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World Police examine mental health of Norway attacker

03:58  16 october  2021
03:58  16 october  2021 Source:   bbc.com

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It was the worst attack in Norway since far-right extremist Anders Breivik massacred 77 people a decade ago. The suspect, a Danish Muslim convert, is now in custody in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation. "The strongest hypothesis after the first days of the investigation is that illness is in the "This indicates that things are not exactly as they should be," said his lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, referring to his client's mental health . "A complete judicial assessment will clarify that," he told Norwegian daily VG. The head of Norway 's PST intelligence service, Hans Sverre Sjovold, said

Norway bow 'terrorist' most likely carried out attack due to mental illness, police say as they confirm he fired arrows at 'many more' than the five people he killed. Espen Andersen Bråthen, 37, is due in court today after Norway bow massacre that killed five as police said he has been sent to health services for a psychological evaluation. Bråthen has admitted to being the one who attacked the town of Kongsberg with a bow and arrow late Wednesday, killing five (pictured, forensic officers at the scene).

A bow-and-arrow attack that killed five people in Norway this week is likely to have been due to the killer's mental illness, police say.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere visited Kongsberg on Friday © Reuters Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere visited Kongsberg on Friday

Espen Andersen Brathen has admitted going on a killing spree in the small town of Kongsberg on Wednesday.

It was the worst attack in Norway since far-right extremist Anders Breivik massacred 77 people a decade ago.

The suspect, a Danish Muslim convert, is now in custody in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation.

"The strongest hypothesis after the first days of the investigation is that illness is in the background," said police inspector Per Thomas Omholt.

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KONGSBERG, Norway , Oct 15 (Reuters) - The man who killed five people with a bow-and-arrow and other weapons in Norway was probably suffering from mental illness, police said on Friday. Police had earlier said Braathen was a convert to Islam who had shown signs of radicalisation, with the attack appearing to be an "act of terror". On Friday, Omholt said Braathen had acknowledged killing the victims but had not pleaded guilty. Determining whether the attack was an act of terrorism or the result of a psychiatric issue "will be a vital, important part of the investigation", the head of the PST security

Mental illness remains the main driver behind the deadly bow-and-arrow attack in Norway , police have said. While the suspect is being held in a psychiatric institution, other motives, including terrorism, have not been ruled out. No terrorism charges, however, have been brought against him yet and further investigation is needed to establish whether the rampage was a terrorist attack , Omholt said. The suspect went on a bow-and-arrow rampage in the southern town of Kongsberg on Wednesday, forcing his way into houses and one supermarket, and assaulting people in the streets.

However, police are investigating a range of motives including "anger, revenge, impulse, jihad, illness and provocation", Mr Omholt said.

He added that Brathen had admitted to the killings but did not admit guilt.

  • Norwegian town left asking questions after murders

A full psychiatric evaluation is necessary to determine whether Brathen can be held legally responsible for his actions. This could take several months.

"This indicates that things are not exactly as they should be," said his lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, referring to his client's mental health.

"A complete judicial assessment will clarify that," he told Norwegian daily VG.

The head of Norway's PST intelligence service, Hans Sverre Sjovold, said Brathen had been in and out of Norway's healthcare system "for some time".

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A Norway court on Friday ordered the bow-and-arrow attacker , who killed five people this week, held in detention at a medical facility after investigation raised questions about his mental stability. This comes a day after the Norwegian security service termed the attack as an ‘act of terror’, adding that the attacker , identified as Espen Andersen Brathen, was already on their radar. Brathen, 37, is currently in the care of health services and will be subject to a psychiatric evaluation, the police and his lawyer said.

Doubts have arisen about the mental health of the attacker and whether he can be held legally responsible for his actions. Kongsberg, a quiet town in southeastern Norway , was let shaken by the bow-and-arrows attack Photo: NTB / Terje Bendiksby. Identified as Danish citizen Espen Andersen While police have said the attack was probably an act of terror, authorities have not ruled out the possibility of mental health problems. "There is no doubt that the actual act appears as if it could be an act of terror, but it's important that the investigation continues and that we establish the motive of the

Brathan was known to PST, which is in charge of Norway's anti-terrorism efforts, but it is as yet unclear why.

"There were fears linked to radicalisation previously," police official Ole Bredrup Saeverud told reporters.

Espen Andersen Brathen is undergoing a psychiatric examination © AFP Espen Andersen Brathen is undergoing a psychiatric examination

Five people were killed and three others injured, including an off-duty police officer, in Kongsberg, which is about 80km (49 miles) south-west of the capital, Oslo.

Police first received a report of a man shooting at people with a bow and arrows at 18:12 local time (16:12 GMT) on Wednesday. Shortly afterwards, officers arrived on the scene.

The officers were then shot at with arrows before the attacker escaped. Attacks were subsequently reported in different locations.

Police have said the victims were most likely killed after officers first confronted the attacker.

The suspect was arrested at 18:45 - 35 minutes after the attack began. Warning shots were fired during the arrest, police said.

Norwegian media questioned why it took police more than half an hour to arrest the suspect after the first reports of an attack. Mr Saeverud said it had been a "confusing" situation.

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