An explosion ripped through offices near the Prime Minister’s office this morning:
A large explosion has hit near government headquarters in the Norwegian capital Oslo.
The blast is thought to have caused damage to the offices of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and a number of other official buildings.
Initial reports suggested Mr Stoltenberg was unharmed.
At least eight people were injured in the city centre explosion, local media reports. No-one has said they were behind the attack.
Television footage from the scene showed rubble and glass from shattered windows in the streets – smoke was around some buildings. The wreckage of at least one car was in street.
All roads into the city centre have been closed, said the NRK newspaper.
Details are still sketchy and I fear casualties are likely to rise. (Latest: Two at least are dead.) It may not even have been a bomb, but…
Is it just coincidental that this happened soon after Norway filed criminal charges against a prominent jihadist cleric who had threatened Norwegian officials?
A Norwegian prosecutor has filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he’s deported from the Nordic country.
The indictment, obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday, centers on statements that Mullah Krekar — the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam — made to various media, including American network NBC.
Norway ordered Krekar deported in 2005 after declaring him a national security threat, but the decision was suspended amid worries he would face execution or torture in Iraq.
At a news conference in June 2010, Krekar said that if he’s deported to Iraq and is killed there, Norwegian officials would meet the same fate. He singled out former asylum policy minister Erna Solberg.
Prosecutor Marit Bakkevik said Krekar’s statements violated Norwegian terror laws and were meant to force authorities to halt the deportation order and to instill fear in Norwegian society.
In other words, they weren’t behaving like good little dhimmis, and so they had to be terrorized into submission.
Via Michelle Malkin, who is doing running updates and has useful background links on Norway’s Islam-problem.
PS: No, I am not saying it had to be Muslims waging jihad fi sabil Allah, but, based on the pattern of the last ten years, it sure is a good working hypothesis.
UPDATE: Norwegian authorities have confirmed it was a bomb. Obviously, radical international Quaker terrorists have struck again.
UPDATE II: In addition to the bombing, there are reports that someone in a police uniform opened fire at a Norwegian youth camp:
Police say they are sending anti-terror police to a youth camp outside Oslo after reports of a shooting there following the bomb blast at the government headquarters.
The news site VG reported that a man dressed in a police uniform opened fire at the camp. It says several people were injured.
Oslo police chief Anstein Gjengdal said anti-terror units were being sent to the camp at Utoya, outside the Norwegian capital.
UPDATE III: Will McCants at Jihadica found a claim of responsibility online in Arabic. Below is a very rough translation from Google Translate:
Praise be to God Nasser slaves combined and humiliating the people of shirk and kufr companions, prayer and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, his family and companions and after
The Almighty said: (then fight for God but do not cost yourself and rouse the believers may be that Allah keeps those who disbelieve and Allah is more powerful and in punishment) [women: 84]
Here have reached the countries of Europe is another message from the militants and further proof of the countries of Europe that the Mujahideen will not stand idly towards their war against Islam and Muslims.
Today has been targeting Norway to be a lesson and a lesson to the rest of Europe has already threatened us since the invasion of Stockholm more operations has asked European countries to withdraw their armies from the land of Afghanistan and stop its war against Islam and Muslims, and we repeat our warning again to the countries of Europe and tell them carried out the demands of the mujahideen, what you see is only the beginning and the next more.
The reasons for the targeting of Norway there are many of the most important of their participation in the occupation of Afghanistan and the abuse of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Praise God that enabled slaves to the combined .. and pray to God to save our brothers and our fighters everywhere.
Glory and praise God I bear witness that no god but You Astgrk and I repent to you.
Abu Suleiman Al-Nasser
Ansar al-Jihad of the world
Mullah Krekar, mentioned above, is head of Ansar al-Islam. I’ve not heard of this latter group, but it’s possible it’s a fake or cover name.
via DaveedGR on Twitter
BRIEF UPDATE: The author of the above message has issued a retraction. Spoke without authorization?
FINAL UPDATE: The shooter at the youth camp is also suspected of planting the bomb in Oslo. From the description, he doesn’t sound like the typical jihadi:
Police said they were confident they had been able to identify the gunman, whom they had in custody. They did not release his identity, but they said they had confirmed that they had “reason to believe” he was connected to the Oslo bombing.
NRK reporter Astrid Randen quoted witnesses as saying the man — described as “tall, blond and Nordic-looking” and speaking Norwegian — wore a police uniform and summoned youth campers to gather around him before he “just executed them.”
It’s certainly possible this was a psycho acting out of motives other than jihad. On the other hand, jihadist groups have been actively recruiting “White, European converts” for years because of the ease with which they could move through society. We’ll see. My suspicion is that we’ll learn this guy is a convert who trained at a jihad camp.