Norway Bow-and-Arrow Suspect Had Been Reported for Radicalization

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37-year-old man with police records charged with five murders

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Local police chief Ole B Severud said the suspect, who lived in Kongsberg and has a criminal record including death threats, theft and drug possession, was reported to police last year for possible radicalization. Police are investigating whether the attack was an act of terrorism, Mr Severud said

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The suspect is believed to have acted alone and is cooperating with the investigation, Mr Severud told reporters on Thursday.

Four women and one man between the ages of 50 and 70 died in the attack, Mr Severud said. He said the attacker was believed to have randomly picked up his victims.

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Witnesses to the attack that began at a supermarket just after 6 p.m. told local television that they saw a man holding a large bow and carrying a quiver full of arrows on his shoulder while hunting people.

Local media circulated images of arrows embedded in the walls of buildings and on sidewalks.

Kongsberg police chief Oyvind Aas said the suspect roamed the city for about 30 minutes after police received an initial call, until he was arrested by alerting officers.

Mr Aas said the two injured people, one of whom is an off-duty police officer who was in the supermarket at the time of the attack, are being treated at a nearby hospital.

Norway’s king and head of state, Harald V, said in an open letter, “We are all shaken by these horrific events that took place among us, when they least expected them, on an ordinary day in the middle of the road.” Feather.” Mayor of Kongsberg.

Parts of Kongsberg, a ski resort, were surrounded by police as forensic teams examined sites where people were attacked.

Police officers across the country, who are usually unarmed, were ordered to carry guns in the line of duty after the attack. A police spokesman said the measure was taken as a precaution and was not the result of any intelligence input about the increased level of risk.

Local security services have said in the past that the country, which is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was under threat from an Islamist terrorist attack.

Norway has restrictive gun-ownership laws that ban personal possession of automatic weapons, but hunters and sport shooters are allowed to own certain types of handguns and rifles if they obtain a firearms license, for which a clean police record is required. is needed.

Norway, one of the world’s richest and least crime-prone countries, has been hit by mass shootings in recent days. In 2019, a gunman opened fire at a mosque near Oslo but no one was injured as worshipers quickly overpowered him.

In 2011, far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in and around Oslo, most of them teenagers from a summer camp organized by the centre-left party.

[email protected] . on Bojan Pancevski

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