Norway police release suspects detained in raid
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Last Updated: Monday, July 25, 2011, 00:20
  
Oslo: Norwegian police said they briefly detained a number of people during a raid on Sunday on a property in Oslo thought to be connected with twin attacks that killed at least 92 people.

"No explosives were found at the location and those detained have been released," Oslo police said in a statement. "Police have nothing that could enable these people to be connected with acts of terror."

Neighbours at the site told a news agency that police had detained six people around midday.

Focus on Islamists let other extremists go under radar

Stockholm: Security services in Norway and elsewhere in the region had recently shifted their focus to Islamist extremism, letting other forms of terror slip under the radar, experts said.

While there had been initial fears that Friday's twin attacks might have been an act of revenge for Norway's participation in the campaigns in Afghanistan and Libya, everything changed when it emerged the suspect was a native Norwegian.

Named by media as Anders Behring Breivik, the alleged killer has been described by police as a "fundamentalist Christian" whose political opinions leaned "to the right." He had also been a member of the populist right-wing Progress Party (FrP) and was a member of a Swedish neo-Nazi Internet forum.

For some, the suspect is an example of far-right extremism, which has got less attention while intelligence agencies concentrated on radical Islam.

For others, such as Daniel Poohl of Sweden's Expo foundation, a leading group in monitoring far-right activity across Scandinavia, he is representative of a new kind of terrorism fuelled by anti-Islamism.

The manifesto Behring Breivik posted online showed his act was prompted by a hatred of Islam, Poohl told AFP, and in that respect he differs from extremists in violent far-right groups.

In a report published earlier this year, Norway's intelligence agency said that far-right extremists existed in Norway, but that they had "barely been active in recent years."

"However, the trend that saw an increased level of activity in 2010 is expected to continue in 2011," the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST)'s annual threat assessment report read.

But the PST noted that "as in previous years, the far-right and far-left extremist communities will not represent a serious threat to Norwegian society in 2011."

"The lack of strong leadership limits the growth of these groups," it said.

Instead, it said it was "primarily" Islamist extremists "who could pose a direct threat to Norway in the year ahead."

Robert Oerell of Sweden's Exit foundation, which helps those who wish to leave nationalist, racist and Nazi-oriented groups and movements, said that the focus on Islamist radicals had favoured far-right extremists.

PTI PTI


First Published: Monday, July 25, 2011, 00:08


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