Suspected Islamist attack – Norway has declared the highest level of warning against terrorism
The queer scene wanted to celebrate the first great march of pride in Oslo since the beginning of the Corona pandemic. But then there were shots. Two people were killed and at least 21 wounded, ten seriously. He is now also being investigated on suspicion of terrorism.
NAfter the deadly shooting in Oslo, Norway raised its national terrorist rank to the highest level. The risk of a terrorist threat is “extremely high”, the Norwegian secret service PST said on Saturday, as reported by the NRK television station. The head of the authorities, Roger Berg, said that the act with two dead and at least 21 wounded was considered a terrorist attack motivated by Islamists. The fifth level of preparedness against terrorism now applies. So far it was the third degree.
A suspicious lone gunman shot dead two people in the center of the Norwegian capital on Saturday night. At least 21 others were injured, ten of them seriously, according to police.
He is now also being investigated on suspicion of terrorism. Inspector Tore Soldal said hate crimes were highly suspect. The attacker is to be a Norwegian with Iranian roots. He was arrested at night. The suspect has a “long history of violence and threats,” said PST Chief Berg.
The London Pub nightclub – the main target of the attacks – is considered a popular meeting place for gays, lesbians and other members of the queer scene in Oslo. On its website, the club is described as the best “gay bar” and “gay headquarters since 1979” in the city. In fact, many wanted to celebrate there until the weekend: On Saturday, after the cancellation due to a coronavirus pandemic, the “Pride Parade” was to be held in Oslo for the first time – it was canceled again.
The “London Pub” was not the only crime scene – it was shot at other parts of the party mile. At night, police detained the suspect near the scene. The civilians who were present would help.
Investigator Christian Hatlo told the Norwegian newspaper “VG” that the 42-year-old had previously committed a crime. He was sentenced to several months in prison for drug offenses. At night, the police conducted a search of his house. Investigators wanted to comment on the details on Saturday afternoon.
This act caused terror in Norway. King Harald V (85) called on his countrymen to stand by each other. It is important to promote common values such as freedom, diversity and mutual respect so that everyone can feel safe. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre expressed his condolences to the families of the victims after the “cruel and deeply shocking attack”.
The Social Democrat assured the queer community: “We are on your side.” Former Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the freedom to love whoever you wanted was attacked.
The organizers of the Oslo “Pride Parade”, who wanted to really celebrate their 40th parade on Saturday, canceled the whole event on the advice of the police. “We will soon be proud and visible again,” said Kristin Haugsevje, head of Pride. But now you want to stop and send love and wishes to the relatives of the victims.
Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen only informed on Friday evening how the city is looking forward to the parade after years of pandemics. Even on Saturday, rain bean flags lined all of Oslo – not only restaurants and bars, but also embassies and office buildings.
On the eve of the planned spectacle, the city was already celebrating late into the night in many places. Just before midnight, the night of June was not completely dark. In the “London Pub”, after the first shots, the exuberant mood turned into panic.
An eyewitness to the NRK said he fled inside and took as many people with him as possible.
On Saturday morning, there were many barrier straps instead of “Pride” costumes in the center on the celebration mile. The police fenced off the area around the “London Bar” in a large way. The Norwegian secret service PST wrote on Twitter that there was no indication of further planned acts of violence.