Norway extends detention of 17-year-old in explosive case

An Oslo court heard arguments on Monday on whether to let Norwegian police keep detaining a Russian teenager as they investigate suspicions that he was plotting an attack with a "bomb-like device".

Bjørnland confirmed that the 17-year-old came to Norway with his family as asylum seekers from Russian Federation seven years ago and he later was granted permanent residence.

On Saturday, police cordoned off a large part of Gronland in central Oslo, and carried out a controlled detonation on an explosive device.

The new threat level will be in place for two months.

A 17-year old Russian citizen is in police custody and is a suspect in the case, police added.

"Bomb disposal officers carried out a controlled explosion overnight Saturday", a Norwegian police statement said.

Norway's terrorism alert level was raised following the discovery of the device and the arrest of the suspect, the chief of national intelligence agency, Benedicte Bjornland, said on April 9.

"PST is now working on finding his intentions and find out whether others are involved", she said, using the Norwegian acronym for the police service.

"But it's likely that the attacks during the past year in France, Germany, Britain, Russia and Sweden are having a contagious effect also in Norway, impacting people with extreme Islamist sympathies", Bjoernland added.

The move came after a truck ploughed into a crowd in neighbouring Sweden on Friday, killing four people and injuring 15.

"It was a boy's prank", she told broadcaster NRK.

Authorities said the "bomb-like" device was capable of causing only limited damage.

Memories are still fresh in Norway of the July 2011 twin attacks perpetrated by rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bombing near the government offices in Oslo and a gun rampage on the Utoya island.

  • Rogelio Becker