Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

A bow-and-arrow attacker who killed five people in Norway was a Muslim convert who was known to police for radicalisation, officers have said, as they revealed he escaped arrest before going on to kill five people. 

The 37-year-old Dane, who has not yet been named, began his attack at a supermarket in the town of Kongsberg at 6.12pm Wednesday with a bow and arrow – firing on locals and then officers who arrived at 6.18pm, police spokesman Bredrup Sæverud said.

Officers and locals were hit by the volley of arrows, causing police to lose sight of the man. After escaping, he managed to kill four women and one man aged between 50 and 70 before he was finally caught by armed police at  6.47pm, around 400 yards from where the attack began.

Police have not said how the five victims died, though have confirmed that more than one weapon was used in the attack. They have not said how many weapons were used in total, or what the weapons were.

Two people – including an off-duty policeman – were also wounded in the attack, though their injuries are not life threatening. It is unclear exactly when or how those people were hurt.  

Sæverud also confirmed that the suspect is a convert to Islam and was known to the police due to concerns about radicalisation. Separately, police said the man had  ‘been in contact with… the health service several times’.

The suspect is being questions by police and has admitted to being the one who carried out the attacks, local media reported. He has not yet entered a formal plea to criminal charges. 

Police have not given an official motive for the attacks, though say terrorism will ‘naturally’ be investigated. 

In other developments:

  • Witnesses described hearing ‘women’s screams’ at the scene of the attack, adding: ‘It was a death cry’ 
  • Police said the man used weapons other than a bow and arrow in the attack, but did not give more detail 
  • Suspect’s lawyer said he is ‘connected’ to Denmark through his mother and was born there, though had been living in Norway for ‘several years’ 
  • The man is currently being questioned by police and is cooperating, though has not been formally charged
  • Suspect is expected to be remanded in custody on Thursday, as police said more information will be released
  • Police searched an address close to the scene and questioned residents, though it is unclear what they found
, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Five people have been killed and two more injured during a half-hour bow and arrow rampage through the streets of Kongsberg, a town in southern Norway, on Wednesday night

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

A 37-year-old Danish man has been arrested, with several sources telling a Norwegian broadcaster that he is a convert to Islam. Police have yet to confirm the information or give a motive (pictured, an arrow in a wall near the scene of the attack) 

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Police say the suspect was known to officers for ‘several different issues’ and had ‘been in contact with… the health service several times’ without disclosing more details (pictured, arrows at the scene of the attack) 

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

The attack began at a Coop Extra supermarket on the west side of Kongsberg at 6.13pm as the man opened fire with a bow and arrow, then walked through the streets apparently firing at random. It ended half an hour later and 400 yards away as police confronted the man after he crossed the Numedalslågen river

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Police confirmed that officers had fired shots during the arrest, though it was not immediately clear whether they shot at the suspect or fired warning shots. It is not clear whether the man was injured during his arrest 

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Shortly after the man was arrested, police were seen searching a nearby house. Investigators have not yet disclosed what was found at the property, or what the motive for the attack may have been 

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

 Kongsberg is a small town in southern Norway that straddles the Numedalslågen river with a population of about 26,000. It is known as the home of the Royal Norwegian Mint, houses the headquarters of a major arms manufacturer, and serves as a satellite campus for the University of South-Eastern Norway

Anders Behring Breivik: Norway’s most-notorious terrorist 

Anders Behring Breivik – who now goes by the name Fjotolf Hansen – is a far-right terrorist who killed 77 people during a gun and bomb attack on the Norwegian capital of Oslo and the island of Utøya in July 2011.

Breivik, then aged 32, began his attack by emailing a manifesto to more than 1,000 people including politicians and journalists outlining his far-right ideology – including the belief that Muslims are ‘colonising’ Europe and should be deported, and that feminism represents a kind of ‘cultural suicide’.

After sending the email, he drove a white van containing a 2,000lbs bomb to the offices of the Norwegian government and parked it outside around 3.15pm. 

Ten minutes later the bomb exploded, killing eight people – six women and two men – and injuring more than 200, with 12 seriously hurt.

Police rushed to the scene, cordoned it off, and began hunting for the attacker – though Breivik had already left the city in another vehicle and was driving towards Utøya island, some 20 miles to the north.

Dressed as a policeman and carrying a fake ID, Breivik took a ferry from the mainland to the island and arrived at 5.17pm carrying a case of weapons including a Glock handgun and Ruger semiautomatic rifle.

He then made his way to where a summer camp for the Workers’ Youth League – affiliated with the left-wing Labour Party who were then in power – was taking place.

He opened fire on the camp at 5.21pm. 

Over the course of the next hour, Breivik shot dead 67 people – most of whom died from gunshots to the head – and wounded another 32. One person died falling from a cliff as they tried to escape the massacre, and another died trying to swim away.

Police arrested Breivik at 6.34pm without resistance.

Of those killed on the island, a majority were teenagers and the two youngest victims were aged 14.  Taken together, the attacks represented the deadliest in Norway since the Second World War.

Among the dead were friends of then-Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and the stepbrother of Norway’s crown princess Mette-Marit.

Breivik went on trial in April the following year, entering the courtroom while giving a now-infamous one-fisted salute – an echo of the Nazi salute which he would use at later court appearances.

He admitted to being the one who carried out the attacks and said he did it to promote his manifesto, but pleaded not guilty  – arguing that he was acting in ‘self-defence’ and did not recognise the court’s authority.

In August, Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in jail for the massacre with the possibility of extending the term if he is still deemed a ‘threat to society’ – the maximum sentence that can be imposed under Norwegian law.

That sparked a debate about whether Norway’s legal system – created in the wake of Nazi occupation – is too lenient, and the conditions in which Breivik is kept has continued to be a source of debate ever since.

Initial controversies included his access to a gym and video games, while another debate erupted in 2015 when was allowed to enroll on political science at the University of Oslo. 

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The attack began in a Coop Extra supermarket on the west side of Kongsberg at 6.13pm Wednesday and saw multiple people shot with a bow and arrow, five of whom died.

Two more – including an off-duty policeman – were injured during the rampage, which occurred over a ‘large area’ of the town with the suspect moving through the streets and apparently firing at random.  

The attack ended when armed officers confronted the man and fired their weapons. It is unclear whether the suspect was hurt during the shooting, or whether the officers only fired warning shots.   

Officers are today probing whether the attacker used more than one weapon during the 30-minute bloodbath after police chief Aas told reporters ‘the man used a bow and arrow… for some of the attacks.’ 

Norway’s outgoing Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the attack ‘shocking’ and ‘gruesome’ in a press conference late on Wednesday. ‘I understand that many people are afraid, but it’s important to emphasise that the police are now in control,’ she said. 

Labour party leader Jonas Gahr Store, who is due to become prime minister today after an election last month, described the killings as ‘cruel and brutal’ and said his thoughts were with ‘those affected, their families, and with the police, the health workers who are now working full time to assist those who need help.’

Following the attacks, the Norwegian police command said it had immediately ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed. 

Official’s said Wednesday’s rampage was the deadliest attack in Norway in a decade, since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in twin attacks on July 22, 2011.  

Breivik first set off a bomb in the capital Oslo next to the building that housed the office of the prime minister, then went on a shooting spree at a summer camp for left-wing youths on the island of Utoya.   

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

A witness told TV2 she had heard a commotion and seen people running for cover before catching side of a ‘man standing on the corner with arrows in a quiver on his shoulder and a bow in his hand,’ AFP reported. 

‘Afterwards, I saw people running for their lives. One of them was a woman holding a child by the hand,’ she added.

Another witness tweeted: ‘There is a guy with bow and arrow shooting at people just outside my apartment wtf. Police and multiple helicopters are here.’

While Sarkis Younan, a student who lives next to the Coop Extra store, told local media: ‘I was sitting and watching Squid Game when I suddenly saw and heard sirens. I thought it was in the TV series. Suddenly I heard the police screaming like hell: ‘Put down your weapon”.’  

Officers have cordoned large areas of the town, a municipality of around 28,000 people in southeastern Norway, 82km (51 miles) from Oslo, and urged the public to stay home. Police said there were several crime scenes. 

Some of the arrows pictured strewn around the site of the attack appeared to be crossbow bolts while others had flights indicating they could be used with a bow. 

‘The man used a bow and arrow… for some of the attacks,’ police chief Øyvind Aas told reporters adding that police were investigating whether other weapons had also been used. 

Television footage showed ambulances, armed police, a helicopter, and bomb disposal team in the area.

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

A helicopter was seen landing near the scene of the attack in which at least five people were killed and several more injured in Kongsberg, Norway, on Wednesday evening

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Officials are thought to be probing a possible terror motive after the suspect fired at random victims across a ‘wide area’ of Kongsberg

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

‘We can unfortunately confirm that there are several injured and also unfortunately several killed in this episode,’ police official Oyvind Aas (pictured) told a news conference

The TV2 station reported that the man also had a knife or other weapons. And the website of public broadcaster NRK published an image sent by a witness of a black arrow sticking out of a wall. 

‘We can unfortunately confirm that there are several injured and also unfortunately several killed in this episode,’ Aas told a news conference. ‘The man who committed this act has been arrested by the police and, according to our information, there is only one person involved.’ 

‘There is no active search for other people,’ Aas said. Police said it was ‘natural’ to probe terrorism as a possible motive. 

Police are understood to be interviewing several witnesses and visited an address in Kongsberg late on Wednesday. 

Unni Grøndal, Oslo police spokesperson: ‘We are helping with national assistance resources such as police helicopters, bomb squads, and crews from the Emergency Response Troop.’ 

At least eight ambulances and three air ambulances were seen at the scene with the wounded taken to hospital. 

It was not immediately clear where the wounded were taken but Oslo University Hospital was put on standby to receive victims.   

Mayor Kari Anne Sand told VG newspaper: ‘It is a tragedy for all those affected. I have no words. This is a shocking event that we did not think could happen in Norway.’ 

Following the attacks, the police directorate said it had immediately ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed.

‘This is an extra precaution. The police have no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level,’ the directorate said in a statement. 

Norway’s minister of justice and public security, Monica Maeland, has received updates on the attacks and was closely monitoring the situation, the ministry said.  

City officials invited people who were affected by the attack and their relatives to gather for support at a local hotel.  

New Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who is set to take up the position today, said: ‘What we have heard from Kongsberg tonight testifies that a cruel and brutal act has been committed. We still know little about what happened and what is behind it, but we know that several innocent people were killed and that several were injured.

‘My thoughts and deepest sympathy are with those affected, their families, and with the police, the health workers who are now working full time to assist those who need help.’

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Acting Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the attack ‘shocking’ and ‘gruesome’ and said it was too early to determine the shooter’s motive

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

At least eight ambulances and three air ambulances were seen at the scene with the wounded taken to hospital. However the number of wounded, or their condition, were not yet known

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Officers have cordoned large areas of Kongsberg, a municipality of around 28,000 people in southeastern Norway, where at least five people were killed and more injured in an attack on Wednesday

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Police are investigating after a bow and arrows attack on members of the public in Kongsberg, Norway, left five dead and two more injured

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

, Muslim convert had been flagged as radicalised before bow rampage in Norway, The Today News USA

Police officers have secured several crime scenes in the centre of Kongsberg following the shooting around 6:13pm on Wednesday

Former Norwegian MP Laila Gustavsen, who lives in Kongsberg, said: ‘That something like this can happen in a quiet small town like ours is unreal.’ 

Head of Norway’s Socialist Left Party Audun Bjorlo Lysbakken said: ‘I feel profound sadness that such cruel acts of violence could hit the inhabitants of a peaceful Norwegian town.’

While Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said: ‘Terrible attack in Norway tonight. My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.’  

Norway has traditionally been a peaceful nation but has suffered far-right attacks.

Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik carried out twin attacks that killed 77 people on July 22, 2011.

Breivik first set off a bomb in the capital Oslo next to the building that housed the office of the prime minister, then went on a shooting spree at a summer camp for left-wing youths on the island of Utoya.  

Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the maximum under Norwegian law, but his term can be extended as long as he’s considered a danger to society.

In August 2019, self-proclaimed neo-Nazi Philip Manshaus opened fire into a mosque on the outskirts of Oslo before being overpowered by worshippers, with no one being seriously injured.

However, he had earlier shot dead his step-sister, who had been adopted from China, in what prosecutors termed a ‘racist act’.

Several planned jihadist attacks have also been foiled by security services.