Norwegian authorities considered the threat of terrorist attacks in Norway low and the widespread belief among the general public was that no one would attack Norway. However, the continued presence of Mullah Krekar in Norway and preparations for the upcoming trial of Arfan Bhatti highlighted gaps in Norway's existing legal system that the government was moving to address.
Alleged Ansar al-Islam leader Mullah Krekar, an Iraqi Kurd listed in December 2006 under UNSCR 1267, lost his final appeal of the government's expulsion order in Norway's Supreme Court this fall. Despite this ruling, Krekar will remain in Norway for the foreseeable future as the government still is unable to receive sufficient human rights assurances from Iraq to proceed with deportation. This situation brought to light the limited tools the police have to detain individuals deemed a danger to society. The government introduced legislation that would allow stricter controls over movements of suspected terrorists, including possible house arrest. Budget shortfalls limited the ability of the police to monitor dangerous individuals' activities, but to the extent possible, the police have put a high priority on counterterrorism activities.
Arfan Bhatti, a Pakistani Norwegian, remained the only individual in custody after the September 2006 arrest of four individuals suspected of shooting at an Oslo synagogue and planning attacks on the U.S. and Israeli embassies. In the summer, the government presented a revised version of the 2002 terror law designed to improve the law and bring it in line with international obligations. Questions were raised, however, whether the new law will be too restrictive in its definition of a terrorist act and of what constitutes aiding and abetting or financing terrorism.
Norway has contributed more than 500 troops to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) efforts in Afghanistan.
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.