Overview: Norway's internal security service continued to assess that Islamist terrorism remained the primary threat to the security of Norway. A small but outspoken group of violent Islamist extremists in and around Oslo recruited new members and remained active in online fora although they did not conduct any attacks. In 2015, authorities convicted four Norwegians for supporting or aiding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). According to media reports, the Police Security Service (PST) publicly stated that more than 80 Norwegian citizens or residents had traveled to Syria to fight in the conflict there. Norway and the United States maintained good collaboration on counterterrorism.

Norway is a member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL and is contributing to five lines of effort: supporting military operations, capacity building, and training; stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters; cutting off ISIL's access to financing and funding; addressing associated humanitarian relief and crises; and exposing ISIL's true nature (ideological de-legitimization). In 2015, Norway had approximately 50 trainers in a capacity-building mission for Iraqi security forces in Erbil. Norway provided approximately US $150 million to address the humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Terrorism is a criminal offense in Norway. In 2013, Norway changed its laws to make it easier to prosecute cases of material support for terrorism. In addition to increasing maximum prison sentences to 30 years for serious terrorism offenses, the 2013 laws make it illegal to conduct or plan to conduct a terrorist attack; receive terrorism-related training; or provide material support to a terrorist organization with money, materials, recruitment, fighting, and related crimes. At the end of 2015, Norway was preparing to give prosecutors another weapon to crack down on foreign terrorist fighters with a bill that will criminalize fighting on behalf of a non-state actor. That legislation is expected to be approved by Parliament in the spring of 2016.

The PST is responsible for domestic security, including counterterrorism activities. A joint analytical cell composed of personnel from the PST and the Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS) became fully operational in 2014. Each agency has devoted significant resources to identify, track, and act against Norwegian citizens. Both the PST and the NIS have devoted significant resources to identifying, tracking, and taking action against Norwegian citizens who wish to travel to and from Syria and Iraq to engage in fighting. The PST and NIS maintain an evolving list of those who have traveled to Syria and Iraq, those who have returned, and those who have expressed an interest in traveling to the two countries.

Ratification of the Pruem Convention, a data-sharing agreement with the EU, was stalled during 2015. Norway continued to explore an agreement on sharing Passenger Name Record (PNR) data with the EU, and was simultaneously developing a national PNR system. In November, Norwegian police piloted an automated biometric identification system (ABIS). Immigration to Norway is facilitated and regulated by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), which processes all applications for asylum, visas, family immigration, work and study permits, citizenship, permanent residence, and travel documents.

Norwegian authorities faced certain legal and technical barriers to stemming the foreign terrorist fighter flow. By law, Norway cannot revoke or permanently hold a citizen's passport for expressing support for a terrorist group (or expressing an interest to travel to Syria or Iraq), nor return an asylum-seeker who expresses support for a terrorist group to an area with ongoing conflict, such as Syria or Iraq. In December, the government introduced a bill to Parliament that would criminalize fighting on behalf of non-state groups and traveling to participate in such fighting.

Since enacting the 2013 counterterrorism laws, the Norwegian authorities have convicted four Norwegian individuals, which would not have been possible prior to the adoption of the new laws. Nine additional individuals have been charged under the same laws.

There was significant law enforcement cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of international terrorism. Law enforcement officials worked closely with U.S. counterparts.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: 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 terrorism financing, into Norwegian law. Norway is increasing its efforts to counter terrorism financing. In response to UNSCR 2178, the government established an interagency group to combat money laundering and terrorism finance, which includes representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Finance, and Foreign Affairs. Non-Profit Organizations are subject to strict accounting and regulatory requirements, and the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime is charged with monitoring and the periodic testing of these requirements. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Countering Violent Extremism: In June 2015, Norway hosted the European Conference on Countering Violent Extremism and an accompanying Youth Summit on CVE. Prime Minister Solberg attended the Leaders' Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism hosted by President Obama in New York in September, and delivered remarks in the same session as the President. Norway continued to implement its National Action Plan against Radicalization and Violent Extremism (CVE), published in June 2014, which is a whole-of-government approach to CVE. Priorities include strengthening research on CVE, improving national and local cooperation on counter-radicalization efforts, helping to promote reintegration of former violent extremists, and preventing online recruitment and radicalization. The Prime Minister encouraged municipal authorities to implement CVE efforts at the local level. Several municipalities in the Oslo fjord area, which PST assesses are the most vulnerable to radicalization, have increased their CVE efforts, including passing CVE action plans and increasing budgets for CVE and counter-radicalization activities. Demonstrating its leadership on CVE, the city of Oslo helped launch the Strong Cities Network (SCN), by hosting a Strong Cities event on the margins of the UN General Assembly meetings in September. Oslo is an SCN steering committee member, while the city of Kristiansand is also an SCN committee member.

International and Regional Cooperation: Norway is active in multilateral fora in efforts to combat terrorism, including NATO, the OSCE, and the EU's Radicalization Awareness Network. Though not a member, Norway has been an active participant in the Global Counterterrorism Forum. Norway has implemented several new projects in the areas of counterterrorism and CVE. Together with Turkey, Norway is supporting the development of a CVE Action Plan for the Horn of Africa. It has provided support to Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund and US $150,000 to the African Center for the Study and Research on Terrorism, located in Algiers, for the project to strengthen controls over the cross-border movement of terrorists in spaces between official border posts. Norway continued its support to the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF). Norway also provided US $80,300 to a joint project led by the UN's Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and the Global Center on Cooperative Security to promote regional counterterrorism cooperation in South Asia.

Norway continued to implement its agreement with the University of Pretoria's Institute for Strategic Studies to build counterterrorism capacity in the police and judiciary systems of African countries, totaling US $1.1 million from 2013 – 2015. Norway supported a youth civil activism network (YouthCAN), administered by the UK-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue.


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