NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Tragedy in Norway: Explosions, shootings injure or take lives of dozens

Inexplicable, unexpected tragedy has struck again, this time in Norway:

Norway suffered dual attacks on Friday when powerful explosions shook the government center here and, shortly after, a gunman stalked youths at an island summer camp for young members of the governing Labor Party. The police arrested a Norwegian in connection with both attacks, which killed at least 87 people and stunned this ordinarily placid nation.

The explosions, from one or more bombs, turned Oslo, a tidy Scandinavian capital, into a scene reminiscent of terrorist attacks in Beirut or Baghdad or Oklahoma City, panicking people and blowing out windows of several government buildings, including one housing the office of the Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, who was unharmed.

Details are still coming together, but this definitely sounds like an act of terrorism. Media outlets in Norway are reporting that the alleged perpetrator of the shooting, thirty-two year old Anders Behring Breivik, had links with right wing extremist groups (surprise, surprise). His residence has already been searched by police.

At this time, authorities are not sure who was responsible for detonating the bombs. As mentioned, police have Breivik in custody.

As the bombs in Oslo were going off, he was apparently making his way to a Labour Party summer camp on Utøya, a privately owned island not far from the capital, deliberately intending to kill as many people as he could.

He reportedly lured many of his victims into shooting range by posing as a policeman and then opening fire on them when they got close.

What kind of human being does such a despicable, evil thing?

At the White House, President Barack Obama offered his condolences to the people of Norway in a joint appearance with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

“I remember fondly my visit to Oslo and how warmly the people of Norway treated me,” the President said. “And so our hearts go out to them, and we’ll provide any support we can to them as they investigate these occurrences.”

“I echo your sympathies and concern for that situation in Norway,” Prime Minister John Key added moments later when it was his turn to speak. “If it is an act of global terrorism, I think what it shows is no country, large or small, is immune from that risk. And that’s why New Zealand plays its part in Afghanistan as we try and join others like the United States in making the world a safer place.”

Adjacent posts

  • Donate now to support The Cascadia Advocate


    Thank you for reading The Cascadia Advocate, the Northwest Progressive Institute’s journal of world, national, and local politics.

    Founded in March of 2004, The Cascadia Advocate has been helping people throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond make sense of current events with rigorous analysis and thought-provoking commentary for more than fifteen years. The Cascadia Advocate is funded by readers like you: we have never accepted advertising or placements of paid content.

    And we’d like it to stay that way.

    Help us keep The Cascadia Advocate editorially independent and freely available by becoming a member of the Northwest Progressive Institute today. Or make a donation to sustain our essential research and advocacy journalism.

    Your contribution will allow us to continue bringing you features like Last Week In Congress, live coverage of events like Netroots Nation or the Democratic National Convention, and reviews of books and documentary films.

    Become an NPI member Make a one-time donation