Shortly after the explosions, which appeared to be a bomb attack, a man dressed as a police officer opened fire on a summer camp for young members of the ruling Labor Party on the island of Utoya in the Oslo fjord, about 25 miles from the city, and wounded at least five, a Norwegian security official said.
A terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or the Helpers of the Global Jihad, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, according to Will McCants, a terrorism analyst at C.N.A., a research institute that studies terrorism. The message said the attack was a response to Norwegian forces’ presence in Afghanistan and to unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad. “We have warned since the Stockholm raid of more operations,” the group said, according to Mr. McCants’ translation, apparently referring to a bombing in Sweden in December 2010. “What you see is only the beginning, and there is more to come.” The claim could not be confirmed.
At least one of two explosions that rocked a Norwegian government building in Oslo today was result of a massive vehicle bomb, according to U.S. government sources on the scene.
The tangled wreckage of a vehicle was seen near the Norwegian government building that was targeted in the blast, officials said. It was not clear if the car was a bomb vehicle or near the site of a blast. At least one explosion was the result of a massive vehicle bomb, U.S. government sources said.
Now that human agency has been identified the next question will be who did it? No arrests or official accusations have yet been made, but Will Heaven, blogging in the Telegraph, cites three possible motives for an attack, all standard reasons for having incurred the wrath of al-Qaeda or a similar group. Others cite Norway’s attempts to deport an Islamic cleric, Mullah Krekar, who predicted dire consequences for Norwegian officialdom should they attempt to move against him. “Krekar’s defense attorney Brynjar Meling has tried to downplay Krekar’s remarks, saying they were merely a response to threats made against Krekar himself and in line with the teachings of the Koran.”