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ANDERS BEHRING BREIVIK

German anger over ‘Brevik’ clothes shop

Clothing brand Thor Steinar, notoriously worn by neo-Nazis, has opened a shop in eastern Germany called Brevik - a name just one letter removed from that of the far-right terrorist who killed 77 people in Norway last year.

German anger over 'Brevik' clothes shop
Photo: Morten Holm/Scanpix (File)

German daily Die Welt reported that complaints are flooding in from residents and politicians about the shop in the town Chemnitz, outraged at what appears to be a deliberate act of provocation by a brand commonly associated with the far-right scene.

"This scandalous choice of name has shown a new level of aggression, and violent right-wing tendencies from Thor Steinar," said local politician Hanka Kliese of the centre-left Social Democratic Party.

The chain has defended itself by pointing out that it names all its branches after places in Norway and that they named their newest branch, opened last Thursday, after the village of Brevik, south of Oslo.

Indeed, the company previously had a shop called "Brevik" in Hamburg, though this was closed in 2008.

But critics say this is not enough to explain the choice of a name that is almost identical to that of Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who shot dead dozens of teenagers on the island of Utøya and bombed Oslo city centre last year.

“Having a shop with this name is a catastrophe,” Katja Uhlemann, spokeswoman for Chemnitz council told The Local. “We are in contact with the company that rents out the building and are putting every measure necessary in place to get it shut down but it might prove difficult as it is a private rental company.”

"Legally, we have no power to shut the store down, but we can see from the closing of Thor Steinar shops in other towns that it is possible," she added.

The rental company told local newspaper Die Freie Presse that when they first saw the sign above the door, their “blood ran cold.” They said they had not known the Thor Steinar company's reputation.

Local politicians are particularly concerned about the damaging effect the shop may have on Chemnitz. Neighbouring town Zwickau is already in the media spotlight for having been home to a group of neo-Nazi mass murderers unmasked last year.

A protest is set to take place on Wednesday outside the Brevik shop – which lies in a student-populated area of Chemnitz – and has been planned by the local authorities in the hope that it will drive the company out of the city as soon as possible.

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TERRORISM

Kongsberg attacker killed victims with ‘sharp object’

Norwegian police said Monday that the five victims of last week's attack were killed by a "sharp object" used by the suspect, not a bow and arrows.

The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

“At some point he discarded or lost his bow and arrows,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters.

He said that during the attack on Wednesday the suspect killed “five people with a sharp object both in private addresses and in public spaces”.

Police, who had previously said that the suspect Espen Andersen Brathen was armed with a bow and arrows and two other weapons, did not specify the nature of the sharp weapons, adding that they were still interviewing witnesses.

“Everything points to the victims being selected at random,” Omholt said.

According to the police, more than 10 people were also shot at with arrows at the start of the attack, but none were killed with this weapon.

READ MORE: Norway police query Kongsberg attacker’s Muslim faith

During police questioning, Brathen has confessed to the killings and to wounding three others.

The 37-year-old Danish citizen has announced publicly that he is a convert to Islam and initially police reported that there had been fears of radicalisation.

He is however being kept in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Brathen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

“As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” Omholt added.

On Saturday, police announced the identities of the five victims, four women and one man: Andrea Meyer, 52, Hanne Merethe Englund, 56, Liv Berit Borge, 75, Gunnar Erling Sauve, 75 and Gun Marith Madsen, 78.

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