Norway Terror Attack: Al Qaeda or a lone crazy?

Aftermath of the Oslo bomb attack

Many people have been quick to jump to the conclusion that the bomb attack on the office of the Norwegian Prime Minister in Oslo and the mass killing of young people attending a summer camp on the island of Utoeya is the work of Al Qaeda. According to an item in the on-line news publication The Week:

The island of Utoeya the day before the attack

…many people are blaming al Qaeda — citing a 2010 incident in which three men with alleged ties to the terror group were arrested, two of them in Norway, over a plotted terrorist attack. In Dubai’sal Arabiya, Ray Mosely recounts other reasons why the world’s best-known terror organization is a likely culprit in Friday’s assaults. It’s possible Al Qaeda was acting on past threats to retaliate if Norway didn’t withdraw its 500 troops from Afghanistan. Or perhaps al Qaeda is still angry over “the 2010 publication in the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet of a cartoon showing the Prophet Muhammad as a pig writing the Quran.” That led 1,000 Muslim taxi drivers to block the streets of central Oslo in February, 2010. 

However, the man arrested by police is a 32 year old Norwegian man with blond hair who has links with a right Norwegian political party. Remember also that the Prime Minister leads the left-of-center Labour Party and the youth camp that was attacked was sponsored by the the same political party. Add to that the fact that the Prime Minister was scheduled to visit the island of Utoeya at the time the gunman appeared and it begins to look like a different type of terrorist attack.

Remember Ted Kaczynski the Oklahoma “Unabomber” a politically inspired home-grown American terrorist who engaged in a series of attacks over a twenty year period? Remember also the attack on American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head by right-wing loner Jared Loughner. Going further back in time, there were the Bologna bombings in August 1980, when a group of right-wing terrorists exploded a bomb at a railroad station in Bologna, Italy, killing 84 people and injuring more than 180. Two months later, a right-wing terrorist attack in Munich Germany killed the attacker and 14 other people, injuring 215… The list goes on.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that Al Qaeda does not have a monopoly on world terror and there are plenty of crazies out there who wold happily kill and maim who have no links with Islam.


About stevehollier

Steve Hollier is the editor of AZ Magazine, an English language lifestyle magazine based in Baku, Azerbaijan. He began his career working for a firm of stockbrokers in the City of London then went on to attend the University of Essex where he was awarded an MA in Sociology in 1984. After a career in arts and cultural development work, he became a freelance arts consultant, writer and photographer.
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4 Responses to Norway Terror Attack: Al Qaeda or a lone crazy?

  1. scott says:

    dont overlook the possibility either. radical islamist will stop at nothing for the world to convert. dont play into there deadly game of terror by washing it over. we deserve the truth.

    • stevehollier says:

      I think that given the evidence [his own admission] , Anders Behring Breivik is a Neo-Nazi crazy…

      • scott says:

        Radical islamist have killed millions of people in the last 20 years! how long ago was the oklahoma city bombing? 16 years ago. The real threat today comes from the media condeming christians and ignoring the daily murders caused by radical islamist. write your next artical about that. dont be apart of the leftist lies or muslim extremist, i dont think you are on the same side as al qaeda. are you?

  2. stevehollier says:

    You are right, the Oklahoma bombing was sixteen years ago but the point I was making is that there are plenty of crazies out there who will do exactly the same things as radicalised Islamists for no better reasons. In the States [as in the UK and everywhere else], you have a long history of American citizens prepared to kill innocent people because a voice in their heads tells them to or because they want to be remembered.. For example:
    2007 Virginia Tech massacre [32 killed, 25 injured]
    2008 Northern Illinois University Shooting [5 killed, 21 injured]
    2009 Collier Township shooting [4 victims]
    2010 University of Alabama [3 killed, 3 wounded]
    2011 Tucson shooting [6 killed, 13 injured]

    If I wanted to be cynical I point to evidence suggesting that many thousands of Afghani civilians have died as a direct result of The War on Terror, thanks to the involvement of American, British and Norwegian troops [see: but I don’t want to get into the business of trading statistics.

    Obviously there is a real threat to Western democracies from radicalised groups that has to be countered however, a “crusade” is not the answer, unless you are actually looking to intensify the number and severity of terror attacks…

    By the way I am an atheist so no, I am not on the side of Al Qaeda…

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