"Long history of violence": Investigators knew the suspected Oslo assassin as an Islamist

A gunman shoots two people dead in Oslo.

"Long history of violence": Investigators knew the suspected Oslo assassin as an Islamist

A gunman shoots two people dead in Oslo. A suspect is arrested shortly thereafter. As it turns out, the man has been known to the secret service as an Islamist for years. He was last interrogated just a month ago.

After the deadly shots in Oslo, investigators are investigating the suspicion of "Islamist terrorism". The arrested suspect has a "long history of violence and threats," said the head of Norway's domestic intelligence service, Roger Berg. The secret service has had him on their radar since 2015, on the one hand because of his possible radicalization and on the other hand because he belongs to an Islamist network. He was questioned last month, but investigators came to the conclusion that he had no "violent intentions".

According to the Oslo police, the suspect is a 42-year-old Norwegian with Iranian roots. Intelligence chief Berg said there was also information that his mental health could be affected.

The suspect's lawyer, John Christian Elden, told Norwegian news agency NTB that his client is likely to have to undergo a psychological evaluation, as is customary in such cases. So far, the suspect has refused to answer questions from investigators.

Two people were shot dead and 21 others injured, two of them seriously, in downtown Oslo on Saturday night. The shots were fired in front of a well-known gay bar. The suspect was arrested shortly after the shooting.

The Pride parade planned for Saturday in Oslo had been cancelled. The Norwegian secret service raised the terror alert level to the highest level and the police presence in the capital was also increased. Police officers, who normally do not carry guns in Norway, have been instructed to arm themselves.

Despite the cancellation of the Pride parade, thousands of people with rainbow flags paraded through downtown Oslo throughout the day, chanting: "We are here, we are queer, we will not go away." Oslo Mayor Raymond Johansen has announced that the official parade will be held at a later date.

Many people also laid rainbow flags and flowers near the site of the attack, which is still cordoned off. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Störe, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit also visited the site of the attack.

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