Norways security services assume a terrorist motive for the bow and arrow attack, which killed five people in Kongsberg on Wednesday night. That was announced during a press conference on the tragedy.
The shooter is 37-year-old Espen Andersen Bråthen, who has a Danish mother and Norwegian father. He has converted to Islam and visited the mosque in Kongsberg on several occasions, said the chairman of the board of the house of worship, TV2 reports.
“He came by here and stood out,” says Oussama Tlili, who added that the man gave speeches. “Those were incoherent. He said he was instructed from above to deliver a message to the whole world. It was a strange story. We honestly didnt take it so seriously. I said Kongsberg isnt the place for it. At least he didnt come for prayer.”
In a video he posted on YouTube in 2017, which has now been taken offline, Andersen Bråthen looks into the camera and says, among other things, that he is now a Muslim, and that he considers himself a messenger.
“I come with a warning,” he starts his messy speech. “Is this really what you want? And for anyone who wants to make up for it, the time has come.” It seemed like a video meant to convince more people to adhere to Islam.
There were signs that the man was radicalizing for some time. The police have been in contact with the man before. Yet no reports were recorded about his behavior this year, police chief Ole Bredrup Sæverud said at a press conference on the drama. However, Andersen Bråthen threatened his father last year, which resulted in him not being allowed to visit him for six months.
The mental health of the man, who has admitted his actions and fully cooperates with the study, will be assessed by forensic psychiatric experts.
The threat level in the Scandinavian country has not been raised after the attack, as it appears that the man acted on his own and did not receive any help from others. The threat is still considered moderate in Norway.
However, the security services do note that radical Muslims — as well as right-wing extremists — will try to commit terrorist attacks in the country. The most likely scenario, the service reports, is that a terrorist attack is being committed by one or a few perpetrators with simple weapons, on targets with little or no security measures.
Attacks on random people in public places are a recurring modus operandi among extreme Islamists who commit terror in the West, the service also writes.
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