UPDATED AGAIN: Terrorists Hit Oslo
After the shooting the police seized a 32-year-old Norwegian man on the island, according to the police and Justice Minister Knut Storberget. He was later identified as Anders Behring Breivik and was characterized by officials as a right-wing extremist. The man was arrested in connection with both attacks.
[Update: 10:20 p.m. ET, 4:20 a.m. Oslo] At least 80 people are dead as a result of a rampage Friday on Norway’s Utoya Island, police said Saturday. Norwegian authorities say the attack, which occurred at the ruling Labour Party’s youth camp on an island outside the capital, was linked to a bombing earlier Friday in the heart of Oslo. The death toll from the bombing still stands at 7, Norwegian Police spokesman Are Frykholm told CNN. A 32-year-old Norwegian man is in custody, he said. “For now we have arrested one person and he is being held in custody and we are investigating further based on information we’re getting from him,” he said.
Norwegian police are now reportedly saying that 10 were killed in the shooting attack. The arrested shooter is Caucasian and may have been seen downtown prior to the explosion(s).
A terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or the Helpers of the Global Jihad, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, according to Will McCants, a terrorism analyst at C.N.A., a research institute that studies terrorism. The message said the attack was a response to Norwegian forces’ presence in Afghanistan and to unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad. “We have warned since the Stockholm raid of more operations,” the group said, according to Mr. McCants’ translation, apparently referring to a bombing in Sweden in December 2010. “What you see is only the beginning, and there is more to come.” The claim could not be confirmed. It is not uncommon for terrorist groups to advance claims of responsibility for high-profile attacks, only to have the claims prove to be spurious.
It appears that at least 7 people died in the downtown blast(s) and at least 20-25 more at the youth camp.
Max Fisher at The Atlantic discusses Al-Qaeda’s Problem With Norway.
There may, however, be more shooters:
[Update: 1:23 p.m. ET, 7:23 p.m. Oslo] One person has been arrested on a Norwegian island where someone dressed as a policeman has been firing at a Labour Youth Party Camp, a police representative tells Norwegian state broadcaster NRK. Witnesses tell NRK the scene is chaotic and many shots have been fired.
Some three hours after the blast, a gunman dressed as a policeman opened fire at a Labor Party youth camp outside Oslo. According to the Norwegian paper VG there are unconfirmed reports of multiple casualties and at least four fatalities at the site. Oslo Police Chief Anstein Gjengdal said anti-terror units were dispatched to the camp at Utoya, outside the Norwegian capital. Authorities were careful to say that while a link between the two incident was more than likely, it was still unclear whether the shooting was indeed related to the blast.
[Update: 1:10 p.m. ET, 7:10 p.m. Oslo] NRK journalist Linda Reinholdsen told CNN she was told many of the youth have been evacuated from the mainland island where a shooter has opened fire. But not much more detail than that is known. Reinholdsen also said that there is an indication that the death toll may climb from the blasts. “There are still a lot of people dead inside the government building,” she said. “There are going to be a lot of people injured, a lot of people dead.”
CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said it was far too early to draw any conclusions on whether it was terrorism and who would carry it out. But, he said, by looking at the extent of the damage, it was plain to see the hallmarks of a major attack. Cruickshank said that in recent months, there had been increased “chatter” about Norway, which had been investigating militants suspected of being linked to al Qaeda. Norway also drew the ire of al Qaeda for publishing the controversial political cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that appeared in a Danish newspaper and sparked outrage in the militant Islamic community. The Scandinavian country also plays a part in NATO’s operation in Afghanistan, and now, in Libya. Norway has been largely spared from terrorism. But last December, an attempted suicide bombing in Stockholm shocked neighboring Sweden.
Oslo Explosion: One of Two Blasts Result of Massive Vehicle Bomb, Sources Say — At least one of two explosions that rocked a Norwegian government building in Oslo today was result of a massive vehicle bomb, according to U.S. government sources on the scene.
Also, a children’s camp just outside Oslo has been attacked by gunmen. This is what is known as a soft target:
[Update: 12:50 p.m. ET, 6:50 p.m. Oslo] A person dressed as a policeman has fired shots at the Labour Party Youth Camp on Utoya Island in Norway, Norwegian state broadcaster NRK and the press representative for the Norwegian state secretary said Friday. Many people are injured. NRK says the shooting is continuing. It says there are about 700 people at the camp.
Terrorists hit Oslo, Norway, proving that a country can be relatively dovish, even appeasing, and still be attacked:
MSNBC: A huge explosion wrecked government buildings in central Oslo on Friday including Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s office, killing at least two people and injuring several others, according to reports.