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KONGSBERG, Norway: The killing of five people in Norway in an archery attack appears to be an “act of terror,” the Norwegian security service said on Thursday, with the suspect, a Danish Muslim convert, already on their radar. radar on fears it has been radicalized.

Four women and a man died and two others were injured in the southeastern city of Kongsberg on Wednesday in Norway’s deadliest attack in a decade.

“The events in Kongsberg currently appear to be an act of terror, but the investigation (…) will determine in more detail why the acts were motivated,” Norwegian intelligence service PST said in a statement.

“We are talking about a convert to Islam,” police official Ole Bredrup Saeverud told reporters on Thursday, adding: “There were fears related to radicalization before.”

Saeverud said the 37-year-old suspect confessed to the facts of the case during questioning. Those killed in the attack were all between 50 and 70 years old.

“We are investigating, among other things, whether it was a terrorist act,” Saeverud added.

Reports linking him to radicalization predated this year, Saeverud said, and police followed up at the time. “We haven’t had any report on it in 2021, but earlier,” he said.

“We are relatively sure that he acted alone.”

The PST also confirmed that they knew the suspect, but added that they could not give “more details about him”.

He also said they did not think the level of threat in the country had changed, describing it as “moderate”.

“Our assessment is that what happened in Kongsberg on Wednesday October 13th does not change the national threat assessment,” PST said.

Murders in Norway are rare.
It is the deadliest attack since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in 2011.

Since then, Norway has seen another far-right attack, led by a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who opened fire on a mosque.

Thursday was largely quiet in Kongsberg, a quaint town of 25,000 with wooden facades and foliage changing color for fall.

The streets were almost empty with only a slight police presence.

A few police officers stood in front of a store where part of the attack took place. A glass door was chipped by a gunshot.
Two candles flickered outside the town church.

The suspect was scheduled to appear before a judge on Friday for a custody hearing.
He was undergoing a psychiatric examination on Thursday, the prosecutor said.

The victims have not yet been publicly named, but one of the injured was a police officer on leave who was in a store.

Norwegian media have asked why it took more than half an hour for the police to arrest the suspect after the first reports of the attack.

Police were notified of the attack at 6:13 p.m. (4:13 p.m. GMT) and the suspect was arrested at 6:47 p.m. He fired arrows at the police, who responded with warning shots, Saeverud said.

Thomas Nilsen was at home when he heard the screams and said images of war came to his mind.

“I thought it was Kabul,” he told AFP.

“I heard children screaming, barking, and then the sound of a helicopter circling around my house,” said Terje Kristiansen, another witness.

“I didn’t get much sleep,” he added.

Media images showed a black arrow coming out of a wall and what looked like competition arrows lying on the ground.

Police said Thursday the suspect also used other weapons, but provided no details.

“These events are shaking us,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who resigned Thursday, replaced by Jonas Gahr Store, whose Labor Party won the last parliamentary elections.
Store lamented the “horrible acts”, while King Harald of Norway said he was “appalled by the tragic events”.

Norwegian police are not normally armed, but after the attack, the National Police Directorate ordered that police officers be armed throughout the country.
Norway rarely experiences such violence, but 10 years ago Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in the country’s worst massacre since World War II.

Breivik first detonated a bomb in Oslo next to the building that housed the prime minister’s office, then embarked on a shootout at a left-wing summer camp for young people on the island of Utoya.

Several planned attacks linked to Daesh were also thwarted by the security services.


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