The massacre at Kongsberg


October 17, 2021

The massacre at Kongsberg took place at Kongsberg in Viken on 13 October 2021 when a man killed five people with a bow and arrow and two other weapons. At 18:13, the police received reports from people that a man was moving around Kongsberg center with a weapon. The reports were that he was armed with a bow and arrow. At 18:17, the police described this as PLIVO (ongoing life-threatening violence). The perpetrator attacked a Coop Extra store, among other things. The 37-year-old Danish citizen Espen Andersen Bråthen was arrested at 18:47 on the same day as the killings were committed. He was then charged with the charges.


The five killed were four women and a man aged 52 to 78 years. The three people who were injured did not receive life-threatening injuries, it has not been known what injuries the injured have had. One of the injured was a police officer in civilian clothes. The investigation indicated that the victims were all attacked in different places. On October 15, all three injured were discharged from hospital.

Age distribution


The perpetrator was taken to a police station in Drammen, where his defense lawyer, Fredrik Neumann, said that he was questioned for more than three hours and cooperated with the police. He has confessed to the attack. The police security service is investigating whether the incident is linked to terrorism. He is charged with the murder of five people and injured several, but this may change according to the progress of the investigation. In a press conference on October 16, the police stated that the hypothesis that he has converted to Islam is weakened, while the theory of mental illness is the strongest.

Side effects

A few hours after the incident, the Norwegian Police Directorate sent out a national order for temporary armament. However, there was no change in the national threat level in the country. Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Justice Monica Mæland held a press conference on the incident the same evening. The day after the attack, the flag was flown at half mast on all public buildings and candles were lit on the steps of Kongsberg church.

The perpetrator

The perpetrator is a 37-year-old man who was born in Norway to a Norwegian father and a Danish mother. He is a Danish citizen, but has lived all his life in Norway. He lived in Kongsberg at the time of the attack.

Conversion to Islam

The perpetrator has claimed that he was a recent convert to Islam. In 2017, a childhood friend delivered a message of concern to the accused. In December this year, Bråthen published a video on YouTube in which he warned against upcoming atrocities with roots in Islam. The police considered him safe at this time. In the video, Bråthen says the following: An English version of the same message was also published on YouTube. Local police conducted a concern interview with Bråthen two days after the video was posted. The police were last in contact with him in 2020 and they had been worried about his possible radical Islamist views. Bråthen said that he had received a "religious revelation", and that he had been told that he should convey a message to the whole world. It was difficult to have a normal conversation with Bråthen, because he spoke incoherently and did not seem healthy, said Oussama Tlili, who is chairman of the board of Kongsberg Islamic Cultural Center. He considered contacting the police, but it only remained with the idea. According to Senaid Kobilica, chairman of the Muslim Dialogue Network, there is no trace that Bråthen had converted to Islam. For example, in the form that Bråthen has undergone a formal ceremony or that he has knowledge of Islam. Islamic Council stated that "his way of life and ignorance of basic Islamic theology substantiate that he has never been a Muslim".

Formerly convicted

The perpetrator was known to the police and had several previous criminal convictions, including for burglary. In 2012, he was convicted of buying small quantities of hashish. In 2020, he was sentenced by Kongsberg and Eiker District Court to six months

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