Friend warned police about Kongsberg attacker in 2017: “He’s a ticking bomb – follow up before lives are lost”

Espen Andersen BråthenPhoto: video screenshot / NTB
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A childhood friend of the man charged with the Kongsberg attack warned the police in 2017. “He has been a ticking bomb for years,” the friend says.

A childhood friend of the 37-year-old Danish citizen, Espen Andersen Bråthen, who is charged with killing five people and injuring three in Kongsberg on Wednesday, describes him as a “ticking time bomb.” 

The friend, who wished to remain anonymous, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he warned the police that “lives would be lost” and that the man should get help. 

“A ticking time bomb”

“He has been a ticking bomb over several years, he needed help, but he didn’t get it… It’s, of course, really tragic,” the friend said on Thursday.

Four years ago, in 2017, the childhood friend reported his concerns to the police. 

“He’s an old friend of mine. He uploaded a few videos on YouTube, (saying) that he became a Muslim and things like that. It seemed to me that he was really sick. That’s why I reported it.”

“I got a response that the police had full control of him and that there was no reason to be concerned.”

“I really hope you follow up before lives are lost”

In the 2017 report, the friend wrote the following: “The police should know who this person is, and I really hope you follow up before lives are lost… I hope the police take this seriously.”

However, the friend doesn’t feel that his 2017 concerns were heard.

“I don’t think they looked at the case seriously. I’m not sure if they warned the PST.” 

Source: #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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