Norway mourns, ponders impact of terror attacks
The terror attacks that killed 93 in Oslo Friday, apparently carried out by an ultranationalist, has stunned Norway. Now the country wonders what security changes will be made.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The twin terror attacks that destroyed government offices and killed dozens at the ruling Labor Party’s youth camp have prompted a period of soul searching that has led some to fear sweeping changes may come to Norwegian politics and security.
During a packed memorial service today for the family and friends of the victims, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg reached out to those in mourning after the powerful car bomb and gunman killed 93 in total.
Mr. Stoltenberg admitted Friday’s twin attacks have rocked the country but stressed the Norway would not stray from its beliefs.
“We are still shocked by what has happened, but we will never give up our values,” he told the crowd of mourners, royalty, and other dignitaries gathered at the Oslo Cathedral. “Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity. But never naivete.”
Hundreds flocked to the church to pay their respects or watch the memorial service unfold. A line of people trying to enter the church stretched down the block forcing organizers to turn away the overflowing crowd. Those that couldn’t enter were allowed to visit an impromptu monument of flowers, candles, and Norwegian flags that has cropped up in the churchyard.
“I don’t think any one had any fear that something like this would happen,” said Trygve Kjolseth standing in the throng of onlookers outside the church.
The Norwegian man charged with attacks – 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik – is said to have acted alone and appears to have planned the attacks for some time.
Earlier today, police raided the former site of a used car dealership on the outskirts of Oslo in connection with their investigation. Police said the search did not yield any new explosives or more suspects.
Geir Lippestad, Mr. Breivik’s lawyer, said his client has “admitted his guilt to the actual facts” of the case and detailed his motive. Mr. Lippestad declined to elaborate. “He said quite a bit on that but I don’t wish to comment further on that now,” he told reporters. Breivik is expected to appear in court Monday.