Updated 12:49 EST July 24
The accused has reportedly admitted his involvement in the attack on Utoya Island, where he dressed as a policeman. This attack was preplanned and careful thought out- A person who identified himself as Andrew Berwick also uploaded a video on YouTube calling calls for conservatives to “embrace martyrdom” six hours before the bomb in the center of Oslo went off. Reports suggests that there may have been another gunman involved as eye witnesses report gunshots coming from two different places in the island.
The killer’s manifesto “2083: A European Declaration of Independence”: a 1,518-page manifesto and handbook
In it, “Berwick” declares himself a “Justiciar Knight Commander,” a leading member of a “re-founded” Knights Templar group formed at an April 2002 meeting in London. He claims the founding group has 9 members, whom he does not name, and that three other sympathizers were not able to attend the original meeting.
“Our purpose,” the document reads, is to “seize political and military control of Western European countries and implement a cultural conservative political agenda.”
Update 630AM EST July 23
-“Jihad in Norway” headliner Geller may have been one of the “media inspirations” for Oslo Terrorist ‘Tied to Right Wing Extremism’ . See this link on LGF Â (Note: Charles Johnson who runs this site was himself a huge Islamophobe, but has since moderated his views). We caught Pamela updating her site as news of involvement of Islamists started dissipating.Â
–CNN is “finally” reporting the guy’s religion, saying that Norwegian police is calling him a “Christian fundamentalist” Â (if he were a Muslim, that would be the first point).
-Examples of media outlets, one directly and another indirectly, reporting “confirmed” involvement of Islamists.
- Rubin at Washington Post goes further. She assumes the “AlQaeda case”, then goes into a jibberish about how American shouldn’t make defense cuts!Â DEMAND WaPo retract the article and apologize!
- An “expert” on AlJazeera has no doubts about the “Islamist connection”. We expected better from AJE!
- The Sun newspaper blames al-Qaeda
–Juan Cole: White Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism in Norway
-Electronic Intifada: How a clueless â€œterrorism expertâ€ set media suspicion on Muslims after OsloÂ horror
–Richard Silverstein:Â Suspected Oslo killer a fan of Israel: ‘Defeating Eurabia;’ hated feminism; loved Israel
-Norwegian terror suspect looked to the English Defence League as ‘an example’
–MediaMatters:Â Fox Juxtaposes Norwegian Terrorist Attack, NYC Islamic Center
Serenity. Neutrality. On any other day, these are the terms that most readily come to mind when one thinks of Scandinavia.
Chaos. Terror. Today, these descriptions are sadly much more apt.
- At 3:30pm on Friday afternoon, powerful explosions rocked downtown Oslo, Norway in an area home to several government buildings, including the office of the Norwegian prime minister.
- The blasts blew out windows and caused other structural damage although, perhaps owing to the timing of the attacks, casualties were limited with reportedly 7 dead and 15 wounded.
- Nearly two hours after the bombings, a separate shooting incident occurred at a youth camp for the governing Labor Party when an individual dressed as a police officer opened fire on a crowd of mostly 15 and 16 year old campers, reportedly killing ten people.
- Norwegian authorities subsequently arrested a suspect – a native Norwegian – and withheld any information on him.
- Sources now confirm that this 32-year old Norwegian man “does not appear to be linked to Islamist terrorism.”
Affirming all those who cautioned against prejudgement, the official went on to say:
“[T]he attacks probably have more in common with the 1995 attack on a U.S. federal building in Olkahoma City than the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.”
Some may think that Norway is the prototypical neutral Scandinavian enclave. The reality is a bit different, however:
- Norway is a member of NATO and as such is bound by NATO’s collective defense pact.
- As a result of their membership in NATO, Norway has had a sustained military presence in Afghanistan – albeit with more of a token role.
- Norwegian fighter jets are also participating in operations over Libya that have been ongoing for four months.
- In addition to these military engagements, Norway has also garnered extremist ire by republishing the infamous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in 2010.
As one would expect, most initial theories regarding the “who” and “why” of these incidents center around Muslim extremists:
- Several jihadist groups claimed responsibility for today’s events, but none of the confessions were ever regarded as credible.
- One year ago, Norway was the target of a foiled Al-Qaeda plot likely motivated by the points mentioned above.
- Yet, given the time lapse between the bombings and the shooting, police, to their great credit, never ruled out that this was the work of a lone individual.
From the prime minister to the police commissioner, Norwegian officials never capitulated to all the talking heads assuring them that this was the work of Islamists. Truly, they deserve to be commended for standing up in the face of xenophobic pressure.
Much remains unanswered, however, and on the whole there are few elements to this story that are either neat or tidy.
Stay tuned to MuslimMatters for continuing coverage of this story.
Posted by Hena Zuberi
We are following and sharing tweets about this incident and the irresponsible coverage that forces all Muslims to live guilty until proven innocent. We demand better journalism by all mainstream news media. Real lives are affected by these events, the victims first and foremost and others as well, as there were immediate reports of Muslims being targeted in Norway after initial coverage. Groups like Helpers of the Global Jihad who claim responsibility and later withdraw their claim do nothing but fan the flames of anti-Muslim rhetoric. Any keyboard jihadist on an obscure website can claim responsibility for an attack but repercussions are far-reaching.
MuslimCouncil MCBby MuslimMatters Irrespective of who was responsible, tonight our thoughts are with the families and friends of those killed and injured in senseless attack.
dreadpiratemick Mick To everyone who assumed the Oslo bomber was an Arab, how does it feel being a racist?
Gro Villumstad Velle I’m really proud of the police, ambulances and other emergency services in Oslo today. Despite some initial claims of “chaos” from journalists, it’s becoming increasingly clear that everything has been efficient, well organized and as calm as can be expected. No one on the official side is speculating, just calmly stating facts and how people should act. Fantastic work guysGro Villumstad Velle They say he is part of one of the neo-nazi groups in Norway. The camp he attached is the youth camp of the biggest political party in Norway Labor Party (Arbeiderpartiet). The prime minister was supposed to speak there tomorrow. Former prime minister Gro Harlem Bruntland was at the island today
Another friend, who I knew from the International Student’s AssociationÂ from University of New Orleans was a few miles away from the attack stated this about the attack (in Norwegian) which I had translated by Gro.
I was in the restroom at Oslo S (the central train station) when the bomb went off and the building was shaking…. got on the first tram out of the city… Didn’t know what had happened then, but felt I didn’t have anything more to do downtown! (And I got that confirmed later on!)
This was the alleged perpetrator’s one and only tweet from his supposed Twitter account which was recently setup.
This tweet says it all:
washingtonpost The Washington Post
In the immediate aftermath of the attack in Oslo, speculation about the party that might be responsible has centered on Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish militant group that has been tied by U.S. officials to al-Qaeda and that carried out attacks on American troops and civilians in Iraq at the height of the war there.
The U.S. ambassador to Norway, Barry White, said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon that investigators were still assembling information about the attacks and had not reached any conclusions on who was responsible.
â€œThey\’re still looking at it,â€ White said. â€œOften times the early answers are the wrong ones.â€
[Note from editors: In subsequent news reports, officials said the attacker was a Norwegian man.]
â€œNorway has had problems with indigenous jihadis and its foreign policy has been closely linked with the United States so there are at least two possible dimensions here,â€ said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. â€œThe fact that there were able to get a car bomb that close to government buildings would suggest some sophistication.â€
Police say Oslo blast, youth camp shooting rampage were domestic terror; 16 dead, 1 arrested
A police official said the 32-year-old ethnic Norwegian suspect arrested at the camp on Utoya island appears to have acted alone in both attacks, and that â€œit seems like that this is not linked to any international terrorist organizations at all.â€ The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that information had not been officially released by Norway\’s police. â€œIt seems it\’s not Islamic-terror related,â€ the official said. â€œThis seems like a madman\’s work.â€
So even in the exoneration of Muslims, what is being said? That all other human being regardless of color, race, ethnicity, religion who carry acts of horrific mass murder and destruction are madman, lunatics, not fit for trial but all those who claim to follow Islam and commit gross acts of violence are sane and methodical in their thought.
Muslimmatters will continue to provide updates as the story keeps unfolding.
Facts Update: Eighty young teenagers were indiscriminately fired at by a tall, blonde man dressed in a policeman’s uniform. People said that after the gunman started shooting, campers jumped into the water to try to escape the hail of bullets. Read rest here.