Firstly, my sympathies and my condemnations.
Secondly, to address something I’m seeing all over: this attack was almost certainly not motivated by the publication of the Muhammad cartoons that caused such a well-publicised ruckus the other year. While that might be a factor in Islamic fundamentalist and extremist anger at Norway, the Scandinavian nation is not the first or last to do such things.
A lot of people seem to not be aware or to have forgotten that over 400 Norwegians troops are currently serving as part of ISAF in Afghanistan. That, more than any other thing, will be the motivation for the bombing today, and possibly the shooting incident that took place around the same time. The latter doesn’t really appear to be the style of Islamic militants or terrorist cells, seems somewhat ramshackle from the reports, but it seems to be too much of a stretch to say that the incidents are unconnected.
Oslo is also just another European capital, one that is not the top priority for defence from terrorist acts. Sometimes, people like those who carried out this attack need no other reason.
(This is presuming that an Islamic group was responsible, which seems likely. A new group, perhaps an al-Qaeda franchise, dubbed “Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami” has claimed responsibility, but that has not been confirmed at this time).
Norway has suffered today, as New York, Washington, London, Mumbai and others have suffered. If what happened today shows anything, it si that timeless creed, that eternal vigilance is the price of a free society.
We must, throughout Europe and the free world, be prepared for the possibility of such attacks and steel our hearts, our minds and our resolve against those who perpetrate them. We cannot let them intimidate us, scare us, or make us back down from our own fundamental rights. We cannot – and will not – let them win.
”I Dag Er Vi Alle Norske.”