The deadly bow-and-arrow attack carried out by a Danish suspect in a small Norwegian town yesterday that claimed the lives of five people “currently appear[s] to be an act of terrorism,” Norway’s national security agency announced Thursday.
The suspect, a Muslim convert previously identified as being radicalized according to police, is accused of shooting at several people in Kongsberg town on Wednesday night. Police said that several of the victims had been in a grocery store.
“There were concerns that the man might have been radicalized” Ole B. Saeverud, chief of police said at a press conference. The motive was complicated and will need to be clarified, he said. However, he didn’t explain what radicalization meant.
A man was shot to death in Kongsberg Norway on Thursday. Police are working near the scene.
(Terje Bendiksby/NTB via AP)
Norway’s domestic security agency, known by its acronym PST, cited various aspects of the attack that also wounded two people in explaining its belief that the suspect’s actions “currently appear to be an act of terrorism.”
“Attacks on random people in public places are a recurring modus operandi among extremist Islamists carrying out terror in the West,” the domestic security agency said. The agency stated that the most likely scenario for an extremist terrorist attack on Norway in a single or few individuals with simple weapons against targets who have few, if any security measures.
It stated that the suspect was known from previous incidents, but PST is unable to give further information about him. “
” The investigation will reveal more details about the motives for these incidents,” PST stated in a statement.
After Wednesday’s attack on Kongsberg (Norway), an arrow was seen inside a wall.
(Hakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB via AP)
Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen, the police attorney who is leading the investigation, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that the suspect will be assessed by forensic psychiatric experts Thursday.
” This isn’t unusual in serious cases,” she said.
The victims were four women and one man between the ages of 50 and 70, Saeverud said.
Police were alerted at 6: 12 p.m. Wednesday to a man shooting arrows in Kongsberg, some 41 miles southwest of Oslo. Officers made contact with the suspect but he escaped and wasn’t caught until 6: 47 p.m., Saeverud said.
Officials believe the man didn’t start killing people until police arrived on the scene.
” “From all we know, it seems reasonably clear that the man didn’t start killing people after police arrived on the scene,” Saeverud stated.
On Thursday, police were near the scene after a murder in Norway by a man.
(Hakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB via AP)
Speaking calmly and clearly after his arrest, the suspect told police, “I did this,” said Svane Mathiassen. He “clearly explained what he did.” She told The Associated Press that he had admitted to killing five of the victims.
The rampage happened in clear view of dozens of witnesses in this small town, which today is in hushed shock, according to onlookers. Police have already spoken to between 20 and 30 witnesses who saw the attacker wound and kill his victims, according to Svane Mathiassen.
“People saw him around the city. The killings were not yet over. She said that was when he hurt people.
Erik Benum lives along the same street as the victim’s supermarket and told the AP that he witnessed the escaped workers hiding in doors.
” I saw them hiding in the corner. I then went out to investigate and saw police with rifles and shields coming in. This was quite a sight.
The whole city was quiet the next morning, he stated. People are shocked and sad.”
The killer had many other weapons. The police are still trying to determine what weapons the killer used. To assist with this investigation, weapons experts and technical officers have been drafted.
Both victims have been admitted to intensive care. One off-duty officer of the police was also present. They were not yet in good health.
The suspect is being held on preliminary charges, which is a step short of formal charges. The suspect will be formally charged with the crime at a custody hearing on Friday. He is believed to have acted on his own.
“It is obvious that this situation is very serious, extensive and will affect Kongsberg as well as those living here,” Oeyvind Alas, a police spokesperson said.
Norwegian media reported that the suspect previously had been convicted of burglary and possession of drugs, and last year a local court granted a restraining order ordering him to stay away from his parents for a six-month period after he threatened to kill one of them.
The attack was described as “horrific” by the newly appointed Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.
” This is unbelievable. However, five people were killed and many others are hurt. Many are still in shock,” Gahr Steere stated to Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
In an address to Kongsberg’s mayor, Norwegian King Harald V stated that people had “experienced the dangers of their local environment.” When horrible events happen in our daily lives on the street, it shakes us all.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote on Twitter that he was “shocked and saddened by the tragic news coming from Norway.”
The main church in Kongsberg, a small town of some 26,000 inhabitants, was open to anyone in need of support. I don’t believe anyone would expect to experience these types of experiences. The AP was told by Reidar Aasboe, a parish priest. “But nobody could have imagined this could happen here,” Reidar said. Mass killings in Norway are uncommon due to its strict gun laws.
Lovdata, a website that publishes information about the country’s laws, says anyone in Norway “who wants to acquire or have a firearm must have a permit from the police” and “anyone who wants to acquire or have ammunition must either have a license to have and use firearms in which the ammunition fits, or have a special permit from the police. “
The country’s worst peacetime slaughter was on July 22, 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Breivik set off a bomb in the capital, Oslo, killing eight people. Then he headed to tiny Utoya Island, where he stalked the mostly teen members of the Labor Party’s youth wing and killed another 69 victims.
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the maximum under Norwegian law, but his term can be extended as long as he’s considered a danger to society.
PST stated Thursday that Norway’s terror threat remains the same and is considered moderate.