There were a couple of attacks in Norway today. The first was in downtown Oslo, involving a bomb that was detonated near government headquarters. The city center has been cleared, and so far seven have been confirmed dead so far. That was the attack I heard people talking about today. Then I continued with my day, busy with non-Internet things, so I didn’t hear about the shooting on Utoya Island later today. A youth camp for the Labour Party was taking place there, and most of the attendees were in their late teens or early twenties. So far eighty of them are dead.
Given the political locations of these attacks, these attacks are likely related and politically motivated. One person is in custody so far, and we’ll definitely be hearing more about this over the coming days. But maybe not too much (in the U.S., at least) since these attacks happened in Norway. Still, I’m interested in hearing about the motivation.
Keep the folks affected in your thoughts, will you? A lot of people lost someone they love because of someone’s ideology, and more are injured or homeless because of that. You don’t recover from those wounds easily.
2 replies on “Today’s Norway attacks”
Thankfully I am not one of those affected by the attacks, nor is anyone I know, but as a Norwegian I would just like to say that it’s heartwarming to see people on the other side of the world care about this. It came as a nasty shock to pretty much everyone here. We’ve always seen our country as a safe haven – we’re statistically one of the best countries to live in, and “these things only happen elsewhere.” That said, family members of several of those hurt in the attacks have said in the Norwegian media that they are very grateful for the support from the rest of the world. Just wanted to tell this.
According to what is known about the shooter at Utøya there is definitely a political motivation. The Labour Party has been one of the most important and influential parties in Norway for decades, and the suspect is very much right-wing (fanatical, I’d say). It seems like the Labour Party (to which the current Prime Minister and the majority of the government belongs) got the blame for everything he thinks is wrong. According to a Norwegian newspaper he was very much against the current immigration policies in particular, said on various Norwegian websites that there were too many Muslims in the country, that the church had become too radical (since we have a state church here it is very much a political matter), and so on. He’s not the first one to have these views here, but his reaction or way of dealing with them was certainly far worse than anything we’ve ever seen. It isn’t known for sure that these were his reasons for the shooting, as there are no statements from him or his lawyer yet, but his choice of targets and his previous statements indicates that there at least is a strong connection. It isn’t known yet whether he has an accomplice, but from the way the media here writes it looks like everyone thinks the shootings and the bomb are related.
By the way, according to the latest newspaper articles here the death toll is now at 85 confirmed deaths at Utøya so far, in addition to the 7 in the city centre.
Thank you so much for this comment. It gave me a lot of perspective on the attacks and on Norwegian politics, especially since my first reaction was “Who on earth would attack Norway?” I’m glad to hear you and yours are well, and remember that the world is with you.