As mentioned in the last post, "A terrorist by any other name is: a freedom fighter, a liberator, a martyr, a prime minister,...", the immediate assumption about the bombing in Oslo and the shooting on a nearby island was that they were a "co-ordinated Al-Qaeda attack" in response to Norway's NATO involvement in Afghanistan and Libya, and as a general soft Western target.
The Norwegian police investigation resulted in the arrest of 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian right wing extremist who has previously written online against multi-culturalism and Islam. He was a member of the anti-immigration Progressive Party in Norway, the 2nd largest party in the Norwegian parliament, but the party stresses that he is no longer a member and is unwelcome. His attacks were directed specifically at the office of the Prime Minister (a member of the centre-left Labour Party), the Ministry of Labour, and a Labour Party youth gathering of about 700 teenagers on a nearby island, Uteya.
Norway killer attacked multicu[l]turalism, Islam online
By Johan Ahlander and Victoria Klesty
OSLO | Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:24am EDT
(Reuters) - The Norwegian charged with going on a killing spree in which at least 91 people died is a former member of a populist anti-immigration party who wrote blogs attacking multiculturalism and Islam.
The suspect, detained after 84 people were gunned down at a youth camp and another 7 killed in a bomb attack on Friday, has been identified by Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik.
Website entries under Breivik's name criticized European policies of trying to accommodate the cultures of different ethic groups, and claimed a significant minority of young British Moslems back radical Islamic militancy.
"When did multiculturalism cease to be an ideology designed to deconstruct European culture, traditions, identity and nation-states?" said one entry, posted on February 2, 2010 on the right-wing website www.document.no.
"According to two studies, 13 percent of young British Muslims aged between 15 and 25 support al Qaeda ideology," said another entry dated February 16 last year.
Police searched an apartment in an Oslo suburb on Friday, but neighbors said the home belonged to Breivik's mother, whom they described as a nice lady.
Deputy Police Chief Roger Andresen would not speculate on the motives for what was believed to be the deadliest attack by a lone gunman anywhere in modern times. But they said the man in custody had described himself on his Facebook page as leaning toward right-wing Christianity.
Breivik had also been a member of the Progress Party, the second largest in parliament, the party's head of communications Fredrik Farber said. Breivik was a member from 2004 to 2006 and in its youth party from 1997-2006/2007.
The Progress Party wants far tighter restrictions on immigration, whereas the center-left government backs multiculturalism. The party leads some polls of public opinion.
Progress leader Siv Jensen stressed he had left the party. "He is not a member any more," she told Reuters. "It makes me very sad that he was a member at an earlier point. He was never very active and we have a hard time finding anyone who knows much about him."
Farber said: "He was a member and had some participation in the local chapter in Oslo but stopped paying his membership dues and ceased being a member in 2006 or 2007."
Breivik was also a freemason, said a spokesman for the organization. Freemasons meet in secretive fraternal groups in many parts of the world.
(Additional reporting by Patrick Lannin; editing by David Stamp)
Norway attacks shock, disgust Europe
By GEIR MOULSON, Associated Press – 36 minutes ago
BERLIN (AP) — The deadly twin attacks in Norway were greeted with an outpouring Saturday of sympathy and disgust across Europe and beyond, and generated calls to counter the far-right intolerance that may have motivated the assailant.
A massive bombing Friday in the heart of Oslo was followed by a horrific shooting spree on an island hosting a youth retreat for the prime minister's center-left party. The same man, a Norwegian with reported Christian fundamentalist, anti-Muslim views, was suspected in both attacks.
"It appears the attack on the Utoya youth camp was intended to hurt young citizens who actively engage in our democratic and political society," said Thorbjorn Jagland, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe and chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded each year in Oslo.
"But we must not be intimidated," he added. "We need to work for freedom and democracy every day."
"That the perpetrator apparently comes from the far-right scene shows once again how dangerous racist and anti-foreigner ideologies are," Germany's opposition Greens said in a statement. "We must not allow them an inch of space in our societies."
Pope Benedict XVI's envoy to Norway called the attacks "madness."
"All these actions are irrational and difficult to comprehend, whether they had personal or political reasons," Archbishop Paul Tscherrig, the apostolic nuncio, told Vatican Radio.
He added that the Catholic Church is praying for the victims, who will be remembered during Sunday Mass.
European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek expressed shock at the targeting of youths at a political party camp.
"This is an unimaginable tragedy for the families who lost their loved ones, young people at the outset of their adult life, fascinated with public service," he said. "It's shocking how one can inflict so much evil."
Pakistan, which has been a frequent target of attacks by Islamic extremists, said its president and prime minister "strongly condemned" the attacks.
"Pakistan itself has suffered enormously from terrorist attacks and fully empathizes with the government and the people of Norway," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Associated Press reporters across the globe contributed to this report.
People jumped into the water and tried to swim away in an attempt to escape
Although he is being presented by some as a "lone gunman", and his one and only tweet made just before the attacks emphasized the power of the lone man of action over those who only observe, like Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, Breivik was not totally isolated. He was connected to right wing groups, he did have a website/Facebook site where he announced his views, if not his plans, and he did manage to legally get 6 tonnes of fertilizer for bomb-making, and fire-arms. Dressed like a policeman, he first gathered together the trusting youth and then began firing on them. As they scattered and hid, diving in to the water, running to the farther side of the island, or playing dead among the bodies, he hunted them down--for hours--shouting "I'll kill you all!".
Armed police called to the scene take aim as youth group members take shelter
Instead of the ongoing discussion about Islamist attacks, and headlines like Attack on Norway shows terrorists like soft targets - such as Canada, the more pertinent discussion is one raised by Norwegian social anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen on the BBC, that half of Norway's population is against immigration, and that Islamophobes have free reign in the media. "In my experience it [the far right in Norway] is stronger and more dangerous than we wish to think", he observed in reply to the interviewer's question on the prominence of the far right in Norway.
Norway, like other countries in Europe and the West, needs to pay greater attention to the extreme right extremism within, which targets not only immigrants, but their own democracies and social fabrics.
A terrorist by any other name is: a freedom fighter, a liberator, a martyr, a prime minister,...
A Saudi Friend Reacts to the Oslo Bombing
Breivik on Facebook