Death Toll Now Reported at 91 in Norway ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ Terror Attack UPDATE: Video Added; Gunman Posed as Policeman and Boasted, ‘I’ll Kill You All’
Posted on | July 23, 2011 | 184 Comments
The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center here and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead.
The police said they did not know if the man, identified by the Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik, was part of a larger conspiracy. . . .
“We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised news conference, adding: “What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist.” So far Mr. Breivik has not been linked to any anti-jihadist groups, he said. . . .
“Compared to other countries I wouldn’t say we have a big problem with right-wing extremists in Norway,” Mr. Stoltenberg told reporters at a news conference. “But we have had some groups, we have followed them before, and our police is aware that there are some right-wing groups.”
UPDATE: Details of the bloody rampage:
A GUNMAN boasted “I’ll kill you all” as he hunted teenagers on an idyllic island, shooting 84 of them dead – just two hours after he detonated at least one bomb killing seven office workers.
The home-grown terrorist showed no mercy as he used at least two guns, including a machinegun and a pistol, to massacre the teens who were enjoying a summer camp on a Norwegian island.
Posing as a policeman, Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik beckoned people towards him on the Utoya Island and without warning pulled weapons from a bag and opened fire. . . .
The killer continued his carnage for up to two hours, hunting down teens and adults on the island and chasing them into the icy waters as he fired on them, killing at least 84. Some pretended to be dead, but Breivik returned to some victims to shoot them again with a second weapon. . . .
Breivik, 32, was described as a “madman” and was thought to have acted alone, targeting Norway’s ruling Labour Party. The party’s youth wing had organised the summer camp.
UPDATE II: Video news report from Britain’s SkyNews:
UPDATE III: Now that I’ve got you up-to-date on the latest news, while we wait to learn the identities of the victims and everyone is still absorbing the horror of this atrocity, let me turn aside to address some of the political blowback.
By the time I got on this story yesterday, Michelle Malkin had already been blogging it for an hour. Early on, she had provided background on Norway’s Muslim immigrant population and ongoing deportation proceedings against a radical Kurdish cleric, Mullah Krekar. As she also noted, Malkin got blowback on Twitter from somebody at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, who suggested Malkin was “jumping to conclusions.”
Look, this had all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda operation, especially the fact of the seemingly simultaneous attacks: the bomb (or bombs) in downtown Oslo and the shootings at the Utoya youth camp. The African embassy bombings, the 9/11 attacks, the attacks in London and Spain — over and over we’ve seen how al-Qaeda likes to stage multiple terror strikes simultaneously. It’s like their trademark.
Several mainstream news organizations were reporting some of the same background facts that Malkin included in her post, and also noting Norway’s NATO troop deployment to Aghanistan. These news organizations included those facts for the same reason that Malkin did — because the Norwegian attack seemed to fit a well-established pattern of radical Islamic terror attacks in Europe.
And it is important to note the obverse: There had been no similar pattern of right-wing “Christian fundamentalist” terror attacks in Europe. In fact, so far as I know, yesterday’s attack was the first incident of its kind — an absolutely unique and unprecedented event.
You may go read through my extensively updated post yesterday — more than nine hours of almost constant aggregation — and see exactly what I wrote and when, although the chronological sequence of the updates got a little scrambled after 3 p.m., as I tried to keep the top of the post fresh with breaking news. I didn’t say a word about motive or suspects until Da Tech Guy linked up with an item headlined: “I’m sure this terror attack in Oslo Norway has nothing to do with Islam.” And my response to that (at 11:48 a.m. ET) was to recycle a favorite old joke of mine about “radical Lutherans.”
UPDATE IV: James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly scolds Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post for having leapt to conclusions about a jihadist motive for the Norwegian atrocity.
Such criticism might be taken more seriously had not the Atlantic been the longtime publisher of Andrew Sullivan. There was certainly more reason to believe, at 5:06 p.m. ET Friday, that the Oslo bombing was the work of al-Qaeda than there ever was to believe — as Sully so often slyly insinuated — that Trig Palin was the incest-bred offspring of Bristol, whose mother had actively conspired to hide such a crime. And when the Atlantic forthrightly apologizes for having harbored Sullivan’s disgusting and unsubstantiated anti-Palin smears for so long, then Mr. Fallows might presume to lecture Jennifer Rubin.
UPDATE V: Da Tech Guy owns up to his error by reference to the Bill Sparkman incident in Kentucky. Long time readers know the role I played in that 2009 story. It was Sully who blamed the death of the Census worker on “Southern populist terrorism,” inspiring me to rattle the tip jar to fund a trip to Kentucky.
No sooner had I begun reporting live from Manchester — where the facts on the ground were starkly at odds with Rick Ungar’s “Send the Body to Glenn Beck” nonsense — than the Left decided to grab themselves a fresh hot cup of STFU. The liberal bloggers who had been so certain that Sparkman’s death could be pinned on Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party fell utterly silent on the story until finally it was revealed that Sparkman had committed suicide, staging a hate-crime hoax with the apparent motive of insurance fraud.
So before the Left starts gloating about conservative “wingnuts” prematurely assuming a jihadist motive for the Oslo massacre, they’ll first need to admit their own multiple errors — including vicious smears that sprang from theories far less plausible than suspicions of an al-Qaeda attack in Norway.
And I am by no means through smacking around these arrogant liberal sons of bitches, but I’d be much obliged if some of our regular readers would hit the tip jar for $10 or $20 to make it worth my while.
UPDATE VI: Returning after a break between updates, I found that Gary Wellner — firstname.lastname@example.org — had sent me an e-mail with this provocative subject line:
“Look like you have a new hero to add
to your pantheon of murderers. Sieg heil!”
Gary Wellner — email@example.com — included in this e-mail a link to this BBC article:
Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old suspect in Friday’s attacks in Norway, held right-wing views, say police.
Police chief Sveinung Sponheim said his internet postings “suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views”.
“But whether that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen,” he told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
Mr Breivik appears to have created entries on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, though the accounts were set up just days ago on 17 July.
On the Facebook page attributed to him, he describes himself as a Christian and a conservative. The Facebook page is no longer available but it also listed interests such as bodybuilding and freemasonry.
A Twitter account attributed to the suspect has also emerged but it only has one post, which is a quote from philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”
In a post in Norwegian in an online forum on December 2009, a user named Anders Behring Breivik claims there is not one country where Muslims have peacefully lived with non-Muslims, stating that instead it has had “catastrophic consequences” for non-Muslims.
Mr Breivik was a member of a Swedish neo-Nazi internet forum called Nordisk, according to Expo, a Swedish group monitoring far-right activity.
Now, I don’t consider myself responsible for the acts of every violent kook who quotes John Stuart Mill. I’ve never met or communicated with Anders Behring Breivik, whom I’d never heard of until last night. Hell’s bells, I don’t even speak a word of Norwegian!
So while my e-mail address has never been secret, I was rather surprised to find this “Sieg Heil” message accusing me of having made heroes of a “pantheon of murderers.”
And I hope Gary Wellner — firstname.lastname@example.org — will understand that I consider sending hateful e-mails to strangers rather a waste of time, and would strongly discourage my readers from emulating Mr. Wellner’s ill-advised and unseemly behavior.
UPDATE VII: Before I was so rudely interrupted, I had been about to make the point about what it is we do here in the blogosphere. I spent more than nine hours yesterday “aggregating like a mofo,” racing to provide readers with the most up-to-date facts as I could find them. Let anyone go count the links in yesterday’s relentlessly updated aggregation and see if they think I fulfilled that purpose.
My opinions are always less valuable than the facts. Maybe your opinions are worth more, and there may be some people who get paid for having The Correct Opinion, but I’ve never found anyone willing to hire me for that Charles Krauthammer-type work. So I was doing what I do best when there’s breaking news — piling up the facts and making a few jokes. And also occasionally, speaking from 25 years experience in the news business, offering words of caution like these:
(11:28 a.m. ET) Early reports on these kinds of events are always confusing. We await more details to clarify the story . . .
(2:45 p.m. ET) 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 . . .
Of course, I was also on Twitter offering to bet $10 that the persons responsible for this atrocity included at least one named “Mohammed.”
You know something funny? Not one liberal was willing to take that bet.
So let those gloating sons of bitches say what they will, they sure as hell weren’t eager to put their money on the line when the identity of the perp was still a mystery. And I will conclude by quoting Michelle Malkin’s own conclusion:
As the above WaPo article and countless Mainstream Media stories throughout the day noted, the context and timing most definitely suggested jihad and there should be no apologize for reading the signs and connecting several large, obvious dots.
Unlike those who speculated that the Giffords’ shooter was a Tea Party activist and held onto the assumption even after it was disproved, I will not continue to insist that jihadists bear blame for this heinous attack if it turns out they have not.
No shame in her game. And if you’ve ever jumped onto a breaking story an hour after Malkin started blogging it, you’d know how hard it is to keep up with her when it comes to high-speed news aggregation.