Norway security service: No change in threat level

Norway's terror threat level remains unchanged after the attacks in France that have so far left 13 people dead, the country's security service (PST) said on Thursday.

Norway security service: No change in threat level
PST chief Benedicte Bjørnland. Photo: Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix

"There is no information tying the events in France to Norway or Norwegian interests," said PST chief Benedicte Bjørnland. 

She noted however that the agency was already on increased alert after similar attacks in Belgium and Canada last year.

“There are cases where the perpetrators have links to Isis or Al-Qaeda, with lots of symbolic targets and the use of handheld weapons rather than explosives.” 

Paris was rocked by a second shooting on Thursday morning that left one policewoman dead and another officer seriously injured.

Police are hunting for two brothers following the murder of 12 people at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris. A third suspect handed himself in to the police, who also made several other arrests in connection with the manhunt.

Thousands have rallied in France and around the world in solidarity with the magazine, which is believed to have been targeted for its satirical cartoons ridiculing Islamist extremists. 

LIVE: Paris on edge after second shooting


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.