Norwegian police arrested a 37-year-old Dane on suspicion of a bow and arrow attack that left five dead and two injured on Wednesday in Konsberg, in the south-east of the country, the investigators not excluding at this stage a terrorist motivation.
The suspect, arrested shortly after the incident, is a 37-year-old Danish citizen residing in Kongsberg, Norwegian police said in a statement released overnight Wednesday to Thursday.
“We decided to confirm this information because there are many rumors circulating on social networks around the perpetrator of the attack, some [mettant en cause] people unrelated to the serious acts committed“, she added.
Earlier in the evening, the head of the local police force, Øyvind Aas, reported at a press briefing that five people were dead and two injured.
“According to the information we have now, there is only one person involved in these acts“, added the police officer. No other suspect is therefore wanted.
Cordoned off neighborhoods
The perpetrator’s motives are still unknown at this stage.
According to the generally well-informed TV2 channel, the alleged perpetrator is a convert to Islam and has a medical history – which the authorities were unwilling to confirm.
“Given the unfolding of the facts, it is natural to assess whether it is a terrorist attack“, said Øyvind Aas.
“The suspect has not been heard and it is too early to comment on his motives“, he added, specifying that the investigators kept”all open possibilities“.
Norway, target of far-right attacks in the past
In the past, Norway, a traditionally peaceful nation, has been the target of far-right attacks.
On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people by detonating a bomb near the seat of government in Oslo, before opening fire on a Labor Youth rally on the island of Utøya.
Read also : Nine years after the Utoya tragedy: “Breivik showed that there was something European in ultra-right terrorism”
In August 2019, Philip Manshaus also shot in a mosque near Oslo, before being overpowered by worshipers, without causing serious injuries. He had previously racially shot his adoptive Asian half-sister. Several plans for Islamist attacks were also thwarted.