Small Wars Journal

Norway Attack Roundup (Updated)

*At Least 80 Are Dead in Norway Shooting - NYT*

"Norway suffered dual attacks on Friday when powerful explosions shook the government center here and, shortly after, a gunman stalked youths at an island summer camp for young members of the governing Labor Party. The police arrested a Norwegian in connection with both attacks, which killed at least 87 people and stunned this ordinarily placid nation..."

*91 Killed in Norway Island Massacre, Capital Blast - AP*

"A Norwegian dressed as a police officer gunned down at least 84 people at an island youth retreat before being arrested, police said Saturday. Investigators are still searching the surrounding waters, where people fled the attack, which followed an explosion in nearby Oslo that killed seven."

Bomb Blast, Gun Assault Terrorize Norway - VOA

Violent attacks savaged normally peaceful Norway on Friday, with an Oslo bomb blast killing at least seven people and then a gunman disguised as a police officer opening fire on a youth camp. The twin assaults occurred within hours of each other, although it was not immediately clear they were linked.

The mid-afternoon bomb blast rocked Norway's government headquarters and also set the nearby oil ministry building on fire. Hundreds of windows in the 17-story government headquarters were shattered, as were others in buildings as far as 400 meters away. Thick, black smoke billowed from some of the offices, and streets in the normally quiet neighborhood were littered with debris from the explosion. Authorities said at least seven people were killed and numerous others injured.

Hours later, police reported that a gunman disguised as a police officer opened fire on youths attending a camp sponsored by the ruling Labour Party. At least five people were wounded in the attack. Authorities said they dispatched anti-terror police to the campsite on Utoeya Island south of Oslo...

CNA, a research group that studies terrorism, said a terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (the Helpers of the Global Jihad) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The Islamist organization said the attacks were in response to the presence of Norwegian troops in Afghanistan as part of the U.S.-led international fight against the Taliban and Islamic insurgents, as well as insults against the Prophet Mohammed...

Update: Norwegian Blamed for Deadly Twin Attacks - VOA

... Norway's Justice Minister told reporters that the man who carried out the attack on the island is Norwegian and that he is now in custody. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg also addressed reporters. He said what he called the "cowardly attack" will not destroy Norway's democracy or its "commitment to a better world." ...

*At Least 91 Dead in Norway Shooting, Bomb Attack - Reuters*

*Man Arrested at Camp Shooting Linked to Bombing in Oslo - AP*

*Norway Suspect Described as Right-wing Christian - LAT*

*Gunman's Background Puzzles Police in Norway - AP*

*Analysis: Questions Over Far-Right Link in Norwegian Attacks - Reuters*


Blasts and Gun Attack in Norway; 7 Dead - NYT

Blast Rocks Oslo; Gunman Attacks Youth Camp - WP

Deadly Attacks Shake Norway - WSJ

Oslo Bomb Blast Kills at Least 7, Injures Several - LAT

Twin Terror Attacks Shock Norway - BBC

Norway Struck by 2 Deadly Attacks - CNN

Seven Dead in Oslo Bomb; Nine Killed at Youth Camp - TT

Seven Dead as Bomb Rocks Norway; 10 Dead at Youth Camp - G&M

Oslo Hit by Bomb Explosion and Youths Shot at Camp - TG

Blast in Oslo Government Buildings - Reuters

Blast Witnesses: 'The Explosion Was Immense' - CNN

Oslo Police Say 9-10 People Killed at Youth Camp - AP

Nine, Perhaps 10, Killed in Norway Shooting - Reuters

Norway Police Says Believe Shooting Linked to Blast - Reuters

Norway Attack: Likely Suspected Groups - Reuters

Oslo Attack Speculation Centers on Kurdish Group - WP

Factbox: Norway Security Outlook: 'Increased Uncertainty' - Reuters

Oslo Bomb Latest Updates - BBC

Video, Map, Updates of Oslo Explosion - NYT

Oslo Bombing's Aftermath, Captured on Camera - Time


With respect to those who sought the "link" as expressed. The point stems from:-
""But, the point I am driving at is a link between the recent tragedy in Norway and the bombing of Libya."
A link which you completely failed to provide any evidence, much less substantive evidence, of."
The point is as follows:-
George Kennan, the US architect of the cold war made these observations:-

"Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy."

There is a process of violence - blame - aggression - war - attacks - justifications for the attacks. It is not a stretch to reason that the processes of thought - the hatreds - the justifications ( however - perverse ) actually do exist to justifythe killings. The fellow in Norway sees an enemy in the immigrants, the Muslims, the ones he so despises. The West, as Kennan predicted, needs to invent the next enemy. Gaddafi - the mad man - the one who opposes - the one whose people must be bombed - the enemy.

The common reference point is the violence - the defined " ememy "- the innocents who are the victims:-

- Persons udner the bombs in Libya
- Youngsters uder the bullets in Norway
Of course, a s you read the mainstream press in the West, you will find a considerable amont of coverage on the human tragedy in Norway - quite a diffferent accouo nt on the human tragedy in respect of the bombings of Libya.

Ghikas (not verified)

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 7:21pm

@ "Courtenay Barnett" There is no evidence of any link between the events in Norway and anything going on in Libya or Iraq. There is also no evidence that this Norweigian tragedy will lead to any significant military activity by the US regarding to Norway.

I too would like to see more reporting of events in Libya. If perhaps incidents like this could be avoided:…

it would facilitate better journalism.

Oh and incidentally, everyone has a mother. Osama did, and Hitler did, and unfortunately they took a lot of people down with them. Even this Norweigian terrorist, I think, has a mother. I'm not entirely sure where that consideration falls in when someone's just gunned down a bunch of kids, but I'm pretty sure that any parent won't have to be "taught" to hate the shooter.

Y (not verified)

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 8:26pm

No reason why, THE people deserved à try

Crazyness came around à corner, THE world is getting hit
As à one city could bring, its hope now thats faith sings
Sorrow came on THE way, no words that could be say
One moment that couldnt be controlled
One moment that we now look to THE sky
Dont know why, but we have to try
There sacrifice Will not be invain, THE world Will Remember these names
There souls Will continiu There journey, There journey to heaven
As faith comes along we Will hope and become strong

 Moonlight Will come and stars Will shine, here There is no time
There positive energie Will strength
There positive energie Will give THE world lenght
We Will Remember, remember There names
We hope they continiu There life, if not this then à other
We wont let go, we dont go aside, we Will fight for There pride
Hoping for better days, hoping for better ways
See you in our Dreams !

motorfirebox (not verified)

Sat, 07/23/2011 - 10:45pm

"But, the point I am driving at is a link between the recent tragedy in Norway and the bombing of Libya."

A link which you completely failed to provide any evidence, much less substantive evidence, of.

I wonder whether out of this Norweigian tragedy there cannot be much water found to pour on the war fires around the world.
I have watched keenly this war unfold in Libya, as I have followed previous wars.
One of the servants of the Libyan wars continuation is public opinion in the West. Sadly, we have elected representative goverments that do not represent the true wishes and feelings of the majority. I say that for two reasons relative to the Libyan war. The mainstream Western media ( include not just Fox News, but the New York Times, the BBC, CNN and others) are propoganda servants to the war agenda.Service to the oligarchic social order is the the other reason ( I shall return to that).

One way to gain public support is to publish outright lies. Another, is that one journalist in a big name newspaper runs a line, and others simply quote the original falsehood. All of this has happened in the coverage of the Libyan war. I noted the size of the pro-Gadaffi demonstrations and also noted the spin given by the BBC and others to diminish its implications. Millions marching in the street was not to be deemed as support by the majority of the Libyans for their leader.

But, the point I am driving at is a link between the recent tragedy in Norway and the bombing of Libya.

I read years ago where Leonardo Da Vinci had designed flying machines, but shelved them when he weighed the great damage to humans that such devices would do if ever made operative. He had some humanity; our modern humanity, by contrast, has been desensitised, but not totally. We do note that in the Western mainstream medias reporting there are no Libyan human interest stories. Of course not - the Libyan mother who loses a child in a US/NATO bombing is not a human loss and tragedy to be counted. By contrast, in Norway, the Western media will be full of stories of the human loss and tragedy to the Noweigian mother, the Norweigian father, the Norweigian family. There will simply not be a majority of broad-brush politically motivated journalistic commentaries against the enemy. The Norweigians can safely be projected to the reading Western public as humans - the Libyans cannot, excepet to state that there is an on-going "humanitarian bombing mission" to save the Libyans from a leader that the majority want. Pro-war sentiments have to be nutured; anti-war sentiments have to be suppressed.

How do we en mass bring all of us, human beings, back into contact with our common humanity? Do we juxtapose an image of the tears of a Norweigian mother against the tears of a Libyan mother; an Iraqi mother? That would be a very effective front page picture on one of the mainstream mass circulation Western papers. The similarity and commonality of human suffering, grief and loss is a very human story that many of us would love to read. And, wordsmiths and an able journalist could write the prize-winning story that helped to bring us back to our senses. But, it is not going to happen - the Libyan mother is the enemy as is the Iraqi mother. "They" are not "us" - so we must distance, differentiate and ultimately minimise the others humanity. That is how we in the West asssist the war cause. But, with Norweigians we can safely portray true human grief - "we" are them - "they" are "us" - fellow human beings.

I am suggesting that there is an actual political and psychological management of the global war agenda. What do I mean?

George Kennan, the US architect of the cold war made these observations:-

"It may be true, and I suspect it is, that the mass of people everywhere are normally peace-loving and would accept many restraints and sacrifices in preference to the monstrous calamities of war."


"We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."


"Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy."
The adversary has to be created in al-quaida - in the Muslims - in the Islamists - in "them" versus "us" - so we must first be nurtured, taught and learn how to hate to find justification for the war.
Someone said this:-
"Without an enemy image you cannot have an oligarchic society" The video explains
( Methinks, like Winston, I am committing thought crimes).
If we stepped back and considered what we have done over the past decade -from Afghanistan to Libya - we find this. A single man hold up in a cave supposedly orchestrated and masterminded 9/11 - so that provided justification to have carpet bombed an already devastated Afghanistan that had recently concluded a war with the then Soviet Union. In Iraq - I guess the Americans are still in occupation because they cant leave before they find the WMDs. In Libya we have the perfect example of the Vietnam logic - "It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it." - the justification for the My Lai massacre. Thus, the "humanitarian bombing mission" over Libya.
We from the West are making wars to save the people who are subjected to Western belligerence. We have a "war on terror" because, as George Kennan correctly observed, "Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military establishment would have to go on..." and it and NATOs militaries have gone on...and on....and on....and.....
Peace! And, may we all be hampered by more idealistic slogans for the general good of humankind.

Rick Arnold (not verified)

Sat, 07/23/2011 - 2:06pm

Bill, i am in no way making excuses for the man who did this, shooting innocent children is a crime way beyond believe and reason.
All I want to say is this, I live near battlegrounds of the 2nd WW, (the Ardennes, 100km from here) Our freedom starts there, the freedom provided by rows and rows of white crosses, men, or rather boys of 19 and 20 years old fought and died here so I could live in freedom, protest against anything I want and even burn a flag.
All that freedom ends if you dare questioning the ammount of African and Arabian people coming in.
For decades whe tried to deal with that, positive discrimination, looking the other way and making excuses 'because it's normal in their culture' brought us foreigners living here who won't learn our language, rather stay at home than work, are always demanding respect, have endless lists of demands, and wear out the system in a shameless way.
Not to long ago 3 generations of a Turkish family where caught for statebenefit fraude, never worked but owned 3 hotels and a nightclub in Turkey.
I've you say this is enough, than you are a racist, if you ask if people on benefit get checked because they have a new BMW you are a racist, and so on, and these are the modest examples. Some people can't deal with that anymore, the only answer they find is what happened in Norway, tragic, but it's the result of faling politicians who are afraid of naming the problem, afraid as they are being called a racist, so it's a catch 22.

Cheers Rick

Rick, that is an interesting perspective and from what I read and discussions with my inlaws in Europe I think there is a lot of truth to what you write. I think Europeans should struggle "politically" to protect their advanced culture, and not embrace letting more primative cultures whose values are opposed to Western values (freedom, equality for women, using reason instead of religion, etc.).

I'm not sure how killing over 90 innocent people, many teenagers will move the political discussion forward. It may or may not have been caused by anger generated by foreigners challenging your social and political norms, but regardless of the cause it was terrible crime.

Rick Arnold (not verified)

Sat, 07/23/2011 - 6:00am

Why dasn't anybody see it for what it is?
This is the result when normal everyday people get overrun by criminal foreigners from 3th world countries with cultures whe left behind in the dark ages.
Every western european country has updated the constitution in the last 10 years so if you have questions about so many criminels and uneducated non-europeans coming in your are atleast a racist and in most cases you are seen as a criminal.
In Holland 16% of the population is responsable voor more than 80% of the serious crimes, and they weren't born here.
If you can't question that or work on a solution frustation comes next.
So a new breed of terrorist appears, smarter and more deadlier than any Achmed or Ali ever will be, blame Wilders or whoever, this is what you get when you won't listen to your own people who are the real victims in this story.
I am really afraid this is just the start, the gap between non-european foreigners and normal people is getting bigger, it worries me.

Rick Arnold, Holland


Thanks for the link. Interesting that he opened his organic farming business a month ago. Makes you wonder if sole intent of opening the business was the ability to buy a large amount of fertilizer without drawing suspicion. Looks like Norway just had their Tim McVeigh experience, and just like the Tim McVeigh attack, everyone initially was looking for Muslim terrorists.

motorfirebox (not verified)

Sat, 07/23/2011 - 5:24am

Regarding the car bomb, he owns a farming company, so he had access to bombmaking materials; it's not particularly difficult nowadays for a dedicated (or even moderately curious) individual to get ahold of usable recipes.

As for the shooting, Norway has a very high rate of gun ownership; it wouldn't be hard for someone to gain a high proficiency with firearms. And on an island packed with kids, firearms proficiency wouldn't be a significant limiting factor to racking up a sizeable body count.

Regarding ideology, he appears to be a right-wing extremist. He's made comments that the media is not critical enough of Islam, and one of his heroes appears to be Geert Wilders.…


I wrote it "appears" to be a criminal attack. By criminal I mean a madman, but regardless of whether it was a madman or terrorist it is still a criminal attack. Like everyone else I'm still waiting on the results of the investigation to be released, but one Norway official stated (most likely unofficially) that the perp was just a madman; however, the targets were all political, so all possibilitiees are open. He could be insane, an individual frustrated with the government, a member of local left or right wing terrorist group, and it is possible that he is another Westerner with an identity crisis that was radicalized online or actually traveled to a Islamist terrorist training camp, etc. Somewhere, somehow, he learned to make a car bomb, and employ a weapon well enough to kill over 80 people. Your average Joe Blow with a beef against the government doesn't have these skills.


Sat, 07/23/2011 - 1:46am

Bill M.,
When you say "criminal" I assume you mean "not terrorist"? How so? Do you mean "not Islamic terrorist"? I hit on this only because I think that for all our focus on Islamic terrorism, politics in Europe have a lot of potential for violence over the next several decades. This may seem lunacy, but there are many issues which will incite radical responses. I think that acts such as this one must be called terrorism and may actually be more damaging to the social fabric than something perpetrated by a terrorist outsider. Obviously, not all the facts are in, but the twinned attacks aimed at political symbols would most likely indicate a calculation to elicit political terror, rather than untargeted mass murder by a madman at a mall, for example.

It appears it was a criminal attack, and unfortunately it was more successful than first reported, now the media is reporting over 80 dead on the island. Hard to imagine one man killing 80 people dispersed over the island before he could be interdicted by someone with a gun. This is a tragic day for Norway.

JMA (not verified)

Fri, 07/22/2011 - 11:08pm

"... no one will ever scare us from being Norway"

Sounds good... but lets wait and see.

After 9/11 the US took action. After 7/7 the UK continued with the actions they were involved in with added commitment.

But the Spanish surrendered.

What will the Norwegians do?

A decent first response from Norway's PM:

"In a news conference, Jens Stoltenberg addressed the attackers directly saying: "No one will bomb us to silence, no one will shoot us to silence, no one will ever scare us from being Norway."

It's tragic anytime when innocents are killed by criminals or terrorists, but when two apparently well planned attacks result in approximately 10 dead then that should be described as being largely a failure. They attempted a mass casualty attack and failed, but still ended up commiting a terrible crime.

The media is playing into their hands when they use words like shake, rock, shock, etc., which are simply words used to hype the story to gain additional media attention instead of accurately describing the attacks.

I think the Norway will conduct an effective investigation and identify what actually happened, and then take the appropriate actions. A crime was commited today by a group that espouses hatred and innocent people were killed. Norway wasn't rocked or shaken, but the group that committed this crime will be.