The PJ Tatler

Norway's Oklahoma City, or Its 9/11?

What happened in Norway today?  The answer is still not clear. Several government workers died in a bomb explosion at the main government office buildings in downtown Oslo; several teenagers were apparently shot to death at a Labor Party youth camp on an island called Utøya. The initial assumption by many was that this was an act of Islamic terrorism.  Then the police announced that they had arrested a 32-year-old suspect who, they emphasized with what seemed like relief or even joy, was a tall, blond ethnic Norwegian (one police spokesman even called him an “ethnic Norwegian Norwegian,” a turn of phrase that Norwegians would describe as “smør på flesk” – i.e., putting butter on bacon, or, as we’d say in English, gilding the lily).  They insisted that the suspect (although they described him not as a suspect but as a “perpetrator”) had no connection to a terrorist group, though when asked about other connections he might have, they seemed to dodge the question.  Is this Norway’s Oklahoma City rather than its 9/11?  Or is this tall blond 32-year-old, say, a Muslim convert whose religious affiliation Norway’s leaders would prefer not to divulge so quickly?

We’ll have to wait and see…

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