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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


By Bashy Quraishy, Secretary General - EMISCO -European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion - Strasbourg/Copenhagen

At 3.26 p.m on Friday, the 22 July 2011, a hefty explosion ripped through the centre of Oslo, the capital of Norway, causing heavy material damage, dozens of severely injured, 7 people killed and many still missing. The bomb caused heavy destruction to the offices of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and a number of other official buildings. Neighboring offices - including those housing some of Norway's leading newspapers and news agency NTB were evacuated. Oil ministry was among the other government buildings hit, while the headquarters of tabloid newspaper VG were also damaged. From TV pictures, one can see the extensive damage in the shape of rubble. Glass from shattered windows littered the streets and smoke from the fires drifting across the city could be seen from the devastated government quarter. One must condemn such cowardly and brutal carnage as strongly as possible. There should be no buts and ifs on the issue violence and terror. Soon after the first news flash on Danish TV 2, I zapped at least 5 TV Channels - Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, BBC World and CNN, to see, what was being discussed and how anti-terror experts and media pundits were analyzing the situation and who was being signaled out or even blamed for this hideous crime. They even announced that there were many signs pointing to Islamist terror.

I was not surprised, how quickly; all commentators started pointing the finger towards Islamic terrorists, Al-Qaeeda, Jihadi movements, Islamic militants, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, and even the possibility of converted Islamist Norwegians was brought in the discussion. This serious charge and inflammatory connotation was dished out to public, even if no one had taken responsibility, no arrests took place, no investigation was launched and none of the persons wounded or otherwise even mentioned any thing remotely close to what media and anti-terror experts were irresponsibly launching. For example, the Swedish terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp said to News Agency Ritzau among other things that he thought it could be Al Qaida's work. His position changed when the shooting accrued but his inner intentions came to light when he told news agency T T: “ Had it just been a bombing, it would be natural to connect it to Islamic terror. Now we have also seen an attack against the Labor Party's youth, and it changes the whole picture”. Later the New York Times even went as far as to say; “Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause of Friday’s assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking Al Qaeda’s brutality and multiple attacks”.

This tone and undocumented finger pointing towards “Islamic Connection” however changed a bit after a short while, when a young blond Norwegian man was arrested after he shot and killed 84 young political activists from the ruling Labor Party’s youth wing, who were gathered on the close by Island of Utøya for a seminar. Unfortunately, the Prime Minster of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg also went on Norwegian TV and indirectly hinted that terror attacks were the work of non-Norwegian forces. Mark his words; “"No one will bomb us to silence, no one will shoot us to silence, no one will ever scare us from being Norway. We should never compromise on our values and democracy". He did not wait for the police or his Justice Minster to give him some sort of hint and a sound advice. The only balanced remark came from the Norwegian Foreign Minister when he was talking to CNN. He said: “ we do not want to jump to conclusions, let the police do its job”. When CNN pushed him with its own opinion, the minster once again reiterated; "We do not want to commit the same mistake like other countries by jumping to conclusions. We are waiting for the findings of the police."

Police authorities were all along saying that it was premature to say, who can be responsible for this action. When the situation became a little clearer, the Norwegian Justice Minster Knut Storberget issued a statement that the arrested man responsible for bombing the Oslo Centre and shooting at Utøya Island is a native Norwegian. It also emerged that police were aware of the identity of the man who was under interrogation in Oslo as well as it was familiar with the environment in which he moved around. After that the police clearly mentioned that there was no question of international terrorism. The Norwegian intelligence agency is co-operating with the Oslo police district to investigate the matter and to interrogate the detainee to clarify whether he acted on his own or have a wider support among far right movement in Norway. Following his apprehension, Breivik was characterized by officials as being a conservative right-wing extremist. Deputy police chief Roger Andresen described the suspect as a "Christian fundamentalist". Until 2000, he was member of far right Progressive Party. He has also identified himself in a multitude of social media services as an admirer of, among others, anti-Nazi World War II hero Max Manus and anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

According to the Norwegian Minster of Foreign Minster, all freedom loving and peaceful people in the world have shown the greatest sadness on this carnage and expressed profound solidarity with the families of the victims, Norwegian government and citizens. This is a very heartwarming news. I just hope that in future, the politicians, the media, the anti-terror experts would let the police do their job of gathering the evidence, collect the information, shifting through the material and finding the culprits. Guessing, supposing and finger pointing only creates panic among the citizens, throw suspicion on innocent groups and even destroy good relations between the Islamic world and the West. It is also very harmful and dangerous for ethnic and religious minorities, especially Muslim communities who live in all western societies – peacefully, in harmony and are part of the societies. There are many progressive people in the West who wish to have pleasant relations with Muslim minorities, but such irrational, irresponsible and knee jerk behavior on the part of opinion makers in the West makes the process of integration difficult if not impossible. Media has a special duty in this respect. Journalists have a great deal of power in shaping public opinion and thus media must be extra careful when it is covering sensitive issues like terrorism and violence.



Twin bomb and shooting attacks on Norway's government and ruling party left at least 92 people dead and several wounded Friday. Here is a list of attacks in Scandinavian countries since 1999:

- June 28, 1999: Two journalists and their eight-year-old son are wounded when their car explodes in a Stockholm suburb after they had received death threats from neo-Nazi groups. The couple had published a report in Swedish newspaper Expressen about a Milan record company that had released music hailing the "white race". Three days after the attack, two police officers are seriously wounded in a car bomb explosion in Malmoe in the south while conducting a routine inspection of the vehicle.

- Oct 11, 2002: Seven people including the attacker are killed and more than 80 injured in a suicide bombing attack on a shopping mall in Vantaa, north of the Finnish capital Helsinki. The motives of the bomber, 19-year-old chemistry student Petri Gerdt, remain unknown.

- Sept 17, 2006: Automatic gunfire is aimed at the facade of a synagogue in Oslo, without claiming any casualties. Three men are arrested, suspected of also having planned attacks on the US and Israeli embassies in the Norwegian capital.

- Dec 31, 2008: Two Israelis are shot and injured in a shopping centre in Odense in central Denmark. A Palestinian who said he was expressing anger about the ongoing Middle East conflict, is jailed for 10 years in January 2010.

- September 10, 2010: Lors Dukayev, a Belgian of Chechen origin, plans to attack the Jyllands-Posten paper in revenge for its publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, but the device explodes while he prepares it in a Copenhagen hotel. He is jailed for 12 years.

- December 11, 2010: Taymour Abdulwahab, a 29-year-old whose family fled from Iraq to Sweden in 1991, blows himself up in an empty side-street off Stockholm's busiest pedestrian thoroughfare, injuring two people. An Islamist website, Shumukh al-Islam, posts a purported will by Abdulwahab in which he says he is fulfilling a threat by Al-Qaeda in Iraq to attack Sweden for what he terms its war on Islam, notably in Afghanistan.


Exclusive: Racist attack on Luton mosque (UK)

Racist thugs vandalised a Luton mosque during the early hours of Friday morning. They spray painted “EDL” and a swastika – the symbol of Nazi Germany – on the walls, and smashed windows.

Imam Shahid Ahmed from the Madinah mosque in Luton spoke to Socialist Worker about the attack.

“We locked up the mosque at 11.30pm on Thursday night, everything was fine. When I returned at 4am for morning prayers I found the windows smashed. The words ‘EDL’ were painted on both sides of the mosque and a symbol [swastika] was also painted on one wall.”

Bedfordshire police attended the scene and the council immediately removed the racist graffiti.

Shahid said that the racists who attacked the mosque are ignorant. “They have no understanding or respect for any religion,” he told Socialist Worker. “This is a place of worship. We live in a multicultural society. We have to respect each other.”

Dave Barnes from Unite Against Fascism in Luton went to the mosque to offer solidarity.

“The attack on the Medina mosque was exactly the same form of attack we saw on homes in Bury Park the night after the EDL protest in February – windows smashed and EDL painted on the walls. It is clear who is behind the attack.

“We have to stand united against racism. This attack has made us even more determined to organise to get as many people as possible to Tower Hamlets on 3 September to take part in the national protest to stop the EDL marching through the heart of London’s Muslim community.”


Norway attacks draws comparison to Oklahoma bomber

The right-wing, anti-government mindset attributed to the Norwegian rampage suspect has observers recalling US extremist Timothy McVeigh, behind the devastating Oklahoma City bombing.

McVeigh, then just 26, blew up a van he had packed with explosives and parked outside a large federal building in the Oklahoman state capital, on April 19, 1995.

The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children and babies, injured more than 800, in the deadliest ever domestic attack in US history, and brought into sharp focus the threat of homegrown terrorism.

Arrested shortly afterwards, McVeigh, a Gulf War veteran, was found to have been a figure in neo-Nazi groups and even claimed to have acted for the "common good" of Americans, as he railed against what he thought was the dictatorship of the federal government.

After six years he was executed on June 11, 2001, but while on death row, McVeigh spoke openly of his part in the bombing and the anti-government hatred that motivated him.

In the case of the murderous rampage in Norway that has killed at least 91 people and shocked the normally peaceful northern European nation, a portrait of the lone attacker has emerged as a "Christian fundamentalist," and links have been made with right-groups.

Widely named by local media as Anders Behring Breivik, he identifies himself as "ethnically Norwegian," and has posted writings at length on his dismay with the Norwegian government and the ruling liberal political party.

On his Facebook page -- since deleted -- Breivik also said he was a director of an organic farming business, which gave him access to nitrate chemicals apparently used in the Oslo explosion that kicked off Norway's own worst ever homegrown attack on Friday.

An agricultural firm has indicated Breivik purchased some six tons of chemical fertilizer in early May.

The Oklahoma City bombing in the United States drew wide attention and even acclaim from some far-right militias.

"Timothy McVeigh is still seen by some groups in the US as a hero," said Matthew Goodwin, politics lecturer at the University of Nottingham in central England.

"Whether this attack (in Norway) will inspire copycat attacks itself remains to be seen. There is certainly the potential for it."

According to data compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in the United States, the number of dedicated militias with a racist, extremist agenda has increased 60 percent since 2000, from 602 then to over 1,000 recorded last year.

The SPLC estimated in 2009 that such movements were further emboldened with the election of the first black president, Barack Obama in 2008.


Norway suspect member of Nazi web forum: advocacy group

The suspect in the twin attacks that killed at least 92 people in Norway was a member of a Swedish neo-Nazi Internet forum, a group monitoring far-right activity said Saturday.

"He created a profile in 2009, with a pseudonym that can be traced back to his email address," Mikael Ekman, a researcher with the Stockholm-based Expo foundation, told AFP.

It was not possible however to determine when the suspect, named by Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik, was last active on the forum, which counts some 22,000 members from across the region, he said.

Nordisk a web forum founded in 2007, describes itself as a portal on the theme of "the Nordic identity, culture and traditions."

It hosts discussions on "everything from white power music to political strategies to crush democracy," Ekman wrote in an article published Saturday on the Expo magazine's website.

Nordisk's members range from Swedish members of parliament for the far-right Sweden Democrats party to Nazi leaders, the article explained.

"What united the members is a critical attitude to the current refugee policy and immigration," it said.

Some contributors to the forum have posted comments inciting violence.

"Cars parked next to high buildings with fertilising powder + diesel gives a nice effects," one anonymous user said last year on the forum.

"The buildings go down like the World Trade Center."

"I think it's a but too bad that people do not see this is a war we must wage," the contributor, who Ekman said was not Behring Breivik, added.

"Those ... in government, who do not live close to or don't have to experience immigrants' threat in their nice neighbourhoods ... in my world there is no dishonest act one can commit against these monsters," the user wrote.

At least 85 people were killed when a gunman dressed as a policeman opened fire at a youth camp hosted by the ruling Labour party's youth wing at an island near Oslo.

Earlier Friday, seven people were killed when a bomb ripped through the government quarter in the Norwegian capital.

My Sinchew.com

Norway attacks: Utøya gunman boasted of links to UK far right

Anders Brehing Breivik took part in online discussions with members of the EDL and other anti-Islamic groups.

Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of the murder of at least 92 Norwegians in a bomb and gun massacre, boasted online about his discussions with the far-right English Defence League and other anti-Islamic European organisations.

The Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said Norwegian officials were working with foreign intelligence agencies to see if there was any international involvement in the slaughter. "We have running contact with other countries' intelligence services," he said.

Breivik was arrested on Utøya island where he shot and killed at least 85 people, mostly teenagers, at a youth summer camp for supporters of Norway's Labour party after bombing Oslo's government district just hours before. Dressed as a police officer, he ordered the teenagers to gather round him before opening fire. Survivors described how dozens of people were mown down. The massacre led to the largest death toll ever recorded by a single gunman on the rampage.

Ida Knudsen, 16, said she had been in a group of 100 who had initially run from the killer, but that was reduced to about 60 as the gunman pursued them. Eventually she was one of 12 who climbed into a boat and escaped.

Another survivor, 15-year-old Mattori Anson, described how he fled into a cabin with 40 other teenagers. They blocked the door and the killer tried to get inside. "Then he began shooting at the door." Eventually he gave up and the occupants all survived.

With the entire island a crime scene, officers were still combing the shoreline on Saturday and boats were searching the water for more bodies amid fears the toll could rise further. Police were continuing to investigate whether there had been a second gunman on the island.

The disclosure of Breivik's claimed links with far-right organisations came as details continued to emerge about the rightwing Christian fundamentalist and Freemason behind Norway's worst postwar act of violence.

It was revealed that the 32-year-old former member of the country's conservative Progress party – who had become ever more extreme in his hatred of Muslims, leftwingers and the country's political establishment – had ordered six tonnes of fertiliser in May to be used in the bombing. While police continued to interrogate Breivik, who was charged with the mass killings, evidence of his increasingly far-right world-view emerged from an article he had posted on several Scandinavian websites, including Nordisk, a site frequented by neo-Nazis, far-right radicals and Islamophobes since 2009.

The Norwegian daily VG quoted one of Breivik's friends, saying that he had become a rightwing extremist in his late 20s and was now a strong opponent of multiculturalism, expressing strong nationalistic views in online debates.

Breivik had talked admiringly online about conversations he had had with unnamed English Defence League members and the organisation Stop the Islamification of Europe (SIOE) over the success of provocative street actions leading to violence.

"I have on some occasions had discussions with SIOE and EDL and recommended them to use certain strategies," he wrote two years ago. "The tactics of the EDL are now to 'lure' an overreaction from the Jihad Youth/Extreme-Marxists, something they have succeeded in doing several times already."

Contacted by email, the EDL had not answered.

The latest disclosures came as the Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, flew by helicopter to a hotel in the town of Sundvollen – close to the island of Utøya – where many survivors were taken and where relatives converged to reunite with loved ones or identify their dead.

"A whole world is thinking of them," Stoltenberg said, his voice cracking with emotion. He said the twin attack made Friday the deadliest day in Norway's peacetime history. "This is beyond comprehension. It's a nightmare. It's a nightmare for those who have been killed, for their mothers and fathers, family and friends."

Buildings around the capital lowered their flags to half-mast while people streamed to Oslo cathedral to light candles and lay flowers. Outside, mourners began building a makeshift altar from dug-up cobblestones. On Saturday the Queen wrote to Norway's King Harald to offer her condolences and express her shock and sadness.

Breivik's Facebook page was blocked, but a cached version describes a conservative Christian from Oslo. The profile veers between references to lofty political philosophers and gory popular films, television shows and video games. The account appears to have been set up on 17 July. The site lists no "friends" or social connections.

The Guardian