80 km west of Oslo, at the time of the events.
“I thought this was Kabul”, declared Thomas NIlsen, who was at home when, suddenly, he heard the screams.
For her part, Hansine, a woman who partially witnessed the attack, told TV2 that she heard a scandal and saw a woman take refuge and “a man on the street corner with arrows in a quiver on his back and a bow in his hand. “.
“Later I saw people running for their lives. One was a woman who had a child held by the hand,” he told that television.
“Horrified” after attack in Norway
The attack occurred on the last day of the mandate of Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Conservative, which on Thursday will hand over the reins of government to a new center-left Executive led by Jonas Gahr Støre, winner in the September 13 legislative elections.
This Thursday, Støre lamented “horrible acts”.
“We are horrified by the tragic events in Kongsberg,” King Harald V reacted, while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres declared himself “shocked and saddened” in a tweet.
In response to the attack, the Norwegian police leadership decreed that the agents, who are generally unarmed, would temporarily carry weapons across the country.
Norway, a generally peaceful country, has been the scene of far-right attacks in the past.
The July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people by detonating a bomb near the government headquarters in Oslo, before opening fire at a Labor Youth rally on the island of Utøya.
In August 2019, Philip Manshaus fired at a mosque on the outskirts of Oslo, before being subdued by the crowd, without seriously injuring himself. Before the attack, he shot down his adopted Asian sister for racism.
The authorities have also thwarted several Islamist attacks.