Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norway Shooting and Bomb Attack Leaves at Least 91 Dead - NYTimes.com

Norway Shooting and Bomb Attack Leaves at Least 91 Dead - NYTimes.com

OSLO — The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center here and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead.

The police said they did not know if the man, identified by the Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik, was part of a larger conspiracy. He is being questioned under the country’s terrorism laws, police said, and is cooperating with the investigation of the attacks, the deadliest on Norwegian soil since World War II.

“We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised news conference, adding: “What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist.” So far Mr. Breivik has not been linked to any anti-jihadist groups, he said.

The attacks bewildered a nation better known for its active diplomacy and peacekeeping missions than as a target for extremists.

For some Norwegians on Saturday, the scale of the attacks, and the fact that they appeared to have been carried out by one of their own, seemed particularly hard to grasp.

“It is difficult to think this is coming from inside our country, not outside,” said Thorborn Jagland, a Norwegian who is Secretary General of the Council of Europe. “This is something surprising for all of us.”

“This is something that is not possible to understand at all,” he told BBC radio.

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