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TERRORISM

Norwegian linked to Al-Qaeda plane plot

Al-Qaeda is plotting an attack on a US airliner using a Norwegian terrorist, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing intelligence sources.

The broadsheet said Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had recruited a Norwegian Muslim convert and given him terrorist training in Yemen, and that the group were believed to have selected a US passenger jet as a target.

"The Norwegian recruit goes under the Islamic name of Muslim Abu Abdurrahman," the newspaper said.

"He is understood to be in his thirties and a 'clean skin', with no previous criminal record. He converted in 2008 and quickly became radicalised.

"He later travelled to Yemen, where he has spent several months, to complete his training."

The CIA foiled a similar AQAP plot to blow up a US-bound airliner in May, reportedly using a double agent who infiltrated the group and volunteered for the suicide attack.

AQAP has been linked to the 2009 Christmas plot in which a bomb hidden in a Nigerian attacker's underwear failed to detonate on a plane bound for Detroit.

It is also suspected of having a hand in a 2010 attempt to blow up cargo planes heading to the United States with explosives concealed in printer cartridges.

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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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