SHARE
COPY LINK

TERRORISM

Kongsberg attack appears to be ‘act of terror’

Norway's intelligence service PST said Thursday that an attack that killed five people the previous day seemed to be an "act of terror."

PST have said the Kongsberg bow and arrow attack appeared to be terror-related. Pictured is a Norwegian police van unrelated to the attack.
PST have said the Kongsberg bow and arrow attack appeared to be terror-related. Pictured is a Norwegian police van unrelated to the attack. Photo by Daniel DeNiazi on Flickr.

Espen Andersen Bråthen, a 37-year-old Danish national, has been charged over the killing of five people in an attack in Kongsberg, southeastern Norway, in what the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) have described as an “act of terror”. 

“The events in Kongsberg currently appear to be an act of terror, but the investigation… will determine in closer detail what the acts were motivated by,” PST said in a statement.

At an earlier press conference on Thursday, the police said that they had been in contact with the man previously over their fears he had been radicalised and confirmed he had converted to Islam.

“We’re talking about a convert to Islam,” Norwegian police official Ole Bredrup Saeverud told reporters on Thursday, adding: “There were fears linked to radicalisation previously.”

Reports that linked him to radicalisation pre-dated this year, Saeverud said.

“We haven’t had any reports about him in 2021, but earlier,” he added.

READ MORE: Who is the Kongsberg attacker and what was his motive?

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK are reporting that the man has previously been convicted of burglary and purchasing a small quantity of hashish. The media outlet have also reported that the man was handed a restraining order last year. These reports have not been confirmed by Norwegian police.

According to Norwegian media, the suspect was answering police questions whilst police official Saeverud said the 37-year-old suspect had confessed during questioning.

“He is cooperating and is giving detailed statements regarding this event,” his defence lawyer Fredrik Neumann told public broadcaster NRK.

In addition to the five people that were killed, a further three were injured.

Kongsberg attack: What we know so far

Police first gained a visual on the attacker at 6:18pm Wednesday and were shot at with the bow and arrows. They then lost contact with the 37-year-old, senior officer Ole Bredrup Sæverud said at a briefing on Thursday.

He was arrested at 6:47pm. The fatalities are thought to have occurred between 6:18pm and 6:47pm, meaning the killings took place after police first came into contact with the attacker. That is according to reports in several Norwegian media including NRK.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

KONGSBERG ATTACK

Norwegian police say 24 were targeted in Kongsberg attack

Norwegian police said on Wednesday that 24 people were now being treated as victims of a bow and arrow attack earlier this month in which five people were killed.

Police in Norway say 24 people were targeted in an attack in Kongsberg on October 13th. 5 were killed. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
Police in Norway say 24 people were targeted in an attack in Kongsberg on October 13th. 5 were killed. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

A man attacked members of the public in the town of Kongsberg west of Oslo on October 13th, firing arrows and attacking people at random in their homes.

Main suspect Espen Andersen Bråthen, a Dane living in Kongsberg, was arrested at the scene and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, with police believing mental illness is behind the attack.

“So far we have 24 victims in the case,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told a press conference, giving a total figure for the first time. 

He said the number included the five killed, three who were injured and 16 others who had been “subjected to different events”.

“These are typically attempted murders and attempted woundings, mostly those who were shot at with a bow and arrow,” he said, stressing that the number could change.

Omholt said police were “keeping the door open” on the motive for the attack.

Bråthen had previously said on social media he had converted to Islam, leading to speculation it was a jihadist attack.

But the investigation had “further weakened” the jihadist hypothesis, Omholt said, adding that it was unclear whether or not he had really converted to Islam.

READ ALSO: Norwegian police end emergency carrying of arms

SHOW COMMENTS