A homegrown terrorist set off a deadly explosion in downtown Oslo before
heading to a summer camp dressed as a police officer to commit one of
the deadliest shooting sprees in history, killing at least 80 people as
terrified youths ran and even swam for their lives, police said on
Police initially said about 10 were killed at the
forested camp on the island of Utoya, but some survivors said they
thought the toll was much higher. Police director Oystein Maeland told
reporters early on Saturday they had discovered many more victims.
taken time to search the area. What we know now is that we can say that
there are at least 80 killed at Utoya," Maeland said. "It goes without
saying that this gives dimensions to this incident that are
A suspect in the shootings, and the Oslo explosion
that killed seven people, was arrested. Though police did not release
his name, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK identified him as
32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik and said police searched his Oslo
NRK and other Norwegian media posted pictures
of the blond, blue-eyed Norwegian.
A police official said the
suspect appears to have acted alone in both attacks, and that "it seems
like that this is not linked to any international terrorist
organizations at all." The official spoke on condition of anonymity
because that information had not been officially released by Norway's
"It seems it's not Islamic-terror related," the official
said. "This seems like a madman's work."
The official said the attack
"is probably more Norway's Oklahoma City than it is Norway's World
Trade Center." Domestic terrorists carried out the 1995 attack on a
federal building in Oklahoma City, while foreign terrorists were
responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The official added,
however, "It's still just hours since the incident happened. And the
investigation is going on with all available resources."
attacks formed the deadliest day of terror in Western Europe since the
2004 Madrid train bombings, when shrapnel-filled bombs exploded, killing
191 people and wounding about 1,800.
The motive was unknown, but
both attacks were in areas connected to the ruling Labor Party
government. The youth camp, about 20 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of
Oslo, is organized by the party's youth wing, and the prime minister had
been scheduled to speak there Saturday.
A 15-year-old camper
named Elise said she heard gunshots, but then saw a police officer and
thought she was safe. Then he started shooting people right before her
"I saw many dead people," said Elise, whose father, Vidar
Myhre, didn't want her to disclose her last name. "He first shot people
on the island. Afterward he started shooting people in the water."
said she hid behind the same rock that the killer was standing on. "I
could hear his breathing from the top of the rock," she said.
said it was impossible to say how many minutes passed while she was
waiting for him to stop.
At a hotel in the village of Sundvollen,
where survivors of the shooting were taken, 21-year-old Dana Berzingi
wore pants stained with blood. He said the fake police officer ordered
people to come closer, then pulled weapons and ammunition from a bag and
Several victims "had pretended as if they were
dead to survive," Berzingi said. But after shooting the victims with
one gun, the gunman shot them again in the head with a shotgun, he said.
lost several friends," said Berzingi, who used the cell phone of one of
those friends to call police.
The blast in Oslo, Norway's
capital and the city where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, left a
square covered in twisted metal, shattered glass and documents expelled
from surrounding buildings. Most of the windows in the 20-floor
high-rise where Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his administration
work were shattered. Other buildings damaged house government offices
and the headquarters of some of Norway's leading newspapers.
dust-fogged scene after the blast reminded one visitor from New York of
Ian Dutton, who was in a nearby hotel, said people "just
covered in rubble" were walking
through "a fog of debris."
wasn't any sort of a panic," he said, "It was really just people in
disbelief and shock, especially in a such as safe and open country as
Norway. You don't even think something like that is possible."
said the Oslo explosion was caused by "one or more" bombs.
police official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Oslo
bombing occurred at 3:26 p.m. local time (1:26 p.m. GMT), and the camp
shootings began one to two hours later. The official said the gunman
used both automatic weapons and handguns, and that there was at least
one unexploded device at the youth camp that a police bomb disposal team
and military experts were working on disarming.
The suspect had
only a minor criminal record, the official said.
chief Sveinung Sponheim said seven people were killed by the blast in
downtown Oslo, four of whom have been identified, and that nine or 10
people were seriously injured.
Sponheim said a man was arrested
in the shooting, and the suspect had been observed in Oslo before the
Sponheim said the camp shooter "wore a sweater
with a police sign on it. I can confirm that he wasn't a police employee
and never has been."
Aerial images broadcast by Norway's TV2
showed members of a SWAT team dressed in black arriving at the island in
boats and running up the dock. Behind them, people who stripped down to
their underwear swam away from the island toward shore, some using
Sponheim said police were still trying to get
an overview of the camp shooting and could not say whether there was
more than one shooter. He would not give any details about the identity
or nationality of the suspect, who was being interrogated by police.
University Hospital said 12 people were admitted for treatment
following the Utoya shooting, and 11 people were taken there from the
explosion in Oslo. The hospital asked people to donate blood.
who was home when the blast occurred and was not harmed, visited
injured people at the hospital late Friday. Earlier he decried what he
called "a cowardly attack on young innocent civilians."
message to those who attacked us," he said. "It's a message from all of
Norway: You will not destroy our democracy and our commitment to a
NRK showed video in Oslo of a blackened car lying
on its side amid the debris. An AP reporter who was in the office of
Norwegian news agency NTB said the building shook from the blast and all
employees were evacuated. Down in the street, he saw one person with a
bleeding leg being led away from the area.
An AP reporter headed
to Utoya was turned away by police before reaching the lake that
surrounds the island, as eight ambulances with sirens blaring entered
the area. Police blocked off roads leading to the lake.
United States, European Union, NATO and the U.K., all quickly condemned
the bombing, which Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague called
"horrific" and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen deemed a
"It's a reminder that the entire international
community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring,"
President Barack Obama said.
Obama extended his condolences to
Norway's people and offered U.S. assistance with the investigation. He
said he remembered how warmly Norwegians treated him in Oslo when he
accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
Nobel Peace Prize
Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said it appeared the camp attack "was
intended to hurt young citizens who actively engage in our democratic
and political society. But we must not be intimidated. We need to work
for freedom and democracy every day."
A U.S. counterterrorism
official said the United States knew of no links to terrorist groups and
early indications were the attack was domestic. The official spoke on
condition of anonymity because the investigation was being handled by
At least two Islamic extremist groups had tried to take
credit for the attacks. Many intelligence analysts said they had never
heard of Helpers of Global Jihad, which took initial credit. The Kurdish
group Ansar al-Islam also took credit on some jihadist web sites.
has been grappling with a homegrown terror plot linked to al-Qaida. Two
suspects are in jail awaiting charges.
Last week, a Norwegian
prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for
threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he is deported from the
The indictment centered on statements that
Mullah Krekar - the founder of Ansar al-Islam - made to various news
media, including American network NBC.
Terrorism has also been a
concern in neighboring Denmark since an uproar over cartoons of the
Prophet Muhammad six years ago.Map of Oslo: Site of BlastView
Oslo blast in a