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Norway bow-and-arrow attack suspect named as police say they’re treating it as terrorism

Espen Andersen Bråthen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, is because of seem in court docket on Friday, however police have but to disclose the fees he faces.

Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) chief Hans Sverre Sjøvold advised reporters on Thursday that the attack “appears as if it may be an act of terrorism” however famous that’s necessary the investigation goes forward and “we get to clarify what the motives of the accused are.”

Officers had been in touch with the person, together with “as a result of previous concerns related to radicalization,” police chief Ole Bredrup Sæverud stated. Officers additionally revealed the suspect had transformed to Islam.

The suspect had not appeared on their radar this yr although, Sæverud indicated, saying the police had “received no reports in 2021 regarding radicalization.”

A police investigator passes a Norwegian policeman standing guard Thursday as investigations continue into the deadly bow-and-arrow attack in Kongsberg, Norway.

Four girls and one man had been killed within the attack, whereas three individuals had been injured. “We have some information about the five people who died. There are four women and a man, no one has been formally identified yet. It will take some time. They are all aged 50 to 70 years,” Sæverud stated.

A timeline of the occasions Wednesday revealed that solely 35 minutes elapsed between the primary studies to police of a person capturing with a bow and arrow and the arrest of the suspect.

The first name alerting police got here into the operations middle at 6:12 p.m., Sæverud stated. A patrol was instantly despatched to the situation, adopted by three extra, he stated. The first patrol on the scene solely briefly noticed the perpetrator.

In the minutes afterward, messages had been coming in from members of the general public that the suspect had been noticed in a number of locations throughout Kongsberg, he stated.

The suspect was arrested at 6:47 p.m., by which era 22 police patrols had been deployed and extra assets had been on their manner. Warning pictures had been fired on the time of the arrest, Sæverud stated.

From what police now know, “it appears reasonably clear that probably everyone was killed after the police were in contact with the perpetrator for the first time,” he stated.

The perpetrator is believed to have acted alone, police stated.

One witness to the attack, Linda Ostergaard, was biking dwelling together with her two daughters when she got here throughout the attack, in line with Swedish CNN affiliate, Expressen.

“My youngest daughter was a couple of meters in front of me when she suddenly stopped as there were lots of blue lights,” Ostergaard stated.

“We saw a police car with sirens on come, and it stopped at the top of the street. Two policemen jumped out of the car with weapons and ran into the shop here, and they were shouting, ‘armed police, put down the weapon.'”

“Then we were told to move away, that we had to get to safety. So we ran to the corner there, and stood there on the corner. There, we met another man who said that it was he who had called the police, and that the perpetrator had shot after him, down here, and then we saw that there was an arrow down there in the road. There was no crossbow only a long arrow lying there.”

Police officers cordon off the scene in Kongsberg on October 13.

‘Perpetrator has carried out horrific acts’

The attack got here on the eve of a brand new authorities taking workplace after final month’s parliamentary elections unseated the long-ruling Conservative Party.

Labour chief Jonas Gahr Store assumed the function of Prime Minister on Thursday. He stated on social media that his first telephone name within the new function was to Kongsberg’s mayor.

“We have during last night, this morning and this afternoon learned more about what atrocities have taken place, what cruel acts innocent people were exposed to, what unrest and fear hit the community in Kongsberg, and spread to the whole country,” Store added throughout an introductory press convention.

“This shows that our society is vulnerable,” Store stated. “It is not good for us to conclude what is the motive, what is behind this action. The police must be allowed to finish their work and clarify, but it emphasizes again that preparedness is a complex task for a society.”

The new Prime Minister will go to the city on Friday, he confirmed. The night time earlier than, as studies of the assaults had been nonetheless rising, his predecessor Erna Solberg — throughout her ultimate hours within the function — described the developments as “gruesome” and promised “all necessary resources” had been being deployed.

An arrow is left in a wall at the scene where a man armed with bow killed several people in Kongsberg.

“The perpetrator has carried out horrific acts against several people. It is a very dramatic situation that has hit Kongsberg society hard, and the events shake us all,” she stated.

Norway’s King Harald expressed his sympathies Thursday in a brief message to the mayor of Kongsberg, saying that “the rest of the nation stands with you.”

“We sympathize with the relatives and injured in the grief and despair,” he stated. “And we think of all those affected in Kongsberg who have experienced that their safe local environment suddenly became a dangerous place. It shakes us all when horrible things happen near us, when you least expect it, in the middle of everyday life on the open street.”

The attack comes simply over a decade since Norway’s worst terrorist attack.

In July 2011, Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Brevik killed 77 individuals, a lot of them youngsters, in a bomb attack and gun rampage. He was sentenced to 21 years in jail, the utmost attainable time period.

In August 2019, one other man stormed an Oslo mosque armed with weapons earlier than being overpowered. That yr, the nation’s intelligence service reported that right-wing terrorism was on the rise globally, and warned that the nation would probably be focused within the close to future.

CNN’s Rob Picheta, Vasco Cotovio, Seb Shukla and Lianne Kolirin contributed to this report.

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