Norway attacks: the latest terror strikes in Western Europe
Details are still sketchy on who carried out the Oslo bombing, but Norwegian police are also connecting it to a gunmen who attacked a political youth camp shortly after.
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But it isn't necessarily Ansar al-Islam, Al Qaeda, or other Islamist militant groups. There is also a theoretically dangerous Norwegian far right, opposed to the polices of Stoltenberg's Labor Party and angry about the country's relatively lax immigration rules. Early reports from Norwegian media like TV2 say the gunman on Utoya was a blonde native Norwegian speaker in a police uniform who is currently in custody. While that doesn't rule out the possibility he was working with an Islamist group, it at least opens up the door to Norwegian ultra-nationalists being responsible. Expect another day of speculation, at least, before the data hardens.Skip to next paragraph
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Whoever is responsible, Norway has joined the growing list of country's that have experienced terrorist attacks in the last few years. Below are some of the notable attacks.
A suicide bomber planted a car bomb in the Swedish capital last September and blew himself up with a crude pipe bomb strapped to his chest. The suicide bomber was Taimour Abdulwahab, a Swedish national of Iraqi dissent. Iraq claimed that Mr. Abdulwahab had received training in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul after falling in with militant circles while studying in Luton in the United Kingdom. Whatever his training, his car bomb was poorly made (gas canisters designed to accelerate the explosion failed) and the attempt at mass casualties during the Swedish Christmas shopping rush was thwarted.
Northern Ireland, 2010- 2011
Though the Irish Republican Army says it has laid down its arms, dissident IRA groups were active in Northern Ireland last year, with at least eight improvised explosive devices found either attached to cars or hidden near roads. The bombs, which were mostly targeted at police officials, did not claim any lives although there were injuries. In one case in Lurgan, Northern Ireland last August, three children received minor injuries from an explosion. This year, there have been at least two attacks, with one in April claiming the life of a member of the police service in Omagh.
Spain experienced a number of attacks that have been blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA in 2009. A bomb at a TV station in Hernani in January claimed no casualties, nor did a car bomb in Madrid the following month. There were at least five more bombings throughout the year without any deaths. However, a car bomb in July killed two policemen on the holiday island of Majorca at a time when the Spanish royal family was due for a visit.
London, July 7, 2005
The attack on the London transit system, referred to as 7/7 in the UK, claimed 56 lives (including the four attackers). Three suicide bombers attacked trains in the London tube, while a fourth hit a crowded double-decker bus. All four were Muslims and British nationals. In martyrdom videos left behind by two of the men, they said their attacks were in retaliation for "atrocities" carried out by the UK against Muslims, and one of them described Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri (the Al Qaeda leader who succeeded bin Laden after his death earlier this year) as "heroes."