Home / News & Views / Update4 | Terrorism in Oslo, Norway – Sources Confirm No Islamist Link | Suspect Admits to Attack

Update4 | Terrorism in Oslo, Norway – Sources Confirm No Islamist Link | Suspect Admits to Attack

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  (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. 

-CNN is “finally” reporting the guy's religion, saying that Norwegian police is calling him a “Christian fundamentalist”  (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! 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 “terrorism expert” set media suspicion on Muslims after Oslo horror

-Richard Silverstein: 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: Fox Juxtaposes Norwegian Terrorist Attack, NYC Islamic Center

-Tweets:

#Oslo is a textbook case in recency bias. Crazy didn't start with Bin Laden. It has a long history & Muslims play a comparatively tiny role. [TheAlexandrian Youssef Chouhoud]

The #Oslo suspect's one and only tweet: “@AndersBBreivik One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests.” [TheAlexandrian Youssef Chouhoud]

No mention of “lone-ranger”, “mentally unstable” white guy's religion. Like AZ shooter, case of cognitive dissonance? http://t.co/qnExC5j [MuslimMatters Muslim Matters]

Keep an eye on @teymoornabili on @AJEnglish going to revisit “experts” that kept claiming AQ in #Oslo [MuslimMatters Muslim Matters]

Islamophobia breeds terrorism. #OSLO [khan_zubair Zubair Ahmed Khan]

Praying for Norway. Hope this helps put right wing anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hate rhetoric in proper light. #Oslo [lsarsour Linda Sarsour]

Anders Behring Breivik is a supporter of hate groups SIOE and EDL:http://bit.ly/n2Istr #Islamophobia #Oslo #Islam [loonwatchers LoonWatch]

—————-

Background

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.

The Facts:

While the story is still developing, this is what we know for sure:

  • 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.”

The Background:

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.

The Speculation:

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.

macleanbrendan Brendan Maclean Of course The Sun hasn't stopped itself from jumping to any conclusions with it's headline: NORWAY'S 9/11 http://twitpic.com/5u6n2l #oslo

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.

@milanaknez Milana Knezevic Reports of muslims of all ages being harassed in oslo already (via @hwangberg ). Lets not let this happen! We are all Norwegians! #oslo

@HistoryNeedsYou Sir James Pennyman Police believe that the culprit was behind both attacks. They believe it's a local political attack not international terrorism… #Utoya

MuslimMatters Muslim Matters Off media narrative: All non-Muslim terrorists mentally unstable #Oslo All Muslim terrorists brilliant intellectuals w/firm footing in Islam

MuslimMatters Muslim Matters Is OK-city-bombing-blame-Muslims routine repeating w #Oslo? MSM routine w/ impunity everytime? No consequence for irresponsible reporting?

HenaZuberi Hena Zuberi Lone ranger/mentally unstable-excuses for all Non Muslim extremists “get loony card” “go free” #Oslo

dreadpiratemick Mick To everyone who assumed the Oslo bomber was an Arab, how does it feel being a racist?

RuwaydaMustafah Ruwayda Mustafah AP just repeated what you said 3 hours ago about Norway being more like Oklahoma City. @alphaleah #Oslo #BetterJournalism

JMRooker JM Rooker So, the Oslo bombing was a Christian terrorist attack? I assume we've already demanded all Christians everywhere denounce it?

My childhood friend who lives in Oslo, Gro, had this to state on her Facebook status:
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 guys
Gro 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 Association  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.

@AndersBBreivik One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests. #Oslo.

This tweet says it all:

justimage matthew cassel retweeted by MuslimMatters
Troubling to think about how many times words related to Islam were used tonight in a horrific story that had nothing to do with it.

Continued speculation on the Washington Post: By , and | posted at 02:48 PM ET, 07/22/2011 but tweeted out again by the Washington Post -20 minutes ago 8:32 EST.

washingtonpost The Washington Post

In Norway attack, speculation centers on Kurdish group http://wapo.st/nC0hdK via @PostWorldNews

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.

Norway\'s contingent in Afghanistan, or even its “cartoon crisis” of 2006, could make the country a target for any number of terrorist groups, as the Atlantic has noted.

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.

“They\'re still looking at it,” White said. “Often times the early answers are the wrong ones.”

 

[Note from editors: In subsequent news reports, officials said the attacker was a Norwegian man.]
Talkingheads: And the so-called experts aren't helping:

“Norway 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,” said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. “The fact that there were able to get a car bomb that close to government buildings would suggest some sophistication.”

We now know that Norwegian police has arrested an 'ethnic' Norwegian man, Anders Behring Breivik. Norway largest newspaper, VG,  published his name and picture.

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 “it seems like that this is not linked to any international terrorist organizations at all.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because that information had not been officially released by Norway\'s police. “It seems it\'s not Islamic-terror related,” the official said. “This seems like a madman\'s work.”

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.

About Youssef Chouhoud

Youssef is from Brooklyn, New York by way of Alexandria, Egypt. Currently, he is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California studying Political Science and International Relations. A student of Islam, history, and politics, his recent extended stay in Cairo placed him squarely at the nexus of these disciplines. Follow him on Twitter (@TheAlexandrian) as he tries to make sense of all that's happening in Tahrir and beyond.

22 comments

  1. Isn’t it a little early to be concluding anything? Why not patiently analyze the facts, as they arise, and follow them, wherever they lead, in an unbiased manner?

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  2. At 4 am Norwegian police confirmed that at least 80 people were killed at Utøya. The young persons did not have a chance. They were trapped on an island with the killer. The killer was dressed in a police uniform and allegedly came to the camp to talk to the kids about the bomb in Oslo.

    This is a sad day for Norway.

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    • Gro- All of you are in our prayers. We have become so desensitized to violence that we forget that these are real humans with families, feelings, loved ones that they leave behind. Thank you for sharing the news with us even though I know it must be so painful.

      What was his motivation? Have they found anything about that?

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  3. Alleged Facebook Page PDF Copy:

    http://www.solidprinciples.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Anders-Behring-Breivik-FACEBOOK.pdf

    scroll down and look at his Religious Views.

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  4. His comments on a website translated from Norwegian to English shows how much he hated Islam:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.document.no%2Fanders-behring-breivik%2F&act=url

    But I’m surprised he didn’t target any Muslim places. Was he blaming the ruling party for the Muslims being in Norway?

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    • It’s to early to conclude on anything yet. But the Labor party is in government in Norway and has been for a long time. It might be that he has targeted the party. They are in a way responsible for the multicultural society that Norway is becoming. There is an ongoing discussion in Norway on integration. Especially in Oslo, where integration or lack of such is an increasing problem. Even though we have an discussion in Norway this is the work of a sick man.

      Today is not a day for hate, we need to keep our hearts warm and reach out to all off the teenagers that were at Utøya and their families. 84 are now confirmed dead. In Oslo the bomb killed 7. The numbers will keep raising.

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  5. Muslim, Christian, what’s the difference? Only the religious could do this.

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    • Hiroshima. Mongols. WWI. WWII.

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      • Ones without religion did far worse:

        Stalin
        Mao

        Between them, staggering 150 million killed.

        When you have no moral compass, no afterlife consequence, what’s there to stop you. When you die, you just die, so who cares as long as your self-interests are front and center.

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  6. OMG, do you know how worried I was in the Uk? I have family in Norway too.Wallahi I was like if its some idiot extremist who happens to be Muslim, I am on the next flight to Dubai. SubhanAllah.

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  7. Also, previously on AlJazeera English, there was an interviewee who commented on the blonde hair and the overall appearance of the suspect man in custody saying, ”well there are many Scandinavian converts to Islam” etc etc. What the heck? Anyways, I feel sorry for the youth that were shot dead, many were between the ages of 14-18 whom he pretended to help. What an evil man.

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  8. Evil comes in all colors and shapes. White, black, brow and yellow, muslim, christian, atheist and non-religious. Evil is evil. The episode in Norway seems to be one evil mans work. Maybe he had some helpers. But he is pure evil. I kind of comprehend the attack on the government buildings, but I can not grasp the evil of attacking a youth camp. We have no-one to loose. The stories of the surviving teenagers are heartbreaking. They’ve seen friends killed, they’ve run for their lives, they’ve swam in the lake with him taking a shot at them.

    The man responsible for this is evil. He will be punished according to Norwegian law. The people of Norway will fight the evil with love. Hatred is not the solution to deal with this. I cite the prime minister: We will fight this with openness and democracy.

    Survivors of the attack on Utøya already wants to take the island back. They will not be driven away. They refuse to surrender to evil!

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  9. NY times reports chilling new details of the victim’s intent. This plan was well thought out and not the work of a ‘mad man’. He along with his followers have are on a mission to rid europe of multiculturalism and Islam. Details of the report are sccarrryyy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/world/europe/24oslo.html?pagewanted=1&hp

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  10. My thoughts:

    -Prayers for the victims. Feels good to join Norwegians without feeling like others are looking at u as the perpetrator!

    -*Important one* 911 = watershed moment for Muslims, though vast majority of us had nothing to do with it. Oslo turning out to be a watershed moment for Islamophobes, who have everything to do with it

    ‎-American citizen, Awlaki, is on the official assassination list for inspiring the failed “underwear” terror plot. Oslo killer, Anders Breivik. cited Robert Spencer 40 times in his manifesto. Not calling for assassination, but can we at least put Spencer, Geller, Shoebat & the crew in a lunatics asylum?? Keep their filth out of the hands of more right-wing terrorists. Save more lives!

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  11. Okay, it has been a few days, and I have read a few articles from a few different sources. The terrorist appears to be a neo-Nazi style European nationalist, probably acting alone. Some of his conspiracy theories sound uncomfortably like what I hear from Tea Party types in America. He might or might not be clinically insane, it is too early to tell, but he is sane enough to plan an effective terrorist attack on the rulers of his country, and their youth (what an evil jerk to attack children!). He allegedly regrets having to kill, but explains that it is necessary. Anytime human life is subordinated to a moral principle, the moral principle is instantly suspect. No evil person ever admits they are evil. They always have an explanation for what they say and do.

    Resist extremism in all forms. Hold human life above all ideology.

    Condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and to the people of Norway.

    For apologists of Muslim terrorists, congratulations. You now have one more name to add to your list of non-Muslims who commit terrorist atrocities. I am sure you will be happy to add Anders Breivik to the list that includes Timothy McVeigh, Baruch Goldstein, . . . wait, who else is there? I was certain there were at least a few more names on that list. Help me, please, somebody. Thanks.

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    • I find some of your comments frankly offensive and dumb. Even in moments like this, you can’t truly hide the dripping condescending attitude towards Muslims that flows from you.

      Why do you feel apologists for Muslim terrorists are the only ones who would refer to “non-Muslim terrorists”. You don’t have to tax your brain too much about “few more names”. The majority of terrorists have been non-Muslims. But unlike you, we are not keeping count.

      All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t
      AND
      Daily Titan: Only 6 Percent of Terrorists are Muslim
      It DOES matter when Muslims are singled out, only to have someone who isn’t one, committing a massacre. It reinforces the truth that nuts come from all religions, they are not exclusive to Islam. Muslim nuts just get more publicity and considered “true Muslim fundamentalists”, while Christian ones are dismissed as lone-rangers & madmen.

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  12. I understand the frustration about blaming Muslims for random terror – but it doesn’t win Muslims any friends to push that this man was a Christian – especially when he obviously was not. Muslims will more quickly lose the extremist label if they take people if other faiths as friends rather than making themselves super-inclusive with the defensive blame-game rhetoric that they are often victim of themselves. As you know this kind of behavior only breeds misunderstanding and anger, when what we need – between faiths – is understanding and grace. Yes, Christians have a role in this too, but fighting each other because of what the media says is like hitting the wrong person in a fight.

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    • Thanks for the comment Jason

      In this article reflecting more of our sentiments, I have pointed out what should satisfy you in terms of a positive response:

      Secondly, this incident is a stark reminder of that there are nuts in all religions. Police in Norway have called the alleged mastermind, a “Christian fundamentalist”. But does this guy really represent Christianity? Does he really speak for Christians? Does he really follow Christian traditions? And I believe for all sane people, the answer is a resounding NO. As Muslims, we know it. We don’t need to be reminded of it. We have enough common sense to make a distinction between nuts and mainstream practitioners….

      I am hoping to write a post “Why Anders Christian fundamentalism should not matter”. Because you can see from his manisfesto that his reasons were clearly political and hatred-driven. And if you ask the radicals among Muslims, they might also have “Muslim fundamentalist” cloaks, but they are ultimately driven by political and non-religious motivations (see this series covering Dalia Mogahed’s book esp sections 3a/b)

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      • Ahmad,

        I very much appreciate your reply and am encouraged that you are taking the effort to combat this issue. I truly believe your approach on this topic is what will make a real difference. We have, on a daily basis, the perpetuation of hate and fear-mongering. Yet, none of these paths of provided an acceptable or rational end to our needs – that is, no peace has come from such a method. Rather, the perpetuation of evil deeds has come from such a response to evil deeds. Therefore, it stands to reason that an effort such as yours not only makes known a more accurate reality of the Muslim faith, it paves the way for an end to the war. As Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

        Grace and peace to you Ahmad.

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