Today, the Kingdom of Norway has had its 9/11 moment July 22,2011 where car bomb blew up in a building where the Prime Minister offices. Killing Seven. Hours later A gunman dress up like a local police officer open fire on kids and adults at a summer camp on the island of Utoya, 50 miles south of Oslo, Norway’s Capitol. Belfast Telegraph:
As many as 30 people are feared dead after a gunman opened fire at Norway Labour Party’s youth camp on the island of Utoya, fifty miles south of Oslo.
An eyewitness reported seeing between 25 and 30 bodies. Police have confirmed that nine or ten people were killed, but said that is a preliminary figure.
An eyewitness told Norwegian broadcaster NRK he saw more than 20 bodies on the shore and in the water. It is understood panicked teenagers had tried to flee the island by swimming as the gunman opened fire.
Police said they did not know the motive or whether the attacks were the work of one person or a terrorist group, but Justice Minister Knut Storberget said the man who opened fire at the youth camp is Norwegian.
In Oslo, the capital and the city where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, the bombing left a square covered in twisted metal, shattered glass, documents expelled from surrounding buildings and a dust-fogged scene that reminded one visitor from New York of Sept. 11.
Ian Dutton, who was in a nearby hotel, people “just covered in rubble” were walking through “a fog of debris.”
“It wasn’t any sort of a panic,” he said, “It was really just people in disbelief and shock.”
And this from the New York Times:
Conflicting reports centered on one group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or the Helpers of the Global Jihad. According to Will McCants, a terrorism analyst at C.N.A., a research institute, the group issued a statement claiming responsibility, saying the attack was a response to the presence of Norwegian forces in Afghanistan and to unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad.
But Norwegian television reports later suggested that the group had denied responsibility. In the immediate aftermath of recent terrorist attacks, jihadi forums are often filled with claims and counterclaims that are impossible to independently confirm.
Reaction from World leaders expressing concern and support for the Norwegian people. From the London Daily Mail:
Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK stood ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Norway.
The statement of support came as diplomats sought to check whether any British nationals were caught up in the carnage.
Mr Hague said: ‘I send my deepest condolences to all those who have lost relatives or been injured in today’s horrific bomb blast in Oslo.
‘Our Embassy stands ready to provide assistance to any British nationals who may have been caught up in the attack.
‘We condemn all acts of terrorism. The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Norway and all our international allies in the face of such atrocities.
‘We are committed to work tirelessly with them to combat the threat from terrorism in all its forms.’
U.S. President Barack Obama said the incidents were ‘a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring.’
Heide Bronke, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, said Washington was monitoring the situation but did not have any word of U.S. casualties.
Our Prayers goes out the Norway and her people.
We are all Norwegian now.