These days, you hear the words “terrorist attack”, and the first thing that comes to mind (at least to most Americans) is yet another wanton act of destruction by some cell of Islamic fundamentalists. I woke up this morning to a reminder that the thirst for the blood of innocents isn’t limited to whackjobs who think they’ve found a green light for slaughter in the Koran. As if we needed another reminder.
It began yesterday afternoon in Oslo, Norway, when a massive explosion detonated in a high-rise office building that housed the Norwegian prime minister’s office, killing seven people. A few hours later, a man disguised as a police officer killed 84 people on an idyllic Norwegian island called Utoya about 20 miles northwest of Oslo, shooting them one by one. At the time, the island was full of teenagers attending a Labour Party youth-wing retreat. (The Labour Party is currently in charge of Norway’s coalition government.) People fled into the lake surronding the island in an effort to escape, and police are still searching the water for bodies. Norway’s prime minister was scheduled to speak at the island youth retreat today.
Police have arrested one suspect, who appears to be tied to both of these atrocities — a 32-year old, blonde, blue-eyed Norwegian named Anders Behring Breivik, a frequent poster on right-wing, Christian fundamentalist web sites.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told reporters, “This is out of comprehension. It’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for those who have been killed, for their mothers and fathers, family and friends.” He said that he had spent many summers on Utoya, calling it “my childhood paradise that yesterday was transformed into hell.” (more after the jump . . .)
Quoting from an AP news report: “A 15-year-old camper named Elise who was on Utoya said she heard gunshots, but then saw a police officer and thought she was safe. Then he started shooting people right before her eyes. ‘I saw many dead people,’ said Elise, whose father didn’t want her to disclose her last name. ‘He first shot people on the island. Afterward he started shooting people in the water.’ Elise 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. She 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 started shooting. 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.” The island attack lasted 30 minutes before a SWAT team was able to get to the island.
There is no explaining what drives people, so filled with hate, to destroy the lives of innocent men, women, and children. It can’t be justified, it can’t be excused, it achieves nothing. It produces only horror, disgust, and sorrow. Our thoughts go out to the families of those who were slaughtered in these senseless acts.
Great article. Sad to hear about the deaths of innocent people everywhere. I believe we’re all naturally peaceful and share the same aspirations in life. A sad day
Thank you man. I want to believe what you believe, but for some people, somewhere along the road of their lives, something goes terribly wrong, and their own suffering causes them to make others suffer. The challenge then becomes not to let their hate produce hate in us.
This. There’s hardly any words to describe these sorta atrocities. I’ve been following this pretty tightly on the media and it’s just beyond my comprehension. I mean, one(2?) guy, one automatic weapon and 84(reported so far) victims on this tiny island, not to mention the wounded. I’m trying to reason with the motives, which goes without saying, there are no justifying ones. And now, atleast in the Finnish newspaper media, they’re saying that it is likely that there were 2 shooters, instead of 1, and the other one is still on the loose…Speechless..
Oh and as a person living in the Nordic countries, which are quite generally considered as very safe countries, this has scared the crap out of me. It hasn’t even fully struckt me yet, but eventually it will.
Rightly or wrongly, that’s part of what makes this so stunning — that it occurred in a part of the world where things like this just don’t happen. Though we shouldn’t, I think we do sort of become immune to reports of terror and death in places where it has become a daily occurrence.
I have recently started to consider where I’d like to live next. And I’ve been thinking about the Nordic countries–not because they are necessarily SAFER (a concept I find difficult to believe in), but because I see their countries as having gotten the furtherest in the struggle for equality among all citizens.
I hope this does not push back that struggle, and I hope it does not diminish the day to day life of the Nordic peoples.
I think the average person is fairly peaceful, but I think there is sufficient evidence to indicate that there are those who are inclined to violence naturally. Or, at the very least, feel no compunction against it. I imagine that these kinds of people are few and far between, but I think they exist.
But I agree that it’s important not to let their hate make us hateful. I think that most terrorists are simply people overcome with fear and desperation. Fear that their way of life will disappear and a desperation to protect that way of life. I could be wrong, but that’s my assumption.
I say this not to excuse the horrible piece of shit, cock stain, santorum gurgling, donkey fucking, diarrhea for brains waste of carbon. I found the one group of people suitable for the death penalty (mass murders), though I don’t really see the good it would do in executing him. (I’m not sure if Norway even has the death penalty.)
But if we are to overcome, we must first understand….I think.
Usually, I’d agree that to solve problems you have to understand what causes them. But here I don’t — I don’t think acts like this can be understood, except perhaps by others who are equally insane. Sometimes, you can understand where hate comes from, but I don’t know how to understand what leads someone to express their hatred in acts like this.
I’ve walked those streets several times now. I love Oslo.
There are no words to describe how much this sucks really.
Did the guy even give a reason for the attack in the first place? I mean, of course he has radical political views, but did he specify the exact purpose for which he carried out this act?
Regardless of why he did it, he’s a idiot. I would just like to know what prompted him to do such a thing.
Best wishes to Norway, the victims, and there families and friends.
The man who was arrested has apparently been freely making statements to the police, but so far they haven’t released any information about his motivations. As Jeimssi says above, there’s now also suspicion that he may not have been acting alone.
Thanks for your support!
A sad day for Norway.
A sad day for humankind!
Greatings from Bergen in Norway
I’m sorry that Norway had to join the sad fraternity of countries to experience this kind of senseless slaughter. My grandfather’s family comes from Norway and there are relatives of his that still live there. My thoughts are with your country and her people in this tragic time.
This guy needs to be put to death slowly and in the most painful way possible. As far as I am concerned, he has given up his “inalienable human rights.” He deserves to be treated like the scum sucking piece of shit that he is. I know most of the people that read this site don’t advocate answering violence with violence, but in this case, this asshole deserves it. And whatever existence he happens to move on too, I fervently hope he is made to suffer for all eternity.
i was horrified when i heard the news, the same way i am horrified when that happens regardless of country, but Norway? i was not expecting this.
Norway has always been my country of choice if i could live and work anywhere because I’ve always been fascinated with the country and culture (and black metal), i almost went to live there when i was young, when my mother was working for a nordic company, she told me that Norway was the most beautiful and peaceful country she had ever been to. and still, to this day, i am hoping to finish my environmental engineering degree and my renewable energies master and find a home in Norway.
i am going to Norway on vacation this september, and i had a trip to Oslo planned if possible, but now i am absolutely scared, i still want to go but, i cant help being somewhat scared, hell, after these events i don’t even think its safe living in this planet, how can humans be so evil?
my heart is with everyone from Norway.
Norway is one of the countries I want to visit at some point in my lifetime.
My heart is heavy today.
I still look forward to returning next month for a metal festival.
They show true courage and resilience through any situation.
Since I came on to NCS and saw this posted here (I heard that it happened before, I’m not totally oblivious), I’ve been trying to think of something, anything I can type here.
And I can’t come up with anything but, this sucks. This shouldn’t happen ANYWHERE, but for it to happen in Norway just seems… unreal. Terrorists and nutcases are everywhere in the world, but still… fuck.
I think that pretty much sums it up. The motherfucker who was arrested has now admitted he did this. The death toll is now up to 93.