Father arrested in dramatic double kidnap

Two toddlers who were dramatically kidnapped in southern Norway have been found alive and well, while three new suspects, including the children’s father, have been arrested.

The sisters, aged one and three, were snatched by masked men close to the Swedish border, who unleashed pepper spray and tear gas into the face of their mother in the rural district of Hadeland last week. The kidnappers also used an electroshock weapon on another person present.

The girls were found after a raid on a house in Honesfoss on Wednesday 22nd June following a number of tip-offs to the police. Local police spokesman Tom Patterson told VG newspaper that a motive had been established for the kidnapping, but declined to give further details.

The first arrests of two Iraqi men in their thirties were made within a few hours of the abduction on a nearby highway. A third Iraqi man in his twenties was arrested later in the day in Sollihogda, a region further south. An additional three arrests were made the following morning, despite police admitting just hours earlier that they had no leads.

The girls were visiting their Iraqi-born mother at a volunteer centre under the supervision of a Barnevernet employee, after they were moved into a foster home at Christmas. Their father, one of the six suspects arrested, was convicted of threatening behaviour in court last year, but cleared of domestic violence charges against one of his daughters and his wife.