Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Norway
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||31 July 2012|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Norway, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbca828.html [accessed 19 June 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Overview: The Norwegian government continued to build its counterterrorism capacity in a year that witnessed the worst acts of violence on Norwegian soil since World War II. Authorities focused on new terrorism prosecutions, expanded efforts to counter violent extremism, strengthened cyber security measures, and initiated a comment period on proposed legislative changes to penalize individual terrorists (those not affiliated with groups) and increase surveillance tools for the Police Security Service. The Norwegian government has created an independent commission to carry out a broad evaluation of the response to the July 22 attacks in Oslo and Utoya in order to identify lessons learned. In the wake of these attacks, the government has also re-examined security measures at government buildings and increased security for government officials.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: On July 22, Norwegian citizen Anders Behring Breivik detonated a large bomb next to government buildings housing ministries and the prime minister's office, killing eight persons and injuring scores. After detonating the bomb, Breivik drove to a Labor Party youth camp on the island of Utoya outside of Oslo and shot dead 69 persons (mostly youth), injuring many others. Shortly before the attack, Breivik posted a manifesto on the internet in which, among other things, he accused the Labor Party of treason for encouraging multiculturalism, feminism, and Muslim immigration.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: While the mandate of the independent July 22 commission does not include drafting new legislation, its objective is to ensure that Norwegian society is prepared to prevent and respond to future attacks. The commission is expected to deliver a report to the government in August 2012.
Norway is a part of European Union (EU) border control data sharing arrangements. Norwegian immigration authorities also obtained biometric equipment for the fingerprinting of arrivals from outside the Schengen area, though they have not yet implemented this program.
On November 15, prosecution commenced against three persons with Norwegian citizenship or residency on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and acquire explosive materials. According to open source reports, the three were born outside of Norway and are alleged to have had al-Qa'ida connections. Two of the men, Mikael Davud and Shawan Bujak, were in custody since their arrest in July 2010. The third man, David Jakobsen, was released from pre-trial detention in September 2010.
On December 6, the Norwegian Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's acquittal of Norwegian citizen Abdirahman Abdi Osman on charges of knowingly collecting approximately U.S. $34,000 for a terrorist organization and knowingly contributing funds to a terrorist organization. After a nine-week proceeding in the appellate court, the jury agreed with the lower court that the money Osman admitted transferring was not earmarked for terrorist purposes. Osman's conviction on the separate charge of "violating the United Nation's (UN) weapons embargo to Somalia by transferring money to an armed group" remained under appeal at year's end.
On July 22, police arrested Anders Behring Breivik for terrorist attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utoya. Breivik remained in custody at year's end as pre-trial investigations continued.
Mullah Krekar (aka Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad), the founder of Ansar al-Islam, continued to reside in Norway. He has been arrested on several occasions in previous years by Norwegian law enforcement. On July 11, he was indicted on violations of terrorism laws, including threatening private individuals and a public official. If convicted, Krekar could serve up to 15 years in prison.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Norway is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Government of Norway adopted and incorporated the FATF standards and recommendations, including the special recommendations on terrorist financing, into Norwegian law.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Norway continued its support for the UN Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), contributing approximately U.S. $486,000 to a project to implement and disseminate information about a counterterrorism strategy in Central Asia. In September, Norway joined the EU's Radicalization Awareness Network, an umbrella network of practitioners and local actors involved in countering violent extremism that is designed to enable the members to share and discuss best practices in spotting and addressing radicalization and recruitment leading to acts of terrorism.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: On December 6, the Norwegian government launched a website designed to encourage the public to help identify and report signs of potential radicalization at an early stage. The website was one of 30 measures the government committed to undertake in its December 2010 action plan to counter extremist ideology. The plan covers 2010 to 2013 and focuses on four priority areas: 1) increased knowledge and information; 2) strengthened government cooperation; 3) strengthened dialogue and involvement; and 4) support for vulnerable and disadvantaged people. On December 5, the government held a conference to examine progress on implementing the action plan, and published a report indicating the current status of each of the plan's 30 measures. The government considers that it has fully implemented eight of the measures and partially implemented another six.