Saturday, July 23, 2011

Terrorist Attacks in Norway

There's just been a terrible eruption of political violence in Norway: in the capital, Oslo, a car bomb exploded outside the office building that housed the prime minster's office, and also near other Norwegian government buildings, including its finance ministry, oil minostry and Supreme Court. Shortly after the bomb exploded, a man dressed as a police officer and armed with automatic weapons appeared on the island of Utoya, in a lake near Oslo, where an offshoot of the Norwegian Labor Party holds a summer camp for teenagers and young adults interested in politics, coaxed the campers to come toward him, and shot them as they came. He killed at least 84 people on the island, and is believed also to have planted the bomb in Oslo, which killed seven people and injured about ten.

A suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, has surrendered to the police and is being investigated. He was a fundamentalist Christian, interested in right-wing politics and hated Muslims, and he was also a member of Norway's far-right, anti-immigrant Progress Party, at one point being chairman of his local party. He had bought six tons of synthetic fertilizer ten weeks prior to these events, ostensibly for use on his farm.

A survivor of the attack on the island, Prableen Kaur, who is the head of the Worker's Youth League of her district in Oslo, has written a blog post describing her ordeal. The post has been translated into English and republished several places around the Web, including the UK's Daily Telegraph website.

I don't know if I have any Norwegian readers, but if I do, I hope you're all safe, and that everyone you know is safe. My deepest sympathies are with you; we in the U.S. are no strangers to terrorism, foreign or domestic, and we wouldn't wish it on anyone.


Clarissa said...

This is truly horrible.

I've already seen two comparisons between this terror attack and the shootings by Jared Loughner. I sincerely hope that this tragedy will not spur yet another round of anti-Asperger paranoia.

Lindsay said...

"I sincerely hope that this tragedy will not spur yet another round of anti-Asperger paranoia."

It doesn't seem that way so far ... they mostly seem to be looking into the shooter's political activities.

Unknown said...

Did they even say anything about Asperger's in the article? Sometimes I have that gut feeling...

This is truly %&*$ scary. My sister always travels to Europe, sometimes to areas where terrorist attacks are frequent! I hope none of this ever happens to her, or anyone.