The Danish citizen suspected of killing five people with a bow and arrows on Wednesday in Norway converted to Islam and may have become radicalized. The information is provided by the police, who have had contact with the suspect since 2020, due to fears of radicalization.
“Previously, there were already concerns that the man had been radicalized,” Norwegian police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud told a press conference.
Saeverud also said that investigations were still ongoing to confirm whether the man acted alone: ”We don’t have information that indicates anything else, but we are continuing the investigations to have absolute certainty,” he said.
Five people, four women and one man, died and two others were seriously injured in the attack. According to Norwegian police, the victims were between 50 and 70 years old. One of the wounded who is hospitalized is a police officer who was off duty in a supermarket.
Without providing further details, a judicial source, cited by Lusa news agency, stated that the author of the attack, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, who left five dead and two wounded in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, 80 kilometers from Oslo, used “other weapons ” in addition to the “bow and some arrows”.
Prosecutor Ann Irén Svane Mathiassen, responsible for investigating the case, told the NTB news agency that the detainee has already admitted the facts of which he was accused.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Norwegian police received the first warning that a man “armed with bow and arrows” was in the center of Kongsberg.
The attacker was detained after confronting and trying to evade authorities.
“There are several scenarios where the crimes took place. This person moved in a large area of the center where criminal acts were committed,” said Aas about the aggressor’s path during the attack.
At the time of the chase, which involved helicopters and special police officers, authorities asked residents to stay at home.
The current Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, called the facts “horrible”, as did the opposition leader, Labor Jonas Store, who now takes over as head of Norway’s new government, after winning the general election last month.
Jonas Gahr Stoere, who takes office this Thursday as prime minister of Norway, called the Kongsberg attack “awful”.
UN Secretary General António Guterres said through the social network Twitter that he was “shocked” by the “tragic” news about the attack.
This attack was the deadliest in the country since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in 2011. Since then, Norway has suffered another far-right attack, carried out by a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who opened fire to a mosque.
* News updated at 10:10 am