Norway attacker converted to Islam, suspected of radicalisation

Chief of Police Ole Bredrup Sæverud addresses a press conference in Tonsberg near Kongsberg on October 14, 2021, one day after a man killed five people in Kongsberg. A 37-year-old Danish man was being questioned by Norwegian police in custody, the chief suspect wanted for killing five people by bow-and-arrow in the country’s deadliest attack in a decade. — AFP pic
Chief of Police Ole Bredrup Sæverud addresses a press conference in Tonsberg near Kongsberg on October 14, 2021, one day after a man killed five people in Kongsberg. A 37-year-old Danish man was being questioned by Norwegian police in custody, the chief suspect wanted for killing five people by bow-and-arrow in the country’s deadliest attack in a decade. — AFP pic

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OSLO, Oct 14 — A Danish man suspected of killing five people with a bow and arrows in Norway had converted to Islam and police had been in contact with him due to radicalisation fears, police said today.

The 37-year-old is in police custody after the deadly attack on Wednesday evening, in the small town of Kongsberg, home to about 25,000 people 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Oslo.

“There were fears linked to radicalisation previously,” Norwegian police official Ole Bredrup Saeverud told reporters, adding that police had followed up on him in 2020.

“We haven’t had any reports about him in 2021, but earlier,” he added.

Responding to questions Saeverud explained that the man was a “convert to Islam.”

“We are investigating, among other things, whether this was a terrorist attack,” he told reporters.

Saeverud also said investigations were still ongoing to confirm that the man was acting alone.

“We have no information indicating anything else, but we are continuing investigations to be completely sure,” he said.

Police had already said the suspect, who was arrested shortly after the incident at around 6.45pm local time (1645 GMT) yesterday, was a resident of Kongsberg.

Five people, four women and one man, died and two others were injured in the attack, which shocked the usually peaceful Scandinavian kingdom.

The victims were between 50 and 70 years old, Saeverud said.

The attack was the deadliest in the country since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in 2011.

Since then, Norway has seen one other far-right attack, carried out by a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who opened fire into a mosque. — AFP

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