Norway arrests three after weapons seizure linked to right-wing extremism 

Three men have been arrested, and weapons including machine guns and grenades have been seized in a case linked to right-wing extremism, Norwegian police said on Tuesday. 

Norway arrests three after weapons seizure linked to right-wing extremism 
A police van in Oslo. Photo by David Hall/ Flickr

Police seized dozens of weapons and arrested three men in different parts of the country who are said to have links to radical right-wing groups. 

Six machine guns, ten rifles, five pistols, 31 ammunition belts, 18 magazines, grenades and 8,000 rounds of ammunition were found at an address in Bodø, Northern Norway, and subsequently confiscated by law enforcement.

One man has been arrested in connection with the weapons found at the address in Bodø, and two more men, one from Lillestrøm and one from Hamar, have also been arrested on weapons charges.

“The arrest gave police further reason to investigate two other people in two other police districts. These two have now been arrested. During the search, police also found weapons with them,” Police Attorney for Nordland Police District Tore Finne Stømer told state broadcaster NRK

Some of the weapons have been described as legal collector’s items dating back to the Second World War. Some of the firearms seized are, however, still believed to be functional. 

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Norway’s security agency PST is involved in the investigation, the agency confirmed. 

“PST is aware of the arrests. We have been following the investigation and are collaborating with police forces,” Martin Bernsen, head of information at PST, told NRK.

The arrests were made on the back of a weeks-long investigation police have made into a network of illegal weapons sales in Norway. The three men will be remanded in custody with a ban on visitors and letters.

The network has links to right-wing extremist groups, police confirmed according to NRK.  

Weapons seized by the police have been sent to The National Criminal Investigation Service to be examined. Clarification on the condition of the guns and their functionality will be given within the next week. 

Ole-Kristian Ringes, the lawyer for the man arrested in Bodø, told NRK that his client has acknowledged the facts but denied guilt. 

Ringes distanced his client from links to right-wing extremism and described him as “apolitical” and not involved in the political environment since 2017. 

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Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

Norwegian police said Monday they had arrested two alleged accomplices of the suspect in a June shooting that killed two people in Oslo on the sidelines of Pride celebrations.

Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

The two suspects were arrested on Sunday in Oslo suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”, the Oslo police said in a statement.

One is a Somali man in his forties, the other a Norwegian in his thirties — both of them known to police. Their identities were not disclosed.

In the early hours of June 25, a man opened fire near a gay bar in central Oslo during celebrations linked to the city’s Pride festival.

The shooting killed two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounded 21 others. Immediately after the shooting, police arrested Zaniar Matapour, a
43-year-old Norwegian of Iranian origin, on suspicion of carrying out the attack.

The new arrests bring the number of people implicated in the attack to four, as Norwegian police announced last week they were seeking another suspect linked to the shooting.

On Friday, Oslo police announced that they had issued an international arrest warrant for Arfan Qadeer Bhatti, a 45-year-old Islamist with a prior conviction, who is also suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”.

“The police still believes Bhatti is in Pakistan,” a country with which Norway has no extradition agreement, police said Monday.

“To ensure the best possible cooperation with the Pakistani authorities, we had Oslo police officers in Pakistan a short time ago,” it added.

According to police, they have not yet had direct contact with Arfan Bhatti but have spoken to his Norwegian lawyer, Svein Holden, and say they expect the legal proceedings in Pakistan to take time.