At Least 80 Dead in Norway Killing

News Brief – July 23, 2011

Friday’s twin bombings in central Oslo and shooting on an island resort nearby are thought to have left nearly 80 dead.

It was the worst terror attack in recent years and may be the work of one man.

Norwegian police are currently holding a 32-year-old Norwegian man in connection with both attacks.

Initially 7 were killed and at least 15 were injured in the twin bombing that rocked central Oslo.

As police struggled to cordon the city centre the chief suspect, dressed as a policemen, went to the island youth camp of Utoya, about 16 miles from central Oslo.

Saying he was “on a routine check in connection with the terror attack in Oslo”, according to one witness quoted by a Norwegian national newspaper, he entered the camp, whereupon he opened fire at the teenage campers inside.

As the gunmen opened fire many tried to escape from the island by swimming.

“He first shot people on the island,” one 15-year-old camper named Elise told The Associated Press. “Afterward he started shooting people in the water.”

Initial reports were quick to point the finger of blame on “Muslim radicals”. However, when reports surfaced that police were holding a “Nordic looking man” in connection with the shootings it became apparent that we might be seeing a return of a familiar figure from the terrorist’s repertoire: the “right-wing extremist”.

Made famous by Timothy McVeigh, the “right-wing extremist” is often apparently motivated by racist ideology and, although far-less well publicised, by government handlers and mind-control experts too. 

Sure enough by Saturday morning Norwegian police announced that they had the chief suspect in custody, one Anders Behring Breivik. Characterised by officials as a “right-wing extremist”, Breivik is not known to have had any links with radical Islam.

Speaking on terms of anonymity, a Norwegian official said that the outrage was “not linked to any international terror organisation”.

“It seems it’s not Islamic-terror related,” the official continued. “This seems like a madman’s work.”

Looking every inch the blond-blue-eyed Nordic, Anders Behring Breivik, is reported to have turned to “right-wing extremism” while in his late twenties.

It took police investigators some time to realise the full extent of the casualties, as attention was initially focused on the blasts in central Oslo. However, as news of the shooting at the youth camp emerged it became clear that the death toll was far higher than first thought.

Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, described the attacks as “a national tragedy” for Norway: “Never since the Second World War has our country been hit by a crime on this scale.”

What follows next will be interesting. Will the revulsion and outrage provoked by the killings be used as a pretext for the imposition of more draconian legislation? Or will it be used to foment more friction with Norway’s Islamic community?

Either way, watch for further developments from this atrocity. 

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