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Espen Andersen Brathen: What we know so far about Norway’s suspected bow and arrow killer | World News

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Espen Andersen Brathen has been charged with five murders after an attacker with a bow and arrows caused a riot in a Norwegian city.

Authorities say Wednesday incident in Kongsberg, about 66 miles southwest of Oslo, “appears to be an act of terrorism” that he had been targeting “completely random” people.

Here’s what we know so far about the 37-year-old alleged killer, who prosecutors say admitted the attack.

Kongsberg 20211013 ... An arrow is found in a wall after a person has moved with a weapon said to be an arrow and a bow in the center of Kongsberg ... Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB
Four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70 died and three others were injured. Image: Terje Bendiksby / NTB

Brathen is a Danish citizen but has lived in Kongsberg for most of his life.

Police said the suspect had been convicted several times in the past and confirmed that he had converted to Islam.

Last year he received a six-month restraining order against two family members, believed to be his parents, after refusing to leave their home and threatening to kill one of them.

Brathen left a Colt revolver on the couch and police believed there was a risk that it could damage them, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported.

More about the Kongsberg attacks

He was convicted of theft and possession of cannabis in 2012, and regional police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud said officers had had prior contact with him for fear that he was becoming radicalized.

An acquaintance of Brathen told NRK that the alleged killer had long suffered from serious mental health problems, and authorities say he will now be evaluated by experts in forensic psychiatry.

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Police helicopters at the scene of the bow and arrow attacks

In December 2017, a concerned friend also pointed to videos that Brathen had put online, the Aftenposten newspaper reported.

Looking at the camera, he is said to have confirmed that he was Muslim and described himself as a “messenger” with a “warning”, adding that “the time has come”.

The friend said that Brathen was a “time bomb” that changed in his late teens and became more of a loner who pushed people away.

He was “in so much pain that something had to happen,” the friend told the newspaper.

An investigation is now underway
An investigation is now underway

Neighbors also told Aftenposten that they had seen Brathen practicing “brutal” martial arts in his garden and training with weapons described as “a club or a cane.”

One said police had been to Brathen’s home several times last summer, with images circulating in a group chat said to show officers wearing helmets in his yard.

Police say they believe the suspect targeted random people in the attack, at a Co-op supermarket and other locations in Kongsberg, before being arrested on the street.

Four women and one man, all between 50 and 70 years old, were killed and three others were injured.

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Flags at half-mast and lit candles after the Norwegian attacks

Brathen is being held on preliminary charges and will face formal charges on Friday.

Norway’s intelligence chief Hans Sverre Sjoevold told reporters that “the whole act appears to be an act of terror.”

“We do not know what the motivation of the perpetrator is,” he added. “We have to wait for the result of the investigation.”

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