European police agency plans task force to help Scandinavians "tackle terrorism" (Problem, Reaction, Solution?)
2011 07 24
By Paisley Dodds | Macleans.ca / AP
In the wake of Norway’s terrorist attack, the European police agency is setting up a task force of more than 50 experts to help investigate non-Islamist threats in Scandinavian countries, its spokesman told The Associated Press.
Soeren Pedersen said Saturday the group, based in The Hague, hopes to help Norway in the coming weeks and to aid other countries such as Denmark, Finland and Sweden in assessing non-Islamist threats. Norway has not yet requested forensic experts but Europol stands ready to assist, Pedersen said.
"There is no doubt that the threat from Islamist terrorism is still valid," he said, adding that the task force could be expanded in the future to include even more European nations. "But there have actually been warnings that (right-wing groups) are getting more professional, more aggressive in the way they attract others to their cause."
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, European countries have viewed Islamic terrorism as the primary threat. But the fact that the suspect in Friday’s attacks turned out to be a Norwegian with right-wing views is raising questions about whether homegrown, non-Islamic terror threats have been misjudged.
The alleged assailant was identified by Norway’s national broadcaster as Anders Behring Breivik, 32; police will not confirm his name because charges are pending.
Authorities say he posted comments on Christian fundamentalist websites and held anti-Muslim views. He was also once a member of the youth wing of a rightist party.
In leaked diplomatic cables dating back to 2008, U.S. diplomats warned that Norway seemed complacent about terror threats and criticized gaps in intelligence. The cables released by Wikileaks also give a snapshot of simmering anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic tensions in Norway.
Anti-immigrant sentiment has grown in Norway as tensions rose over its policy of taking in conflict refugees.
In the 1990s, it welcomed immigrants from the Balkans. Years later, it opened its doors to large numbers of Iraqi refugees. The Norwegian government has said it expects some 15,000 new arrivals this year, many from Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Somalia.
Europe has seen an overall increase in xenophobia, boosting the ranks of ultranationalists and fueling their activity. Still, experts and officials across Europe say the main terror threat hovering over the continent remains Islamic jihadism. They suggest that the overall danger posed by European political extremists, both from left and right, is relatively small — but that anybody with the will and the means has a chance of wreaking devastation.
"This horrendous event in Norway is sobering because it shows how easy it is to cause havoc," a British government official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss security matters. "But you have to decide what the threat is. In the UK, extreme right and left wing groups aren’t perceived as big national security threats."
The numbers also indicate a low terror threat from ultrarightists.
In a report earlier this year, Europol said there had been no rightwing terror attacks in Europe last year. But there were 45 leftwing and anarchist attacks in 2010 — a 12 per cent increase from the previous year. There were also 160 separatist attacks last year, mainly in France and Spain.
The report said rightwing groups lacked cohesion and had little public support, though they were increasingly active on social networking sites.
"The numbers of rightwing extremist criminal offences are relatively low," said Europol, which has a large database where security data is regularly exchanged with partner countries and hosts a large counter-terrorism unit. Interpol, the international police agency based in Lyon, covers 187 countries around the globe.
The task force would be a special group assigned to looking at non-Islamist threats and investigating links to right-wing networks through Europe.
Security officials say it’s still too early to determine whether the attack was motivated by anti-immigrant sentiment or had support from far-right groups. Most of the dead were Norwegian youths at a summer camp for the youth wing of Norway’s ruling Labour Party.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told reporters that the attack underscored the dangers of jumping to conclusions when terrorists strike but said the country needed to examine its strategy of dealing with non-Islamic and far-right terror threats.
"This is a phenomenon that we have to address very seriously," Stoere said.
Pedersen said that the task force aims to pool regional resources to more effectively meet these challenges.
"The intention is to include other neighbouring countries and the task force should be working in the coming weeks, hopefully," he told the AP.
Discussions were already underway with Norway and other Scandinavian police forces.
Despite increased chatter among right-wing groups on the Internet and social networking sites, Pedersen said the European agency had no reason to suspect countries had miscalculated the threat of Islamic terrorism over threats from far-right or leftist groups.
Read the full article at: macleans.ca
Top Image: Soldiers block a street in the government headquarters building area in central Oslo on July 23, 2011, a day after twin attacks here and on a youth camp, Norway’s deadliest post-war tragedy. AFP PHOTO / JAN JOHANNESSEN
Source: The Sunday Telegraph
Norway + Israel = Unfavourable Relations
Gun politics in Norway
Why would terrorists want to attack Norway?
Norway Suffer Twin Attack - Seven Dead as Bomb Rocks Oslo & Several Shot at Youth Camp
Latest News from our Front Page
Roswell, UFOs and Project Pandora
2014 07 23
Well, now, this is interesting. In fact, it’s very interesting.
Over at the Department of Defense’s website you can find a file that has been declassified via the Freedom of Information Act on the subject of Project Pandora (which, to a significant degree, was focused on Cold War secrets, and how microwaves can affect the mind and body).
It’s a fascinating ...
Men of Europe, Put Down the Eckhart Tolle Book and Pick up Your Sword
2014 07 23
Remember who you really are...
The New Age Tactical Spiritual Military Industrial Complex supports murder and genocide. What is happening in Gaza today will eventually take place in London, Dublin, New York, Lisbon, Barcelona, Oslo, Glasgow, Melbourne, Stockholm, Auckland and Cape Town and wherever you are reading this article. Notice is being served upon all humanity. Not just the people of ...
Study Challenges Hypothesis that Birds Evolved from Dinosaurs
2014 07 23
The re-examination of Scansoriopteryx – a sparrow-sized, pre-Archaeopteryx, bird-like creature that lived in what is today China during the Jurassic period, about 154 million years ago – challenges the widely accepted hypothesis that birds are derived from land-dwelling dinosaurs that gained the ability to fly.
Unearthed in Inner Mongolia in 2002, Scansoriopteryx was previously classified as a theropod dinosaur, from which ...
Israeli Professor: Rape Hamas Militants’ Mothers and Sisters to Deter Terrorist Attacks
2014 07 23
An Israeli academic has claimed that raping wives and mothers of Palestinian Hamas militants is the only thing that could deter further terrorist attacks.
The remarks by renowned Middle East scholar Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University were made three weeks ago after the grim discovery of the bodies of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, but the recording was published online (in ...
’Mysterious plane’ with no callsign spotted circling London for two hours
2014 07 23
Scotland Yard has declined to comment on reports of a mysterious eavesdropping spyplane circling London.
A radar tracking website showed an aircraft orbiting London at 10,000 feet for more than two hours.
The plane had no recognisable callsign but was identified as a twin-engine Cessna F406 with the registration G-BVJT.
The aircraft has been linked in the past to a shadowy fleet of ...
|More News » |