Contrary to initial reports, the murderous terrorist is not an Islamist,
The 32-year-old man suspected of massacring at least 80 young people at a summer camp in Norway and setting off a bomb in downtown Oslo that killed at least seven is a mystery to investigators: a right-winger with anti-Muslim views but no known links to hard-core extremists.
“He just came out of nowhere,” a police official said.
Public broadcaster NRK and several other Norwegian media outlets identified the suspected attacker as Anders Behring Breivik, a blond, blue-eyed Norwegian who expressed right-wing and anti-Muslim views on the Internet. Police have the suspect in custody.
Norwegian news agency NTB said Mr. Breivik legally owned several firearms and belonged to a gun club. He ran an agricultural firm growing vegetables, an enterprise that could have helped him secure large amounts of fertilizer, a potential ingredient in bombs.
But he didn’t belong to any known factions in Norway’s small and splintered extreme-right movement and had no criminal record except for some minor offenses, the police official told the Associated Press.
Was he acting alone?
Oslo police inspector Einar Aas told Norwegian daily VG that police are currently investigating the possibility of a second shooter on the island. According to media reports, witnesses said a man who was not wearing a police uniform also fired shots.
What would it mean for the region?
Analysis firm Stratfor Global Intelligens said the wider implications for the rest of Europe will depend on who stands behind the attack.
If the attack is the work of a disturbed individual acting alone, the events will have few long-ranging repercussions beyond a reworking of domestic security procedures in Norway, Stratfor said.
If a person or group with far-right or neo-Nazi leanings was behind the attack, the incident could lead to a temporary loss of popularity for the far right across Europe, though long-term repercussions are unlikely, it added.
The WSJ article, At Least 91 Dead in Norway Attacks, illustrates well how a police investigation develops.
More on the killer at Brutally Honest.
John Hinderaker: Norway, a postscript.