Home General News Deadly shooting in Norway treated as Islamist terrorism: police

Deadly shooting in Norway treated as Islamist terrorism: police

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

A 42-year-old man has been arrested and charged with terrorist acts after a shooting in the center of the Norwegian capital Oslo.

Hours after the attack that killed two people and injured 21, 10 seriously, Norway’s security service raised the country’s terror alert level to its highest level.

The threat of a terrorist threat was “exceptionally” high, said PST security chief Roger Berg.

Mr. Berg said the shooting early Saturday (local time) was considered an Islamist-motivated terrorist attack.

Deadly shooting in Norway treated as Islamist terrorism: police

The victims were shot inside and outside the London Pub, a popular LGBTQ+ venue near the Herr Nilsen jazz club and another pub in central Oslo on the eve of the city’s Pride parade. Eyewitnesses said the suspect took a gun from his bag and began firing as terrified people nearby threw themselves to the ground or fled.

“We are now providing all relevant information to the Oslo precinct and are working to clarify if more acts of violence can be planned. We have no evidence of that at the moment,” the PST tweeted.

The alert level for terrorism in Norway is now five, the highest possible level. Previously there were three.

The London Pub is a bar and nightclub that bills itself as Oslo’s ‘gay headquarters since 1979’. Shots were also fired at nearby locations known for its nightlife.

Witnesses said they saw a man with a bag arrive at the scene, pull out a gun and start firing. Panic ensued.

Bystanders helped arrest the suspect, and the police later thanked them.

Of the 21 injured, police said 10 are in serious condition. One man died in his fifties, the other in his sixties.

Police Inspector Tore Soldal said the attacker was a Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent. They found a handgun and an assault rifle while searching his apartment. Both were not registered.

Prosecutor Christian Hatlo said the man was “known to the police” but had previously only had “light convictions”. He has since been charged with “murder, attempted murder, and acts of terrorism”.

The suspect’s lawyer, John Christian Elden, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that it was too early to talk about a possible motivation and that the man’s mental health should be evaluated.

Large parts of Oslo’s party mile were cordoned off Saturday as the investigation continued.

The shooting occurred as people celebrated in the city center late into the long summer night before the planned Pride parade. Bars, restaurants, and other buildings were decorated with rainbow flags.

On Saturday night, rainbow flags flew over the city, including on government buildings and embassies.

Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen had previously said how much the city was looking forward to the event – which will be held for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak.

The parade, which would have been Oslo’s 40th Pride March, was canceled on the advice of the police. Still, according to Norwegian media, several thousand shocked and grieving people marched along the planned route in the afternoon.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre expressed his condolences to the victims, calling the shooting “a cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people”.

“While we don’t know if the queer environment was the target, the queer environment is regardless of the victim,” he said.

“This day, June 25, we would celebrate love, streets in the colors of the rainbow, we would and community and freedom. Instead, we are filled with sadness.

“Let there be no doubt. We are a community, we are a diverse and strong community, and we will never be threatened or give up on our values.”

Mr. Støre said the perpetrator “belonged to an Islamist environment”.

“If this is Islamic terror, as PST points out, many Muslims will feel vulnerable today and in the future. And I know that many Muslims in our country are also afraid and desperate,” he said.

“It is our joint responsibility to clarify that no one is responsible other than the person or people behind the attack.”

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