Recreational firearms groups in Norway have discovered that Islamic radicals with connections to terrorist groups have been availing themselves of free weapons training, and are thus being licensed to own up to six firearms (including semi-automatic rifles) apiece.
Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated an article on this topic from Dagsavisen. It contains what I consider the Nordic Understatement of the Year: “This includes rifles and shotguns, which can be lethal in the wrong hands.”
Really? You think?
The translator includes this note:
Tor Bach, who is mentioned in this article, is a left-wing extremist with a past from the Blitz organization in Oslo. If I’m not completely mistaken he is involved with Vepsen.org, which is a leftist ‘expert’ organization on ‘right-wing extremism’.
By the way — the journalist who wrote this article also wrote a nasty article about Fjordman a couple of months after 22/7 in which she compared him with the SS.
Note: Jegerkurs is a hunting course which is mandatory for everybody who wants to obtain weapons legally in Norway:
Extreme Islamists sign up for Jegerkurs
Extreme Islamists sign on to the course in order to acquire weapons legally. The PST is aware of the situation, but is unable to prevent it.
During the past year several prominent extreme Islamists have attended hunting courses in order to acquire a hunting license. Upon completion of this course they can legally purchase up to six hunting rifles each.
Dagsavisen was given this information by local branches of Norges- Jeger og Fiskerforbund [the Norwegian Hunters and Anglers association] the multicultural nature and wildlife organization, by Wild-X, and by sources within the Police Security Service (PST). PST has been notified about the situation.
“I can confirm that we’ve had individuals who have expressed very extreme views attend hunting courses. They appear to be more preoccupied with acquiring weapons than with being out in the woods,” says Tor Bach, leader of the nature and wildlife organization Wild-X.
One of the many outdoor activities that Wild-X offers is a free hunting course.
Bach, who is himself a certified hunting instructor, led the course, and he became very concerned. He therefore decided to alert the authorities, but was told that their hands were tied.
“The holder of a hunting license is allowed to register up to six weapons on his license. This includes rifles and shotguns, which can be lethal in the wrong hands,” Bach says.
He believes that the PST should receive copies of all weapon applications that are being processed, and that they should be granted powers that would prevent individuals belonging to organizations promoting extremism and violence from obtaining weapons.
“People who worship violence and extremism must be prevented from obtaining weapons, but in order to stop people with clean criminal records from acquiring weapons, new laws need to be introduced,” says Tor Bach.
According to sources, Dagsavisen has been in contact with the Islamists in question, who originate from countries in North and West Africa. They are linked to the extremist group ‘Profetens Ummah’, one of several groups that the PST keeps a close eye on. Dagsavisen has been informed that PST know of their identities — and that they don’t keep an eye on them based solely on [their associations].
“I cannot comment on this particular case,” says Martin Bernsen, spokesperson for the PST.
Dagsavisen also has proof that one of the Islamists is affiliated with the extremist organization Ansar Al-Sunna that appeared in the public spotlight earlier this year. This group caused a stir when they demanded that the Grønland neighborhood in Oslo should become a separate state, and that Norwegians should start paying taxes to Muslims. The PST is currently investigating the organization for sending letters to the media and Norwegian politicians in which they threatened a new July 22 or a September 11 attack on Norwegian soil. The letter contained specific threats against Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and two other government ministers, Jonas Gahr Støre and Espen Barth Eide. In their threat assessment for 2012 the PST writes that extreme Islamism constitutes the biggest terror threat in Norway at the present time. The agency is deeply troubled that increasing numbers of Muslims gain operational experience, travel to conflict areas for training and combat purposes and gain access to international networks.
A couple of weeks ago ‘Profetens Ummah’ organized a rally outside the U.S. embassy in Oslo to protest against the movie “Innocence of Muslims” which mocks the prophet Mohammed. Approximately 100 Muslims attended the rally, the majority of them men. The organization is led by Ubaydullah Hussain (27).
“Anyone who is a Norwegian citizen and has a clean criminal record can get a hunting license. If some members of ‘Profetens Ummah’ have acquired a hunting license then that is a private matter,” says Ubaydullah Hussain to Dagsavisen. Hussain fails to see that anyone has done anything illegal under Norwegian law.
“It is a private matter,” he says. In a major interview in the latest edition of Morgenbladet, Ubaydullah Hussain explains why he admires Osama bin Laden and why he wants to introduce the death penalty in Norway. Asked whether he condones a violent attack in Norway carried out by Muslims, he replies that he would certainly understand why it might take place and that it wouldn’t surprise him.
He refuses to say whether he would have notified the authorities about such an attack or whether he would have participated in it himself, but it appears that he believes that Norway’s participation in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the sale of weapons and ammunition to countries like the U.S. and Israel justifies violent action on Norwegian soil.
Hasn’t obtained a hunting license
In order to legally obtain weapons participants attending hunting courses must apply to take the hunting test — which in this case would have to be lodged with våpenkontoret [the weapons office] in Oslo. It is the local police departments that are tasked with processing weapons applications. If the participant passes the hunting test and has no prior criminal record then the permit must be granted. Each year between 10,000 and 12,000 people acquire a hunting license in Norway.
According to information that Dagsavisen has obtained, Islamists have as of yet not obtained any hunting licenses, but it is only a matter of time before they do. PST has access to the national weapons registry, but neither the PST nor the regular police can at this stage prevent Islamists from acquiring weapons provided that they have no criminal record. A high-caliber weapon designed to shoot big game has a range of several thousand meters.
“We don’t have the mandate to filter or reject participants who sign up for our courses based on their having long beards, short pants or speaking Arabic. It is not our duty to keep track of who is buying weapons. That is the task of the police,” says Espen Farstad, leader of the Norwegian Association of Hunters and Anglers. He shares Tor Bach’s position that violence-promoting extremists shouldn’t be given the opportunity to acquire weapons legally.
- There are almost 2.5 million firearms registered in the weapons registry in Norway. These weapons are distributed qa 485,000 individuals. Excluded from the registry are shotguns bought prior to 1990 before mandatory registration was introduced. It is believed that there are half a million unregistered shotguns.
- Each hunter is authorized to own up to six weapons. Semi-automatic weapons are allowed for hunting, practice and competition shooting.
- There are 438,000 active hunters in Norway, but only 200,000 pay the annual hunting license fee. 47,000 individuals are members of local shooting clubs.
- Weapons are used in every fourth murder in Norway. In 81 out of 171 murders committed from 1991 to 2010, hunting rifles, shotguns and rifles were used. Machine guns were used in 10 of them and 80 murders were committed with a gun or a revolver.
- The reason why there are so many guns in private ownership in Norway is because of a long and proud hunting culture and numerous weapons organizations.
- The July 22 Commission were concerned that more terrorist attacks would occur because of poor control of who may own weapons in Norway.