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. 

‘One of the most extensive strikes ever’: Norway makes arrests in global police sting

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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Dane pleads guilty to killing five in knife attack in Norway

A Danish man pleaded guilty at his trial Wednesday to having stabbed five people to death and having fired arrows at others in an attack in Norway last year.

Dane pleads guilty to killing five in knife attack in Norway

Espen Andersen Brathen, a 38-year-old Dane living in Norway, allegedly used a bow and arrow inside and outside a supermarket before stabbing to death five other residents in the southeastern town of Kongsberg in October.

 Brathen entered the pleas when asked to respond to the charges of murder and attempted murder at the court in the town of Hokksund. “Everything, I admit everything,” he said, at the start of his trial.

While Norwegian police had initially suspected some kind of terror attack, they quickly believed it was the work of an unbalanced individual.

Brathen had been living for years in Kongsberg, home to about 25,000 people some 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of the capital Oslo, and authorities have said he has a medical history, although details have not been made public.

The Norwegian security services PST, which are responsible for counter-terrorism, also said the man had been on their radar.

He was arrested 35 minutes after the first reports of an attack and was swiftly moved to a medical institution.

Three experts who observed him concluded that the suspect was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Both the prosecution and the defence argued that he could not be held criminally responsible and advocated a psychiatric commitment rather than a prison sentence.

According to the prosecution, Brathen was armed with a bow, 60 arrows and four knives on the day of the attacks. His victims were four women and one man aged from 52 to 78.

The trial is scheduled to last until June 17, with a verdict expected in the following weeks.