The Spectacle Blog

More Terror in Norway

By on 7.22.11 | 1:38PM

In addition to the bombing in Oslo, there has apparently been a shooting at a summer camp on the island of Utøya (the shooting may be ongoing -- reports are sketchy). Why a summer camp? This report from yesterday gives a good idea of what Utøya is, and why, if you wanted to terrorize Norway and were evil enough to open fire on unarmed teenagers, it would make a logical target:

Around 1,000 young supporters of Norway's Labour Party were making their way over to Utøya this week, an island in the Tyrifjord that's often viewed as an incubator for future Labour Party leaders. Detractors call it a breeding ground for a relatively small clique of would-be power mongers.

The summer camp for members of Labour's youth group AUF (Arbeidernes ungdomsfylking) has launched the political careers of many a Labour Party leader. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was a fixture at the camp in his youth and remains keen to visit every summer. Both he, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland were due to make appearances at this year's camp during its five-day run that began Wednesday.

As of now there are reportedly at least five injuries.

UPDATE 2:42 PM: Norwegian media is now reporting 20-30 deaths. Horrifying, if true.

UPDATE 3:05 PM: The gunman has been arrested; he is said to be a blond-haired white man, 160cm tall (about 6'3"). The New York Times has picked up a report that a terror group called Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (the Helpers of the Global Jihad) has issued a statement taking credit for the attacks; if it turns out that the shooter is indeed involved with the terror group, it's a reminder that you can't tell a Muslim extremist by his skin color.

UPDATE 7:24 PM: Norwegian police are saying this does not seem to be connected to Islamist terror, so I guess the actual lesson from the Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami statement is that Muslim extremists lie.

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