Norway was shocked by a terrorist attack this weekend which left two victims dead and a 21 people wounded.
The Telegraph reported that a 42-year-old Iranian-born refugee named Zaniar Matapour is accused of opening fire outside of a gay bar in Oslo early Saturday morning.
Robert Berg serves as acting chief of the Norwegian security service (PST), and he explained that Matapour was already known to authorities.
“We had concerns he had been radicalized and become part of an extremist Islamist network in Norway,” Berg was quoted as saying.
History of violence
What’s more, Oslo police Christian Hatlo told the Telegraph that Matapour has a history of violence stretching back more than two decades.
This included a 10-month prison sentence for a 1999 nightclub stabbing, although he ultimately went on to serve just 30 days behind bars. Other convictions related to illegal drug possession and unlawfully carrying a knife.
Bjørn Inge Bergestuen told the paper that he was sitting outside the targeted nightclub when the violence erupted, saying, “It all started when we heard this sound, we thought at first it was firecrackers.”
“But then we saw the glass on the outside terrace shatter into a thousand pieces, and quickly realized this was serious. Most of us threw ourselves on the ground,” he continued.
Bergenstuen recalled seeing a man who had been sitting next to him laying motionless on the ground, stating, “Some people were trying to revive him, unfortunately without success.”
“The two people that were killed were regulars, so this is taking a heavy toll on the staff,” Bergenstuen noted before adding, “This is so unreal and sad. I didn’t sleep last night, I just walked around Oslo and ended up back at the scene at 8 a.m. to process it all. I sat for hours trembling with tears in my eyes.”
Saturday’s tragedy was not the only terror attack to hit Norway in recent years, as the Telegraph reported that in 2021 an Islamic convert Espen Andersen Bråthen was accused of murdering five people with a bow in the town of Kongsberg.
“Witnesses saw lifeless people, heard intense howls and screams and saw people running for their lives in the streets,” Kongsberg police chief Ole B. Saeverud said at a news conference.