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Norway recently faced its deadliest terrorist attack since 2011. Photo: Reuters
Norway recently faced its deadliest terrorist attack since 2011. Photo: Reuters

Bow and arrow attack leaves five dead in Norway

The perpetrator is a radical who authorities already had on a list of potential threats to public safety.

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On Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 13, a 37-year-old man killed five people and wounded two others in Kongsberg, northern Norway. He did it using a bow and arrow. The perpetrators name is Espen Andersen Braathen — a radical who the authorities already had on a list of potential dangers to public safety. Norwegian authorities identified the attack as an act of terrorism on Thursday, Oct. 14.

He not only used a bow and arrows, but also other weapons that the police have not released. What it has confirmed is the fatalities, which were four women and a man between 50 and 70 years old. Braathen resided in the city and had already been arrested on other occasions for death threats to family members.

Norwegian police received a first warning call at 6:35 p.m. The first responders to show up in the center of Kongsberg found five bodies. The entire center of the city, of about 28,000 inhabitants, remained sealed because there were many crime scenes where agents gathered evidence.

The man was arrested and taken into police custody at Drammen Prison. Later, he was transferred to health services for a psychiatric examination. The most likely hypothesis is that he is mentally ill, as reported by Inspector Per Thomas Omholt at a press conference.

The court has agreed for the moment to subject Braathen to four weeks of preventive detention, the first two of isolation. The wait is to determine if he was in a psychotic state when he carried out the murders. For now, the police have revealed that the attacker admits his culpability.

Born and raised in Kongsberg, although a Danish national through his mother, the perpetrator had already been admitted to psychiatric hospitals on several occasions. Regarding the previous coercion of relatives, another court prohibited him from visiting the family home in 2020 for having threatened his father with death.

In 2017, Braathen recorded a video where he claimed to be Muslim and made threats in English and Norwegian. It was one of his colleagues who alerted the authorities. However, the police believe that he acted alone. Years earlier, in 2012, he was sentenced to 60 days of probation for theft and possession of drugs.

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