Almost as soon as the first glass fragments hit the pavement in Oslo this afternoon, the blogosphere was abuzz with the news of the deadly event. The bombing was immediately identified it as a jihad attack by many commentators. This conclusion seemed to be confirmed shortly afterwards when a Islamic terrorist group claimed responsibility for the carnage.
As later reports came in, however, the picture began to change. The shooter at Utøya was repeatedly described as “Nordic” in appearance. Initial reports that he may have been a convert to Islam were never subsequently confirmed. Then the terrorist outfit withdrew its claim of responsibility, and the case for jihad became thin indeed.
No one of “Middle Eastern appearance” was listed as being sought. No witnesses reported hearing cries of “Allahu akhbar!” in Oslo or Utøya.
Now that the suspect is in custody and has been identified as an indigenous Norwegian, the latest reports refer to him as a “right-wing extremist”, presumably linked to some ultra-nationalist group.
Yet his attacks targeted the Socialists, the most anti-Israel of the major parties in Norway. Based on the affiliation of the people he killed, some websites go so far as to describe him as a “Zionist”.
To make matters even stranger, his Facebook page is quite innocuous — unless you consider The Prince subversive. And it was only set up a few days ago.
So I have no idea what the real story is. When the Scandinavian Gang of Five wake up in the morning, they will no doubt sift the latest Norwegian-language accounts, and possibly find something worth reporting.
However — assuming that the young man is not really a “Zionist” — his being a “right-wing extremist” does not rule out a jihad connection. Not at all.
There is ample precedent for speculation in this regard. For a possible parallel, we may turn to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
I’ve read several accounts that describe the Oslo murderer as “a Norwegian Timothy McVeigh”. The crime in downtown Oslo does resemble the Oklahoma City atrocity — a powerful vehicle bomb, possibly a fertilizer bomb, detonated near a government building for the purpose of causing mass casualties. Then, after initial alarm about Islam, we hear that the alleged perpetrator is a crazed right-wing zealot bent on killing as many of his fellow citizens as possible.
Yes, Oslo and Oklahoma City definitely have a lot in common in this regard.
But one thing many people seem to forget — and which they may never have known, thanks to the American government’s actions and the media spin that followed — is that there almost certainly was an Islamic terror connection to the Oklahoma City bombing.
I refer, of course, to the book The Third Terrorist by Jayna Davis. Ms. Davis did exhaustive research, examined all the evidence, interviewed the witnesses who had seen the third conspirator, tracked down the connections, and identified the Iraqi who helped Timothy McVeigh build the bomb. Her work provided more than enough evidence to satisfy Occam’s Razor: there was a third terrorist.
McVeigh’s bomb was thought to have an “Islamic signature” — that is, a bomb of that strength and type was considered almost certain to have been constructed or designed by Muslim terrorists who had the experience and know-how to do the job. It was believed that no domestic terrorist group had the ability to construct such a powerful fertilizer bomb.
That’s why government officials made their early announcement of Islamic terrorism — which, for reasons of their own, they backed away from a few days later. “White supremacists” and “militias” were the preferred culprits, and not Muslims, so the third terrorist had to disappear down the memory hole.
And so he did, as I discovered this afternoon when discussing the horrific events with several Europeans. They had never heard of The Third Terrorist.
So don’t rule Islam out of the Oslo picture, not just yet. Think of the level of destruction the killer managed to accomplish — how unreasonable would it be to assume the backing and assistance of people who have proved themselves proficient at making very, very powerful bombs and detonating them in major cities?
No matter what conclusions the Norwegian government comes to, look for a “second terrorist”. Or a third, or a fourth…
Anybody who is interested in the idea and can read Norwegian should start investigating this right now. If any evidence of such complicity exists, it’s a good bet that it has already begun to disappear.