A Timeline Of Terror

Norway bombing and shooting suspect Anders Behring Breivik
Norway bombing and shooting suspect Anders Behring Breivik

by Paul J Balles

Reporters simply refuse to give up their idea that Islamic terrorists had something to do with the attacks. Journalists had the same initial reaction in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.

At 3:30 pm on July 22nd major news sources reported that a large explosion had damaged government buildings in central Oslo, including the office of the Norwegian prime minster.

The BBC said police had told them it was believed to be terrorism-related.

Alyssa Nilsen told the Guardian: “My entire building was shaking ….People are lying across the street everywhere, I’ve seen people hanging out of the windows.”

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported that an unknown group called “Helpers of the Global Jihad” had posted a message that this is only the beginning of the reaction to Norwegian periodicals publishing the Muhammad cartoons.

Then came the news that a gunman disguised as a police officer was shooting up a camp full of teenagers at Utøya in Buskerud.

An eyewitness described the shooting from his position on the mainland: “There is a little war going on out there.”

According to the BBC, police were saying they believed the person(s) responsible for the bomb to be foreign. But the NRK reported that the attacker in Utøya, now arrested, looked Norwegian.

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Witnesses who managed to escape from the island said to NRK reporters on the spot that the perpetrator had a Norwegian look. He should be between 185 to 190 cm tall and have blond hair.

Then the New York Times chimed in. “A terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (the Helpers of the Global Jihad), issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack,”

The message said the attack was a response to Norwegian forces’ presence in Afghanistan and to unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad. Denmark not Norway harboured the insulting cartoonist.

The same evening Oslo police said they suspected the man arrested after the youth camp shooting was also linked to the bombing in Oslo.

At 8:48 pm The Norwegian justice minister confirmed at a news conference that the suspect arrested at the youth camp in Utøya was Norwegian.

At 10 pm, one journalist said that this was starting to look less like the work of international terrorists and more like that of a lone attacker with a grudge against the government.

On BBC’s Newsnight Security Correspondent Gordon Corera said “a youth rally is not a usual type of target for an Islamist terrorist… but he points out that the car bombing in Oslo was big, so it would have been a lot for someone working alone to achieve.”

Reporters simply refuse to give up their idea that Islamic terrorists had something to do with the attacks. Journalists had the same initial reaction in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.

By 11:30 pm, Norwegian police and the justice minister said a 32-year-old Norwegian man was arrested on the Island where a man…opened fire on teenagers attending a camp of Norway’s ruling Labour Party.

The man was reportedly also seen in Oslo before the bombs went off. “The police have every reason to believe there is a connection between the explosions and what happened at Utøya.”

According to earlier reports on Norwegian television, the man–later named Breivik–had connections to right-wing politics.

Another Norwegian news account indicated that Breivik harboured anti-Islam sentiment. The report said he identified strongly with nationalism and posted on an anti-Islam right-wing website, where he expressed views in opposition to multiculturalism and internationalism.

One commentator realistically observed that “The story will die down now that the perpetrator has been identified as non-Muslim.”

It was just too easy for the Western press to believe and publish the claim by Helpers of the Global Jihad. For all that anyone really knew, that bogus claim could have been the work of Israel’s Mossad.

A word to mainstream media: get the facts straight before instilling terror in your readers.

Read more from Paul Balles here

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