‘An Act of Terror’: Suspect in Norway’s Bow-and-Arrow Killings Had Been Flagged for ‘Radicalization’

A suspect is in custody after four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70 were killed when a man using a bow and arrow began rampaging through a supermarket in the Norwegian city of Kongsberg. Three other people were also wounded in what is being called a terrorist attack.

Espen Andersen Braathen is being held on preliminary charges and will face a custody hearing Friday. Police said they believe he acted alone. “The whole act appears to be an act of terror,” said Hans Sverre Sjoevold, head of Norway’s domestic intelligence service, known as the PST.

The bow-and-arrow rampage by a man who killed five people in the small town near Norway’s capital of Oslo appeared to be a terrorist act, authorities said Thursday, a bizarre and shocking attack in a Scandinavian country where violent crime is rare. Police were alerted to a man shooting arrows about 6:15 p.m. Regional prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen told the Associated Press that after his arrest, the attacker “clearly described what he had done. He admitted killing the five people.” She said the bow and arrows were just “part of his arsenal”. Police have not said what else he used, but Voldseth told the AP that when he ran toward the sound of screams, he saw a woman being stabbed by a man with some kind of weapon.


Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, was arrested on the street Wednesday night about a half-hour after authorities were alerted. They said he used the bow and arrow and possibly other weapons to randomly target people at a supermarket and other locations in Kongsberg, a town of about 26,000 where he lived.

Witnesses said their quiet neighborhood was turned into a scene of “terrifying turmoil”, according to the Associated Press. described the man as a Muslim convert and said there “earlier had been worries of the man having been radicalized,” but he did not elaborate or say why he was previously flagged or what authorities did in response.


Mass killings are rare in low-crime Norway, and the attack recalled the country’s worst peacetime slaughter a decade ago, when a right-wing domestic extremist killed 77 people with a bomb, a rifle, and a pistol. Memorials were held in July on the 10th anniversary of those slayings.

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