Norweigian Police Say Bow-and-Arrow Attack Was Terrorism

Norwegian police said Wednesday’s bow-and-arrow attack in the southern Kongsberg town appears to have been a terrorism act.

The Norwegian Security Service (PST) identified the suspect as Espen Andersen Brathen, a 37-year-old Danish national who had converted to Islam. The crimes’ motive has yet to be determined, but it’s feared that he has been radicalized.

On Thursday, Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) chief Hans Sverre Sjøvold told the media that the incident “appears as if it may be an act of terrorism.” However, he explained that the investigation should continue to “clarify what the motives of the accused are.”

Police Chief Ole Bredrup Sæverud said officers had contacted Brathen over previous concerns “related to radicalization.”

The man has been accused of killing four women and a man in an attack on Wednesday night, where three other people were injured.

In a press release on Thursday, police said the suspect was due to appear in court today around 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT), but authorities have yet to reveal the charges he faces.

According to a police attorney, Brathen would be evaluated by psychiatrists, as he had been “in and out of the health system for some time.”

The attack was reported at 18:13 (16:13 GMT) Wednesday, and police responded to the emergency call immediately, confronting the attacker six minutes later. Brathen shot several arrows at the officers and escaped but was captured within 30 minutes.

He killed the victims between the first approach and his arrest, the police chief said. Witnesses also told local media that a woman had been stabbed at a nearby intersection.

Speaking about the victims, the PST chief said: “We have some information about the five people who died. There are four women and a man, no one has been formally identified yet. It will take some time. They are all aged 50 to 70 years.”

It was the deadliest attack reported in Norway since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, mostly teenagers, in a bomb attack and gun rampage on the island of Utoya a decade ago.