Who is the Kongsberg attacker and what was his motive? 

Here's everything we know about the attacker who killed five people in Kongsberg in a bow and arrow attack. Pictured is police tape from a seperate incident.
Here's everything we know about the attacker who killed five people in Kongsberg in a bow and arrow attack. Pictured is police tape from a seperate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.
A 37-year-old Danish national has been charged over the killing of five people in an attack in Kongsberg, southeastern Norway. Here is what is known about the attacker and his possible motive for the killings. 

Police have charged 37-year-old Danish national Espen Andersen Bråthen with the killing of five people in a attack in Kongsberg, around 80 kilometres southwest of Oslo, on Wednesday night.

What do we know about the attacker?

Police have said the man lived in Kongsberg whilst Norwegian media have reported that the man has lived in the area for several years. 

Police confirmed the mans identity on Thursday afternoon. 

At a 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. 

READ ALSO: Kongsberg bow and arrow attack: What we know so far

“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.

Police say they are almost certain he acted alone.

The suspect is being assessed by forensic psychiatric experts, the mans attorney told NRK. 

The attorney added that such an assessment is not uncommon given the circumstances. 

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.

On Thursday morning, police lawyer Ann Irén Svane Mathiassen confirmed that the 37-year-old Danish citizen “admits the circumstances” of the attack.

“He admits the circumstances. That it is him that undertook the actions he is charged with,” Mathiassen told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.

“But the extent to which he will admit his guilt, we must wait,” she added.

Norwegian media also report that the 37-year-old, who has lived in Kongsberg for several years, has been in contact with the health service several times.

PST: ‘Appears to be a terrorist act’ 

PST, the Norwegian Police Security Service, said on Thursday afternoon that the attack appeared to be terror related. 

“The incidents in Kongsberg currently appear to be a terrorist act, but the investigation will determine in closer details what the acts were motivated by,” PST said in a statement.

The security service said that the attacker was previously known to them. 


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