This morning, it turns out that the violence in Norway was horrific, 84 dead in the shootings on Utoeya Island and the death toll still unknown in the Oslo bombings. It is officially 7 people, but police say there are still many people missing and expect the toll to rise.
The suspect arrested in the Utoeya shootings turns out to be Anders Behring Breivik, a native Norwegian and a young farmer who is apparently a far-right extremist. He is the prime suspect in both the island massacre and the bombing. Police believe that the bomb was made out of fertilizer, similar to the Oklahoma City bombing. There was no Islamic involvement at all. I can hear the tires screeching as the teevee experts do their U turns (I remember the same thing happened in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing). I was not surprised that Oklahoma City turned out to be a right wing hit. The Ouachita Mountains in the east were swarming with violent white supremacists in those days. I am surprised by this. Norway is heavily involved in military operations in Afghanistan and Libya providing air support with F16 fighter jets. The Norwegians make about 10% of the air strikes in Afghanistan. They are an inviting target for any number of violent Islamist extremists.
And it turns out that the suspect is a Christianist and a racist. Something that has gone under the radar here in the USA, but which Scandinavian acquaintances talk about all the time, is the rise of far right nativist movements in Scandinavia and in other parts of Europe. They've arisen out of strong anti-immigrant feeling throughout Europe directed primarily at people from North Africa and the Middle East, though also at Eastern Europeans. Perhaps that's something we need to pay more attention to.
Here is the suspect's profile on the BBC website.