Norway’s police intelligence unit PST has arrested a man in his 20s from Telemark and charged him with cooperating with others to plan or prepare for a terrorist attack. A Norwegian court quickly ordered him held for at least four weeks in jail with no visitors or communication, while police continue to investigate the charges against him.
The defense attorney for the terror suspect, who has not been publicly identified in line with Norwegian press tradition, said he was “shocked” to be arrested at work and jailed on charges that he firmly denies. “He can’t understand this at all,” his defense attorney, Knut–Ole Bakke Hansen, told state broadcaster NRK.
The suspect, who was born in Norway, has a prior conviction for narcotics possession. Prosecutors only commented briefly on the man’s arrest but said it was not tied to the recent attack on a mosque in Bærum by a young white right-wing Norwegian who’s also charged with murdering his step-sister who was adopted from China.
A friend of the suspect told NRK that he may have been radicalized while living for a while in a country in Africa. He allegedly became more religious, has promoted IS propaganda and adopted far more conservative Islamic traditions.