Norway Death Toll Soars
Police in Norway have charged a 32-year-old man they say is a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing affiliations with the murder of at least 92 people. Anders Behring Breivik is suspected of bombing a government center and then, dressed as a police officer, opening fire at a youth camp on an island outside Oslo. President Obama said of the attacks, “It’s a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring.”
“Norway lost its innocence today,” a grim-faced Ola Borten Moe, the minister of oil and energy, told The Daily Beast's Åsne Seierstad. Several of his staff were wounded in the blast, which killed at least seven and wounded 15. “This will change Norway forever. This is something we have read about from other countries.
In a press conference Saturday, Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called the attacks a "nightmare" and said that,“Not since the Second World War has the country experienced such an atrocity.”
NRK journalist Ole Torpe gave a chilling account of the gunman to the BBC:
"He travelled on the ferry boat from the mainland over to that little inland island posing as a police officer, saying he was there to do research in connection with the bomb blasts," Torpe said. "He asked people to gather round and then he started shooting, so these young people fled into the bushes and woods and some even swam off the island to get to safety."
Given the suspect's ethnicity and the political nature of the targets, the attacks increasingly suggest home-grown domestic extremism. Norway police told the Associated Press that the attack is their country's Oklahoma City, a reference to the 1995 bombing of an American federal building that killed 168 people. "It seems it's not Islamic-terror related," another official said. "This seems like a madman's work."