Local residents are calling this Norway’s 9-11, as today a major bomb blast hit the center of the nation’s capital, Oslo. In one moment, the psyche of a nation changed, as Norwegians have until this day never thought this kind of thing could happen in their corner of the world. This is the deadliest bombing in the country since World War II.
AP is reporting that the large blast “shattered windows and led to evacuations of office buildings near the government headquarters,” as damaged buildings included government offices and the headquarters of some of Norway’s leading newspapers. The size of the bomb is leading authorities to believe that this was a sophisticated car bomb. The Prime Minister’s office was damaged, but the Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, was not hurt. At least seven people have been reported dead with tens injured. Soldiers have now taken up positions protecting central Oslo.
At the same time, it has been reported that several people have been shot and killed by a man masquerading as a police officer at a youth camp near Oslo – a youth camp run by the Labor Party. This camp, about forty-five minutes from Oslo, apparently was also expecting a visit from the Prime Minister tomorrow.
Norwegian buildings are not prepared for this type of incident, as they do not have bomb blast windows or curtains and according to the local media the only building in Oslo that could have withstood this blast is the American Embassy which the locals have dubbed “Fortress America.”
While at the moment, speculation is running rampant, given Norway’s participation in NATO missions in the Middle East and its role in Libya, anything is possible. Given the connection of the locations to the Prime Minister, this could also be an internal affair. As the coordination of these attacks is reminiscent of 9-11 and the London Tube attacks the media is already naming Al Qaeda-related groups as possible perpetrators. However, that’s what the U.S. media did after Oklahoma City and we all know who the perp of that one ended up being.