- Oslo Bombing Suspect Anders Behring Breivik
We’ve been screaming from the top of our lungs about how these crazed radical anti-Muslim Islamophobes are inciting violence through their hate-mongering. Anders Behring Breivak, arrested as a suspect in the attack has written glowingly of Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, SIOE, and the EDL. Charles Johnson of LGF reports that he had a link with Fjordman who was a guest writer on Geller’s blog.
This explainer is being updated as more news emerges. Click here for photos from the sceneand here for details about the man arrested in connection with the attacks. For the latest news updates, click here.
The basics: A massive explosion hit Norway’s government hub in central Oslo on Friday, killing at least seven people and injuring at least 15 others. The six-story building that was most heavily damaged included the oil ministry and is next to the building that houses the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. The PM was unharmed in the blast and is now operating out of an undisclosed location. Witness testimony and damage at the scene are consistent with reports of a car bombing. The New York Times reports:
Stunned office staff and civil servants working in the vicinity of the bombed building said two explosions could be heard in close succession. The sound of the blasts echoed across the city just before 3:30 p.m. local time. Giant clouds of light-colored smoke continued to rise hundreds of feet into the air over the city…
Photos and television footage showed windows blown out in the 17-story office building across the street from the oil ministry, and the street and plaza areas on each side were strewn with glass and debris.
The first person on the scene “described it as ‘worse than a war zone,'” says Joe Sivilli, who’s talking to Mother Jones’ Tim McDonnell from on the ground in Oslo. Sivilli, who speaks Norwegian fluently, works at a home-brewed beer shop about 2 kilometers away from the site of the bombing. He says he felt a “rumble, like a small earthquake,” when the bomb went off, but assumed it was just “construction or something like that.” He’ll be monitoring the Norwegian-language media for us as this story develops.
Wasn’t there another attack? A gunman dressed as a policeman reportedly opened fire this afternoon at a Labour party youth camp on the island of Utoya, about 15 miles outside of Oslo, killing at least 80 people(police officials previously reported at least 10 casualties, but had expect that number to rise). Police have a suspect in custody. Prime Minister Stoltenberg was due to visit the camp tomorrow morning, according to NRK, Norway’s national public television broadcaster. (Stoltenberg has attended gatherings at the camp almost every year in recent memory.) On Friday evening, police found undetonated explosives on the island.
Close to 700 teenagers had gathered on Utoya, and initial reports suggested that some tried to flee by swimming. CBS News reports that Kurt Lier, Oslo’s assistant chief of police, “had little information about what had happened on the island, but said if people are leaving island swimming, it is a ‘long swim.'” Hans-Inge Langø, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), says the “timing and targets [of the attacks are] too similar for this not to be connected.” The AP reports that Norwegian police say the two events were definitely connected.
The Pamela Connection:
UPDATE 1, Saturday, July 23, 12:16 a.m. EDT: Blogger Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs is reporting that the Oslo bombing/shooting suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, posted often on a Norwegian anti-immigration site and recommended a post by the prominent anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller, who spearheaded the US drive against the planned “Ground Zero mosque.” (We’ve previously covered her activities here, here, here, here, and here.) LGF also asserts a link between Breivik and one of Geller’s guest bloggers, Fjordman.
Geller responded on her own website: “This is just a sinister attempt to tar all anti-jihadists with responsibility for this man’s heinous actions…this is war. And the left is vicious, amoral and depraved. They mean to win, and that is the only way they know how.”
UPDATE 2, Saturday, July 23, 11:06 a.m. EDT: Oddmy Estenstad, an employee of agricultural retailer Felleskjøpet, tells CNN that Utoya shooting suspect Anders Behring Breivik bought six tons of fertilizer from the company in May:
She did not think the order was strange at the time because the suspect has a farm, but after Friday’s explosion in Norway’s capital, Oslo, she called police because she knew the material can be used to make bombs.
“We are very shocked that this man was connected to our company,” said Estenstad. “We are very sad about what happened.”
UPDATE 3, Saturday, July 23, 11:09 a.m. EDT: According to the UK’s Daily Mirror, Anders Behring Breivik has been “preliminarily charged with acts of terrorism.” Norwegian police say the 32-year-old Breivik appears to be an extreme right-wing, Christian fundamentalist, due to postings on his website. NRK reports that the suspect is a member of an Oslo gun club, and “was exempted from military service, and thus…has no special education [from the Norwegian] Armed Forces.”
Media reports say the gunman apparently used a handgun and a machine gun, and that police arrived at the island possibly 90 minutes after the shooting started. At midmorning Saturday, police were still searching the island for more bodies. One wounded survivor, Adrian Pracon, described the gunman as “calm and controlled,” shooting people who tried to escape the island by swimming to the mainland…Pracon described his attempt to escape. “We started running down to the water and people had already undressed and started swimming.”
Pracon said he began swimming, but “after 150 meters … I realized I wouldn’t make it so I went back and saw him standing 10 meters from me shooting at the people who tried to swim over.”