Norwegian police dismiss jihadist role in Oslo attacks

Norwegian authorities have reportedly arrested a 32-year-old man named Anders Behring Breivik in connection with Friday’s terrorist attack. While his precise motives remain unclear, the police have reportedly dismissed any ties to jihadism. The Norwegian press is also reporting that Breivik may be a right-wing extremist.

The story continues to evolve and Breivik’s alleged role remains to be confirmed.

Early reports tying the attack to jihadist terror were based largely on online claims of responsibility. Known jihadist forums, including one connected to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack. In addition, an al Qaeda plot in Oslo was broken up just last year when members of an al Qaeda cell, under the direction of senior al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, were arrested while planning to build a bomb. That plot was part of a wider al Qaeda effort to attack targets in the US, UK, and Norway. Senior al Qaeda leaders have also repeatedly threatened Norway because of its role in the Afghan war.

While the near simultaneous nature of the attack, with a large bomb followed shortly after by a shooting spree at a youth camp, fits the modus operandi of jihadist groups, other details of the plot may not. Quoting from the Norwegian press, MSNBC cites Tore Bjorgo, a professor at Norwegian Police University College, as noting that the youth camp would be an odd target for international jihadists. For Bjorgo, the choice of that target suggested a more local motive. “I have consistently kept the possibility open that this might be the extreme right,” Bjorgo told Norway’s NRK.

MSNBC is also reporting that Norway’s largest television broadcaster has identified Breivik as belonging to “right-wing extremist groups in eastern Norway.”

Thus far, Norwegian authorities have fingered Breivik as the lone alleged attacker, suggesting that he was behind both the bomb in Oslo as well as the shooting spree. The attacks may have killed upwards of 80 people, according to the latest estimates.

The story continues to evolve and new details will undoubtedly emerge in the coming days.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal. Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.


  • blert says:

    That a green solo maniac could work such bloody havoc.
    I’m reminded of the Pope’s assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, who at first blush appeared to be a member of the Right. It finally came out that he was being ‘run’ by the Bulgarian KGB. The scheme started in Moscow — and they needed to burn a valuable asset to get at the Pope.
    I would regard Mullah Krekar to be valuable enough for major intrigue.
    Just how odd is it that Krekar threatens the government with massive retaliation — which then happens out of the blue.
    The timing is simply amazing.

  • Soccer says:

    He was indeed a right wing extremist.
    Look at this:
    And this:
    In both links, he discusses nationalism within Norway, anti multicultural/immigrant sentiment, as well as Muslims planning to turn Europe into a “Sharia” state.
    You’ll need Google Translate or Chrome to translate the documents for you.
    As for the jihadists claiming responsibility, it’s just what the intelligence official said – it’s a claim of desperation. Not ALL jihadists, or even the majority of them are connected and thus when one group figure says it was a work of the “mujahideen”, they are really just taking out of thin air and they really have no idea what they are talking about.
    Remember when Baitullah Mehsud famously claimed that the mentally ill Chinese immigrant who shot up a language learning center for immigrants was his man sent to kill the Americans in revenge for the drone strikes that hammered South Waziristan in late 2008 and continued until the summer of 2009? It was a lie based on desperation, just like the current claim by the jihadists are as well.

  • Graham says:

    Jihadis, far-right terrorists, far-leftist terrorists, and such are all part of the same vermin herd which advocates the slaughter of unarmed, innocent bystanders as a way to advance their political, religious, or sectarian agenda. They should all rot.

  • James says:

    Anders, you are a coward of epic proportions. Shame, shame, shame…

  • grald says:

    How pathetic. AQ has to claim other peoples attacks now. My heart goes out to the people of Norway.

  • Vienna,23-07-2011
    I see a parallel to David Headley+Rana intelligence
    gathering for attack in Nordic countries and India soon
    after the Bombay attack in 2008 November. They had
    plans to attack the Danish newspaper,targets in Ireland,Sweden and Norway. There was blonde American female arrested. FBI had announced the foiling of the
    terror plot. It could be the plot was linked.
    I say this to point out the basic police investigation
    technique involves first identifying suspicion chance to
    rule out the suspicion convincingly to close on the culprit.
    I do not believe this to be lonely wolf operation at all.
    It would help making the young man naked once
    as they do in Pakistan to make sure if the suspect is
    Muslim or qafr Hindu on the basis of circumcision,
    male genital mutilation tradition to make a Muslim.
    Al-Queda besides, had announced plans to use converts
    for attack in the west.So do not conclude it is the single
    man right extremist work.I say from my experience of
    underworld mafia behaviours in the east.
    Kulamarva Balakrishna
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring,TTTMM,

  • Zeissa says:

    I’m half-Norwegian.
    Anyway, this could easily have been AQ instead (‘cept the youth camp thing), they had a bomb last year which failed.

  • Max says:

    A news report said that he had posted on websites with “fundamentalist Christian tendencies”. So now anyone perceived to be a “fundamentalist Christian” will come under suspicion, no doubt. Nonsense!
    Fundamentalist Christianity doesn’t teach this. Jesus said to turn the other cheek, not to take up arms against the government (wherever you happen to be).
    Being a soldier, sailor, airman, marine: that’s ok; taking it upon yourself to murder people for any reason, not ok. This guy is just a nutcase using the same methodology as the Islamists in Pakistan and elsewhere.

  • Mark says:

    I agree with Max in that fundamental Christianity does not teach these kinds of acts nor is it anywhere within Christian doctrine. This is the problem with trying to tag an event without full information. Take a look at the picture. He is wearing Masonic dress. So, by his association with that would that indicate that the Masons were behind it? That would be a ridiculous assumption and goes to show how something can be taken out of context.
    Right-wing connections should not be ruled out. However there is the possibility that this is the first major attack at the cultural level of push back against the Islamist movement prevalent in Europe and growing in other Western countries(Islamist being defined as the movements by political Islam to attempt to force governments to make concessions to change to recognize shari’a law or accept Islamic customs that are contrary to that particular socieity’s/country’s customs and laws). Not saying this is the case, but should be considered as an indicator of increasing social frustration and tension over these issues being seen as an increasing threat to those socieities.

  • Don Juice says:

    “Being a soldier, sailor, airman, marine: that’s ok;” some christians dont even believe in that like Jehovah witness so thats only your interpetation.Jesus said nothing about defending yourself aganist harm.

  • Max says:

    I’m puzzled as to why this “right-wing” guy would massacre a bunch of kids at a summer camp. How does this advance his agenda against Liberals (if that’s what it really is)? Bombing the government building fits that picture, but not killing kids, it seems to me.

  • ConcernedMuslim says:

    Will it still be called a terror attack now that the man isn’t Muslim ?
    I doubt it…
    Pathetic Hypocrisy

  • irsha says:

    when norway involved in lots of terorism support example isreil and sri lanka LTTE. when it come to them now they suffer. dont trust CNN BBC intially they try to put blam on muslems.
    finally they were sppechless. they claiming some pakistani’s ;\living in oslo and there chances of doing this type of attack. now whole worls understand why BBC/CNN moto.
    by the way oslo motivate lots of terorist group they got guy call eric solhaim
    he who was responsible for all

  • ooops, blunder says:

    Don Juice wrote “some christians dont even believe in that like Jehovah witness”
    Dude, Jehovah witness’s are not a christian group in any sense of the tenets of christianty. More like antichrists…
    really, get your facts straight don.

  • Charu says:

    Right-wing extremists (and left-wing extremists) and Islamists are two-sides of the same coin. It is the same fascistic/totalitarian and fanatical mindset that enslaves and murders people who wish to be free and democratic. There was little difference between the 20th century fascists and the communists, and today the greatest threat to our liberties are the Islamists and the Chinese dictatorship.

  • brickerb52 says:

    I think he owns that is where goes

  • Neo says:

    A lot of things can be labeled extremist. My litmus test for a dangerous extremist is, have they embraced political violence as a means of furthering their views. There are many political and social views that can be described as particularly odious, depending on one

  • Villiger says:

    Extract from yahoo news
    “A Facebook page under Breivik’s name was taken down late Friday. A Twitter account under his name had only one Tweet, on July 17, loosely citing English philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”
    Beliefs, ideologies, be they of the left or of the right, religious or not, are dangerous. We are One World–that is a tangible physical fact, but not psychologically. The farther we move away from Nature and its inherent supreme intelligence, of which we are actually a part, the more twisted we human beings become in our doings and the society(ies) we create. Accept it, we are a Type Zero civilization, as ‘modern’ as we may think to be, we are far from cohabiting a global village.

  • Max says:

    You made an excellent point! The conventional wisdom that “right wing” is conservative and “left wing” is liberal is a joke. Nazi stands for “National Socialist”. Stalin and Hitler got along great until Hitler invaded, something that isn’t widely known, it seems. Their government philosophies were both dictatorships and the people in both nations had zilch freedom, so how can there really be any difference between a Nazi and a Communist? There isn’t. The Founding Fathers of the US had the right idea: limited Republican government with maximum personal freedom and responsibility. We haven’t had much of that for a long time.

  • Mirage says:

    At first, i thought it was an Al-Qaeda or one of Gaddafi’s many “promised” terrorist attacks against NATO… i’m sure glad it’s not, but a terrorist attack is the same, no matter who does it
    May God help those who are suffering because of these deadly attacks!

  • Trent says:

    This is lunacy.
    Since he is a Christian now everyone wants to call him an extremist instead of a terrorist.
    Islamic or Christian, either way he is a right-wing religious fascist.
    Religion poisons everything. Long live secularism.

  • Don Juice says:

    Ooops wrote “Dude, Jehovah witness’s are not a christian group in any sense of the tenets of christianty. More like antichrists…
    really, get your facts straight don.” just because you dont agree with them dosent mean their not a sect of christianity…theres many different sects all claiming to be the true one and the other false so this idea that you considered them “antichrists” are irrevelant…still a denomination of christianity…so YOU get your facts straight and LOOK IT UP.

  • Niels Brinch says:

    Dear friends
    As I wrote yesterday – this turned out to be something quite different than what many of us probably thought from the outset.
    Huge carbomb in a city oslo in a country where there had been a re-printing of the Mohammed cartoons – it seemes to many of us to be – well almost – a clearcut case.
    We should all learn from this. One – probably acting on his own – Norwegian man – probably used one of the strongest carbombs in recent history diverted the attention – also ours – from his focus – to execute one by one at least 85 young people on a very small island 40 km’s from Oslo – horrific – and no connection what so ever to AQ. all the best Niels

  • ooops, blunder says:

    Yeah don should I look it up on Wikipedia? lol… if it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably not a duck. right…I have read their literature and talked to their people in person. They do not believe in Christ, thus they are non Christian. Maybe you should LOOK IT UP, as to what is Christianity. and what it means to look like a duck, walk like a duck and quack like a duck, as making you a true duck…
    Sorry dude your wrong.

  • Swede says:

    It appears he was able to buy large quanitites of synthetic fertilizer without arousing suspicion because he owned a farming property and was ethnically Norwegian. Possibly a blind spot that needs looking at in the monitoring system.
    Those are materials that can hardly be easy for jihadist terrorists to get hold of in Europe today.
    When it comes to the youth camp, this perpetrator seems motivated by nothing but sheer hatred and viciousness against the Social Democratic party in Norway.

  • GW says:

    I believe that the camp was attended by kids associated with the Labour party; which is why he attacked them. I suppose it would be like a gathering of young republicans and young democrats here in the US.

  • Swede says:

    Now that his manifesto and journal are downloadable it looks like he’s trying to start a kind of decentralized anti-al-Qaeda modelled on the Knights Templar.
    He wants to stop “islamization” in Europe but chose to attack political symbols and members of a leftist political party’s youth organization because he considers them traitors.
    The release of the manifesto can be seen as part three… after the two attacks. It’s chillingly well organized and thought through.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if he inspires copy-cats.

  • Villiger says:

    Trent, you’re right.
    I’m afraid, nationalism too. But thats a more difficult one to counter. Lets start with eliminating all organized religions.
    Lest people jump onto this, i am not advocating any aggressive governmental intervention here. This is an issue of human consciousness not politics.
    We are light years away from arriving at any such lofty place. We are a very mad world indeed. Defeats me why we choose to live like this.
    In the end its upto each one of us. The devil is in the detail; so are the angels.

  • villiger says:

    This mistake of a creep should never have been born. He’s spiritually utterly depraved. Look at the idiot in all his regalia. They should lock him up for life in a cage on that island and throw away the key in the bloodied waters.

  • Don Juice says:

    Smh…and you calling me the duck..they considered nontrinitarian christians bringing the purest form of chistianity.I understand they are not part of mainstream christianity,but under christianity they will be considered a sect with their own intrepetation just like all the other thousands of christian sects claiming they have the right doctrine.They do believe in christ but in a different way,I have debated them myself…I never heard them consider themselves seperate from christianity.

  • Neo says:

    I hate to say it, but at one point or another, I have seen just about every belief turned into justification to attack others. Attacking other belief systems is frequently at the core of many political and religious movements. In western countries many mainstream populist movements can themselves become quite strident. It

  • Mr T says:

    I heard that the longest sentence you can get in Norway is 21 years. No wonder he gave up. Not much of a deterrent. It does seem strange that he would attack a youth camp.
    I am interested in his associates. He doesn’t appear to be insane. He seems to hold very strong views that may be shared by others. It certainly is a shared philosopy with Islamic terrorists. Bomb and kill innocents, and instill fear and terror until I get my way.
    Who would think that the terror that Islamic radicals bring to the world could also be brought to them. One day, more people may believe that bombing innocents around Islamic terrorist havens is a good method to stop their killing ways. If you don’t want to live in terror, tell us who the terrorists among you are.
    I didn’t know there was a movement like that afoot, especially in a place like Norway. You just never know what people can be driven too in defense of “their lands” to co-opt an excuse given by Islamists for murdering innocents.


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