Evacuated Apartment building: Armed police from the emergency squad was Friday night action against the apartment that the arrested 32-year-old put in Oslo. All the neighbors were evacuated and the press were told to pull away. Photo: Frode HansenThe twin terror attacks in Norway yesterday were horrific beyond description. As is quite understandable in such cases — since they’ve been behind many other terror attacks in Europe in recent years, e.g. the March 11, 2004 bombings in Madrid and the July 7, 2005 attack in London — the immediate assumption was that Islamofascist terrorists had been behind this. Apparent confirmation of this assumption came when a previously-unheard-of jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attacks, as reported widely yesterday, and as included, for example, in this New York Times story on the attacks (WebCite cached article):

Initial reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants, in particular Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or Helpers of the Global Jihad, cited by some analysts as claiming responsibility for the attacks. American officials said the group was previously unknown and might not even exist.

But it turns out this atrocity may not have been carried out by Islamofascist terrorists. Norway’s Verdens Gang and other outlets are reporting, now, that there’s only one suspect for both the Oslo bombing and the Utøya shootings, and it’s a Norwegian nationalist (WebCite cached version; translation to English courtesy of Google Translate, presented as-is):

VG has received confirmation from several independent sources that it was Anders Behring Breivik, who was arrested by armed police after the mass killings of Utøya Friday. VG was also present when the emergency squad took action against the flat 32-year-old susceptible west of Oslo. Several foreign media have also named Breivik as the perpetrator.

A profile of the reportedly-nationalistic Breivik is also available courtesy of the (UK) Telegraph (cached):

The blond-haired 32-year-old appears to have set up accounts on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter just a few days ago.

Although police have not officially named Breivik as the suspect, Norwegian media identified him as the gunman. Police say the suspect is talking to police and was keen to “explain himself”.

In a remarkable twist on the original assumption that Islamist terrorists had been behind these attacks, it seems Breivik may be a Christian fundamentalist instead:

On the Facebook page attributed to him, Mr Breivik describes himself as a Christian and a conservative. It listed his interests as hunting, body building and freemasonry. His profile also listed him as single. The page has since been taken down. …

Police officials have also said that the suspect appeared to have posted on websites with Christian fundamentalist tendencies.

I should caution that it’s far too early yet to be sure of Breivik’s motives. But Norwegian authorities are certain that he is the culprit, and are equally sure that Islamism had nothing to do with it. Whether or not this is an example of Christian terrorism … well, at the moment it seems a possibility, but that’s about it.

Photo credit: Verdens Gang / Frode Hansen.

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