PICTURED: Killer’ had been flagged for radicalisation and had restraining order after threatening his father with a gun
This is the face of the suspected terror attacker accused of killing five people in a bow and arrow rampage in Norway, as it’s revealed he once threatened to kill his father with a gun and had a restraining order against him.
Espen Andersen Bråthen is the 37-year-old Danish man arrested over the attack, police have confirmed, after officers said the suspect is a Muslim convert flagged for radicalisation and the attack ‘appears to be a terrorist act’.
Bråthen was identified by several neighbours in the town of Kongsberg before a now-deleted YouTube video was uncovered in which he reads out a kind of manifesto in English – calling himself as ‘a messenger’ who ‘comes with a warning.’ ‘Bear witness that I am a Muslim,’ he adds.
Meanwhile court documents and testimony from neighbours painted a bleak picture of Bråthen’s life – an ‘unstable’ loner with a collection of weapons, who rarely left his flat, hadn’t held a job in years, suffered from mental health problems, used drugs, and was estranged from his family.
Bråthen also has a lengthy criminal history, including an incident in May last year in which he went to his father’s house and threatened to kill him while carrying a handgun – before fleeing and leaving the gun behind.
Two relatives then took out a restraining order against him, which he breached last August. Court documents also reveal that he has prior convictions for aggravated theft and drugs going back at least as far as 2011, though likely earlier. He appears to have been out of work since the early 2000s, VG reported.
Police today sealed off the suspect’s house, which is located close to the supermarket where the attack began, while forensic officers were pictured searching what appears to be an art studio on a nearby street.
Ole Bredrup Sæverud, chief of police for south-east Norway, said officers were first called about the attack at 6.12pm Wednesday after locals near a Coop Extra market were shot at with a bow and arrow.