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Posted by on Jul 22, 2011 in Breaking News, International, Places, Religion, Society, War | 13 comments

UPDATED AGAIN: Terrorists Hit Oslo


The New York Times:

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).

BBC Updates

The New York Times:

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.

AP coverage via the Washington Post

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.


Coordinated attack?

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.

Scene of explosion


[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.

ABC News:

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.

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  • ShannonLeee

    a little early to be calling it terrorism… that is unless you consider any act of violence, terrorism.

    but, it very well may be just that.

  • DLS

    Well, Europe has a worse immigration-related terrorist-threat problem than we have ever had. (Does anybody believe that in order to deal with the huge future fiscal problems, “replacement migration” to boost the labor and taxpayer force is realistic there any more or more so than here in the States eventually?)

    You know, it might be Tour de France-related, somebody angry that Hushovd might get the yellow jersey (or angry that he might not).

  • Allen

    I think that holly is working on building upon the old, “told ya so“ “support Israel because Israel is right” angle. Her rhetoric seems similar in tone. For me that’s still the old “Chicken or the Egg” debate. Or maybe it’s just because she wants people to believe that has actually scooped someone. I just couldn’t venture a guess why she want’s to be criticized for being to early.

  • Allen


    Only a few European countries are having fiscal problems the rest are doing better than us. Your point political ideology cannot be supported by using Europe as an example.

  • Allen

    Oh she keeps “Updating” the blog. Well that makes my comment look stupid. This ain’t working, I’ll watch it on da teevee.


    Updating on a breaking story is routine practice on many blogs, including this one. Maybe you should have considered that before trying to change the subject and making a completely unprovoked personal attack on the author.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    The Norwegian Prime Minister has just spoken:

    “…I have a message for those who attacked us

    You won’t destroy us

    You won’t destroy our democracy

    No one can bomb us into silence

    No one can scare us from being Norway…”

    Good for you, Mr. Prime Minister!

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    BTW, Holly, thank your for timely and factual updates. This is not the time to draw conclusions or make political statements and allegations.

  • Holly, FYI (and apologies in advance if I caused offense) —

    I reordered the news stories and put time stamps on all of them. I pulled your “in real time” commentary into a paragraph at the top of the page. I think any additional updates should replace the bit I added from The Economist and it should slip in alpha order into the news reports.

    I left the NYT quote in even though more recent reports contradict it — and the NYT article no longer says this either.

  • ShannonLeee

    what I have read says that it the guy caught at the island was also seen near the bomb site on previous days. They are also saying that the person caught is a Norwegian citizen.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    News Alert: Police say at least 80 killed in youth camp in Norway
    July 22, 2011 10:07:21 PM

    Norwegian police have raised the official death toll at a youth camp for the country’s Labor Party to 80 from 10. It was one of two apparently coordinated attacks in the country Friday.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Friday, July 22, 2011 — 10:28 PM EDT

    Norway Police Say at Least 80 Killed in Youth Camp Shooting

    At least 80 people were killed on Friday when a gunman stalked youths at an island summer camp for young members of the governing Labor Party, the police said on national television early Saturday.

    Before the shooting attack, explosions in Oslo killed seven people and wounded at least 15, the police said, according to the state television broadcaster.

    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. Emphasis mine

    Read More:

    As I have cautioned before, while there still may be links to Islamic terrorist groups, we may want to withhold judgments and conclusions for a little while more.

  • DLS

    The rest are doing better than us? Don’t rush to claim that, Allen.

    Meanwhile, do you realize what “paradise” Europe with its more unsustainable retirement programs and worse demographics than the US has have coming before many more years? (Greece is a hint.) We’re far, far from perfect, but Europe is hardly paradise.

    (I had fun visiting it, and it’s fun this month to watch the Tour de France, especially on HDTV. It’s great for the scenery alone! It’s ending now, Allen, so sorry, it’s too late to enjoy a spectacle.)

    There are problems here, one of them being the huge debt we have accrued, made much worse by ObamaCo and the Congre-Dems’ antics since the start of 2009. (And they would like much more!)

    Here is a good document, expanded from the mid-2000s to include other “developing” nations for additional comparisons.

    Good reading, (another) good warning about the future.

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