BREAKING: Explosions Blast Government Buildings in Norway; Terrorism Suspected UPDATE: Death Toll Now Reported at 17 UPDATE: Shooting Suspect Norwegian, Official Says; No Word Yet on Motive UPDATE: Anders Behring Breivik Named as Suspect Under Arrest — ‘Right Wing’?
Posted on | July 22, 2011 | 78 Comments
* * * SATURDAY UPDATE * * *
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UPDATE 8:02 p.m. ET: Police in Oslo have reportedly stormed the home of the suspect arrested in the Norway terror attacks:
Several outlets including UK newspaper The Daily Mail and Norweigan broadcaster TV 2 have reported that 32 year old Norweignan Andres Behring Breivik has been arrested in connection with the attacks in the country today: the bombing in Oslo and the shooting on the island of Utoya.
Breivik, a native of Oslo, is described as as 6 feet tall and blond, which matches earlier reports from eyewitnesses on Utoya of a man dressed as a police officer who called teenagers over before shooting them with an automatic weapon.
The latest confirmed death count between the two attacks is 17.
Tore Bjorgo, a professor at Norwegian Police University College — which state broadcaster NRK reported is working with police on the investigation — said the fact that the second attack was directed at a political youth organization suggested the involvement of local or European right-wing extremists.
“I have consistently kept the possibility open that this might be the extreme right,” Bjorgo said.
And speaking of MSNBC, how long until Chris Matthews blames this on Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh?
According to TV2?s sources, the arrested belong to the right-extremist groups in eastern Norway, and the man must have registered two weapons on their name – an automatic weapon and a pistol of the type of Glock.
32-year-old created in 2009, a company that would engage in the cultivation of vegetables, melons, roots and tubers, which means that he may have had access to fertilizer – a well known ingredient in the manufacture of a bomb.
According to sources such as TV 2 has talked with the bomb that exploded in the government building a fertilizer bomb.
Breivik will be conservative, Christian, and may have a connection to the extreme right environment.
The man owns a farming business in eastern Norway, and the man’s Facebook page says it listed that he has studied in Oslo Handel.
His interests, according to Facebook profile, both involving hunting and bodybuilding.
The dude looks very clean-cut and preppy. If indeed he is the terrorist responsible for this, I’m sure the story of his descent into evil madness will be quite a fascinating tale. You can see the quotes now: “He seemed like such a nice, quiet kid. A devout Lutheran . . .”
UPDATE 6:31 p.m. ET: The possibility of a “lone wolf” attack must be considered, because it appears that the man who committed the Utoya shootings may have also committed the Oslo bombing — and planned to explode other bombs:
Undetonated explosives were found on Utoya Island, where a gunman opened fire earlier in the day on a Labour Party Youth Camp, Oslo, Norway, acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim said late Friday night.
Authorities believe the man traveled to the island from Oslo, where at least seven were killed in a bombing in the city center. The suspect, a 32-year-old Norwegian, was taken into custody after he killed or wounded an unknown number of people, Sponheim said.
UPDATE 7:20 p.m. ET: The confirmed death toll, so far as we know at this hour, is 17:
At least seven people were killed in the bombing, which inflicted huge damage on government buildings in Oslo.
At least 10 more died at the camp, on an island outside Oslo, police say. One witness said he had seen 20 bodies.
UPDATE 5:54 p.m. ET: Agence France-Presse:
A man police arrested after a deadly bombing in Norway’s capital Oslo and a series of shootings on an island just outside the capital is a Norwegian, Justice Minister Knut Storberget says.
“A person has been arrested… I have been informed that he is a Norwegian,” Storberget told a press conference.
“It would not be fair of me to go into more detail about this,” he added.
No word about motive, although it has been reported that the suspect is talking to police. We might speculate or theorize, but it’s best to wait and see what is reported. Considering that the targets were the Labour Party prime minister and a youth camp run by his party, a domestic political motive is certainly possible.
UPDATE 6:14 p.m. ET: Headline at The New York Times:
At least 16 — or so it’s reported at this hour. The reports are conflicting and confused. BTW, apologies for the scrambled chronology of the updates below.
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UPDATE 3:30 p.m. ET: Associated Press reports:
Oslo police say they suspect the man arrested after a shooting at a youth camp is also linked to a bombing in Oslo. . . .
Andre Scheie told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that he saw “very many dead by the shore” of the camp on Utoya island, where the youth wing of the Labor Party was holding a summer camp for hundreds of youths. He said some victims were shot in the water after trying desperately to swim away. “There are about 20 to 25 dead,” he said.
Police did not immediately confirm the account. but Inspector Bjoern Erik Sem-Jacobsen said a suspect in the shooting has been arrested. He said the gunman, who was dressed as a police officer, pulled out a gun and started firing into the crowd of youths.
Acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told broadcaster NRK that investigators suspect the two attacks are linked.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg says police believe the death toll from the youth camp mass shooting is expected to exceed 10. Police have said nine or 10 died.
The suspect [arrested in the shootings at the Utoya island youth camp] is not affiliated with any terrorist organization, the Aftenposten newspaper in Oslo reports. Police “know the arrested man’s identity but will not provide more details about the arrest” . . .
Police are not saying more about the suspect or his background.
UPDATE 4:53 p.m. ET: Henry Chu of the Los Angeles Times:
A massive bomb rocked downtown Oslo on Friday and a gunman opened fire on a youth camp run by a political party in twin attacks that killed at least 16 people. . . .
Reports still were sketchy, but police said nine or 10 people appeared to have died at the youth camp, which was run by Stoltenberg’s Labor Party.
Mattias Carlsson, a reporter for the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, who took a boat around the island, said in a telephone interview that he could see more than a dozen bodies lying on shore or floating in the water, many of them young women.
“There are four people and they are lying together as if they are hugging,” Carlsson said of one group of bodies.
Other news reports quoted a witness as saying he had seen between 20 and 25 dead.
The number of deaths from the Oslo bombing has been reported at seven, and so a mininum of nine killed at the Utoya youth camp would bring the total to 16, at least. But as the man said, it’s still “sketchy.”
UPDATE 4:38 p.m. ET: Still no identification of the suspects either in the Utoya shooting or the Oslo bombing, but Zombie at PJM has a large aggregation about possible motives for a terrorist attack on Norway, and links this translation at Jihad Watch:
Praise be to Allah from his slaves, united and humiliating the people of shirk [worship of others besides Allah] and companions of kufr [unbelief]. Prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, his family and companions and descendents. . . .
Today Norway has been targeted in order to be a lesson, and a lesson to the rest of Europe. We have warned since the Stockholm raid of more operations and we have demanded that European countries of Europe withdraw their armies from the land of Afghanistan and end their war on Islam and Muslims. We repeat our warning again to the countries of Europe and tell them that the demands of the mujahideen must be carried out. What you see is only the beginning. There will be more.
There were many reasons for the targeting of Norway. The most important is their participation in the occupation of Afghanistan and the abuse of our prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Praise Allah who has enabled his slaves to be united…and pray to Allah to save our brothers and our fighters everywhere.
So, yeah: Clearly the work of Lutheran extremists.
UPDATE 5:05 p.m. ET: A Swedish report (translated) has a photo appearing to show bodies lying on the rocky sea shore at Utoya.
UPDATE 3:08 p.m. ET: Putting this update at the top — lots more news below — so you can see this raw video shot by an amateur (obtained via British Channel 4 News) showing what downtown Oslo looked like immediately after the bombing:
PREVIOUSLY (11:28 a.m. ET): Early report from CNN on a developing story:
A giant explosion rocked government buildings in Oslo, Norway, on Friday, state TV broadcaster NRK said, with at least one person confirmed dead.
Windows in several buildings had been blown out, and people were in the street bleeding, NRK said on its website. The cause of the blast remains unknown.
One explosion happened near a government building housing the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, said Linda Reinholdsen, a reporter for Norwegian state broadcaster NRK. Another hit near the Norwegian parliament, she told CNN.
Several buildings in Oslo were on fire, she said, and smoke was pouring from them.
Walter Gibbs, a journalist with Reuters, said he saw eight injured people, including two or three with serious wounds and one who looked dead. . . .
The blast also severely damaged the Oil Ministry and left it in flames, he said.
Early reports on these kinds of events are always confusing. We await more details to clarify the story. But this is almost certainly the result of terrorism because — as Drew notes at AOSHQ — Oslo doesn’t have a natural gas system, which would be the only other obvious explanation for such an explosion.
UPDATE 11:30 a.m. ET: Scrambling to catch up now. It is being reported that the explosion or explosions were definitely the result of a bomb, and that authorities have found other bombs that failed to detonate.
UPDATE 11:35 a.m. ET: Video from Britain’s SkyNews:
UPDATE 11:41 a.m. ET: Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg was unhurt by the attack, BBC reports more details:
Oistein Mjarum, head of communications for the Norwegian Red Cross, said his offices were close to the site of the explosion.
“There was a massive explosion which could be heard over the capital Oslo,” he told the BBC. . . .
Mr Mjarum said there were fires burning in the prime minister’s 17-storey building.
“This is a very busy area on Friday afternoon and there was a lot of people in the streets, and many people working in these buildings that are now burning,” he said. . . .
Mr Mjarum said people were in shock in Oslo and across Norway.
“We have never had a terrorist attack like this in Norway – if that’s what it is – but of course this has been a great fear for all Norwegians when they have seen what has been happening around the world.”
UPDATE 11:48 a.m. ET: Da Tech Guy says, “I’m sure this terror attack in Oslo Norway has nothing to do with Islam.”
Obviously, it’s those radical Lutherans again.
UPDATE 11:53 a.m. ET: Michelle Malkin is all over this story, and reports that a “massive vehicle bomb” is suspected.
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.
Law enforcement officials told ABC News there were two blasts at the Norwegian capital . . .
No group has publicly taken responsibility for the blast and a U.S. counter-terrorism official told ABC News there is no indication yet of motive or suspects.
Yeah. And you know what it means when U.S. officials have “no indication”? Lutherans.
UPDATE 12:19 p.m. ET: Also blogging the story are Don Surber, Thomas Lifson at American Thinker, Aaron Goldstein at The American Spectator, Weasel Zippers, Sister Toldjah, Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit and Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.
UPDATE 1:25 p.m. ET: Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection:
Reuters also is reporting a shooting at a summer camp which apparently was coordinated, and Fox News is attributing the attacks to al-Qaeda.
It is being reported that there has been an arrest at the Norwegian Labor Party youth camp, which the prime minister had been scheduled to attend.
Linked by Professor Donald Douglas at American Power — thanks! — who also links a report by the New York Times:
Shortly after the apparent bomb attack [in Oslo], a man dressed as a police officer opened fire on a youth political meeting on the island of Utoya in the Oslo fjord, about 25 miles from the city, the police said.
UPDATE 1:42 p.m. ET: A video news report from India’s News X:
Amazing thing about the Internet, that you get to see how this story is being reported in Bombay or Calcutta.
BTW, thanks to readers who are contributing background on Norway or links to other coverage in the comments.
UPDATE 1:55 p.m. ET: If the youth-camp shooting is connected to the Oslo bombing — and we are not yet sure that this is the case — then the death toll is now seven, according to Reuters:
A man dressed as a policeman shot and injured at least five people at a meeting of the youth wing of the party of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Friday after a blast in the capital, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said. Former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland had been due to attend the meeting on Friday.
UPDATE 2:33 p.m. ET: In an online jihadi forum, a group called Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (Helpers of the Global Jihad) had apparently claimed “credit” for the Oslo attack, according to Will McCants, but the person (Abu Sulayman al-Nasir) subsequently clarified to retract.
So the Lutheran extremists are still prime suspects.
BTW, on Twitter I offered a $10 bet that at least one of the people involved in this Norwegian attack is named “Mohammed.” No liberals offered to take that wager, although one did accuse me of “fostering prejudice.”
Right. That’s our real problem: Prejudice against people who are trying to kill us all.
UPDATE 2:45 p.m. ET: Haroon Saddique is aggregating developments for the British Guardian newspaper, and has this:
Police are saying they believe the person(s) responsible for the bomb to be foreign, according to the BBC.
But the attacker in Utoya, now arrested, looked Norwegian, NRK reports …
“Witnesses who have managed to escape from the island, says to NRK reporters on the spot that the perpetrator had a Norwegian look. He should be between 185 to 190 cm tall and have blond hair.”
Which is to say, as I warned at the outset, there is always confusion in the early reports on a story like this. We must be patient and wait for facts, rather than speculating on which Lutheran terrorist organization is responsible.
(I just had a twinge of guilty horror, envisioning someone in a non-English-speaking country who stumbled across this blog via Google, is reading it through an online translator, and doesn’t get the “Lutheran extremist” jokes.)
UPDATE 2:58 p.m. ET: International Business Times:
There is speculation that, if the explosion is a bombing, it could have been the work of militant jihadists anger about the looming deportation of Iraqi-born cleric Mullah Krekar. Krekar is the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, and has been living in Norwary controversially since the early 1990s.
Michelle Malkin pointed out that possible connection very early, but I didn’t mention it because (a) I figure you visit her site anyway, so you already knew, and also (b) since when do “militant jihadists” need a specific grievance to kill innocent people?
As the Rhetorican observes, it’s when a story like this breaks that I start “aggregating like a mofo.”
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