The killing of 5 individuals in Norway in a bow-and-arrow assault seems to be an “act of terror,” the Norwegian safety service mentioned Thursday, with the suspect, a Danish Muslim convert, already on their radar over fears he had been radicalised.
Four ladies and a person died and two others had been injured on Wednesday within the south-eastern city of Kongsberg in Norway’s deadliest assault in a decade.
“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,” Norway’s intelligence service PST mentioned in a press release.
“We’re talking about a convert to Islam,” police official Ole Bredrup Saeverud instructed reporters on Thursday, including: “There were fears linked to radicalisation previously.”
Saeverud mentioned the 37-year-old suspect had confessed to the information of the matter throughout questioning. Those who had been killed in the course of the assault had been all aged between 50 and 70.
“We are investigating among other things to determine whether this was an act of terror,” Saeverud added.
Reports that linked him to radicalisation pre-dated this 12 months, Saeverud mentioned, and police had adopted up on the time. “We haven’t had any reports about him in 2021, but earlier,” he mentioned.
“We’re relatively sure that he acted alone.”
PST additionally confirmed that the suspect was identified to them however added the could not give “further details about him.”
It aslo mentioned they did not consider the risk degree within the nation had modified, describing it as “moderate”.
“Our evaluation is that what happened in Kongsberg Wednesday October 13 does not change the national threat assessment,” PST mentioned.
Murder in Norway is uncommon.
It was the deadliest assault since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 individuals in 2011.
Since then, Norway has seen one different far-right assault, carried out by a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who opened hearth right into a mosque.
On Thursday it was largely quiet in Kongsberg, a picturesque city of 25,000 individuals with wood facades and the foliage altering color for the autumn.
Streets had been nearly empty with solely a lightweight police presence.
A couple of cops stood outdoors a retailer the place a part of the assault passed off. A glass door there was chipped by a shot.
Two candles flickered outdoors the city’s church.
The suspect was as a consequence of seem earlier than a decide on Friday for a custody listening to.
He was present process a psychiatric examination on Thursday, the prosecutor mentioned.
The victims haven’t but been named publicly, however one of many wounded was an off-duty police officer who had been in a retailer.
Norwegian media questioned why it took police greater than a half-hour to arrest the suspect after the primary stories of the assault.
Police had been knowledgeable of the assault at 6:13 pm (1613 GMT) and the suspect was arrested at 6:47 pm. He fired arrows at police, who responded with warning photographs, Saeverud mentioned.
Thomas Nilsen was at house when he heard the screams and mentioned pictures of battle got here to thoughts.
“I thought it was Kabul,” he instructed AFP.
“I heard children screaming, barking and then the sound of a helicopter circling around my house,” Terje Kristiansen, one other witness, mentioned.
“I didn’t sleep much,” he added.
Arrow caught in wall
Images within the media confirmed a black arrow protruding of a wall and what seemed like competition-grade arrows mendacity on the bottom.
Police mentioned Thursday the suspect had additionally used different weapons, however offered no particulars.
“These events shake us,” mentioned Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who stepped down Thursday, changed by Jonas Gahr Store, whose Labour Party received latest parliamentary elections.
Store lamented the “horrible acts”, whereas Norway’s King Harald mentioned he was “appalled by the tragic events”.
Norwegian police will not be usually armed, however after the assault, the National Police Directorate ordered that officers be armed nationwide.
Norway hardly ever experiences such violence, however 10 years in the past Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 individuals within the nation’s worst bloodbath since World War II.
Breivik first set off a bomb in Oslo subsequent to the constructing that housed the workplace of the prime minister, then went on a capturing spree at a summer time camp for left-wing youth on the island of Utoya.
Several deliberate jihadist assaults have additionally been foiled by safety companies.
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