Norwegian authorities considered the threat of terrorist attacks in Norway low and the widespread belief among the general public was that Norway was not in danger of attack. In December 2008, the parliament revised its counterterrorism laws in order to be able to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism. These revisions allowed incitement, recruiting, and training for terrorist acts to become punishable offenses independent of whether an attack is actually carried out. They also require specific "intent" to commit an act that causes terrorism, whereas the prior standard had been "willfulness" to commit the act. As of December 2009, the government still had not yet ratified the Convention, but was expected to do so shortly.

In October, the Norwegian Attorney General indicted Abdirahman Abdi Osman, a Norwegian citizen of Somali ancestry, for collecting in excess of US$ 35,000 for al-Shabaab. Osman was charged with knowingly collecting money for a terrorist organization, knowingly contributing funds to a terrorist organization, and violating a UN Security Council resolution incorporated into Norwegian law that forbids the financing of arms deliveries to Somalia. Osman is not in custody and retains his passport. Osman is the only one of the six persons, three in Norway and three in Sweden, initially arrested in this matter who face charges.

In February, the jury in an appeals court affirmed a lower court's 2008 conviction of Arfan Bhatti for attempted murder and aggravated vandalism, and affirmed the sentence of eight years imprisonment. In 2008, Bhatti had been acquitted of terrorism in connection with a plot to attack the United States and Israeli embassies; the vandalism charge was for the 2006 shooting of an automatic weapon at the Oslo synagogue. In June, the Supreme Court threw out the conviction for attempted murder on the grounds that the requirement of intent was not correctly decided by the appeals court. Bhatti was released from prison in June, and Norwegian authorities returned his passport. In November, the appeals court announced that Bhatti's re-trial for attempted murder was delayed until May 2010.

Mullah Krekar (aka Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad), the founder of Ansar al-Islam, an organization on both the U.S. list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and the UN list of entities linked to terrorist activities, resides in Norway. He has been arrested on several occasions by Norwegian law enforcement, but they have been unable to collect sufficient evidence to convict him. Norway has frozen his assets, restricted his movement to some degree, and ordered his deportation to Iraq. As of December 2009, the Norwegian government stated that it had not yet received sufficient human rights assurances from the Iraqi government that would allow it to carry out the deportation order pending against him.

Norway contributed more than 500 troops to International Security Assistance Force efforts in Afghanistan.


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