Islamophobia Run Wild

by craig on July 23, 2011 7:52 am in Uncategorized

I watched the disgraceful Islamophobic rantings on the BBC and Sky News last night in mounting disbelief. Security correspondent and security expert vied with each other to tell us that the dreadful attacks in Norway were the work of al-Qaida. One extraordinary American, introduced as from a Centre for Combating Extremism, explained that these Norwegian jihadists had international links and plans to attack London and the New York subway. Norway was a target, we were repeatedly told, because of its NATO membership.

There was at least six solid hours of this poisonous bullshit. I did not pick up on one single person who said that this probably was not Islamic terrorism – despite the glaringly obvious fact that the atrocity had a Norwegian domestic political agenda, being an attack on the Prime Minister’s office, and on a youth camp of the governing party. The internet was buzzing for hours with the news that the attacker on Utoya Island was blonde, without the broadcast media mentioning it. The American security expert I mention above had that base covered – he had obviously seen those reports, but did not mention them. However he said that jihadist groups had probably recruited European looking operatives to carry out the attacks, because they were aware that security services “consciously or unconsciously operated racial profiling.”

This morning Al Jazeera and Russia Today were carrying the news that the attacker was Anders Breivik – and even a picture of him – while the BBC and Sky still were not, and while they had stopped the blatant Islamophobic ranting, had still not admitted it was not an Islamic militant attack.

I would love to believe that this incident would cause the media to reassess the value of the numerous “security experts” whose companies, institutes, funding, profile and standards of living have been spectacularly boosted by the “War on Terror”. But I doubt it.

All terrorism is terrible. Islamic extremist terrorism is terrible. But not all terrorism is Islamic extremist. To presume it is, is just as valid as to assume that any shooting in the UK is carried out by a black person. If the BBC reacted to the next news of a shooting or stabbing, by six hours about crime in the black community, when it turned out the perpetrators are white, there would rightly be outrage. This is no different.

UPDATE

The mainstream media and those “Security experts” are now struggling to cover up and justify their blatant Islamophobia. The New York Times was right at the forefront of the Islamophobic ranting, attributing the bombing to a non-existent Jihadist group and then being quoted all across the airwaves as the authority for that attribution. It has now published this amazing self-justificatory bullshit:

Norway has about 550 soldiers and three medevac helicopters in northern Afghanistan, a Norwegian defense official said. The government has indicated that it will continue to support the operations as long as the alliance needs partners on the ground.

Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause of Friday’s assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking Al Qaeda’s brutality and multiple attacks.

“If it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from Al Qaeda,” said Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism researcher at the New America Foundation in Washington. “One lesson I take away from this is that attacks, especially in the West, are going to move to automatic weapons.”

All the mainstream media are rushing to take down their crazed Islamophobic rantings from their websites this morning – the BBC did it just twenty minutes ago, and had a short period in consequence when they had nothing up on Norway. I expect newspaper sites will be doing the same. Print editions, of course, do not have that ability.

Mainstream media – all the hate and lies they can peddle. What would really be an interesting public inquiry, would be the links between “security” and “defence” correspondents and the security services whose propaganda they spread. I should love to know what security service briefings were behind yesterday’s Islamophobic lies.

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128 Comments

  1. But you are missing the fact that an extremist websites claimed responsibility for the attack.

    With very little evidence and a claim 10min after the attack, surely 24hr news will quickly latch itself to the claim and run with it! A little harsh to call it islamophobia!

  2. from the observer, great analysis:

    Friday 4.25pm: Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor at the Observer, says a jihadist group is most likely to be behind the blast:

    Peter Beaumont, foreign correspondent for The Observer. Photo: AP/Richard Lewis

    It has been known for some time that al-Qaida core and other related “franchises” – including in the most active in Yemen – have been attempting to develop operations. Which leads to a second question: why Norway?…

    The answer to that is three fold. In then first instance, with the increased levels of security and surveillance in the UK and the US as well as other European capitals, Norway might have been seen as a softer target despite the recent breaking up of an al-Qaida cell in Norway.

    A more detailed explanation of the problems that Norway has had with Al Qaeda were supplied a year ago by the Atlantic magazine in an article by Thomas Hegghammer, a senior fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment in Oslo, and Dominic Tierney.

    That piece followed the arrest of three men in Norway and Germany for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack involving peroxide explosives. All of those arrested were were Muslim immigrants to Norway.

    The first explanation,” wrote Hegghammer and Tierney, “is Afghanistan. Norway has been part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from its foundation in late 2001…. In late 2007, for example, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida’s
    second-in-command, said that the group had previously threatened Norway because it “participated in the war against the Muslims…

    A second contributory factor for why Norway may have been eyed in the past for potential jihadi terrorist attack is the fact that in 2006, a Norwegian newspaper reprinted a series of Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad which prompted threats against the country. A third potential explanation is the recent decision last week by a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he’s deported from the Nordic country. The indictment centered on statements that Mullah Krekar – the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam – made to various media, including American network NBC.

  3. Jack,

    You are missing the fact that nobody had ever heard of either the group or the website involved before. In fact there is now doubt that either exist.

  4. A terrible slaughter of young people and destruction. The BBC, the state broadcaster, in spite of having reported on the 7am news bulletin on Radio 4 that the perpetrator was most likely an ultra right wing nationalist, I heard the word ‘Islamist’ used about a dozen times in the following hour.

    On another topic, the Torygraph no less is reporting that Judge Leveson is a friend of Matthew Freud the PR guru who is married to Elisabeth Murdoch and has been to their parties. Also that Geo Osborne was in NY recently and had dinner with Rupert Murdoch.. Note his other contacts whilst there. Bloomberg, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley etc etc

    On the stricken island, the day before -
    BREAKING: CAMP IN NORWAY WHERE SHOOTING OCCURRED HAD JUST CONCLUDED PRO-PALESTINIAN RALLY THE DAY BEFORE!
    http://tiny.cc/9wr6i
    Any connection?
    .
    Norway are also leaving the outrageous coalition bombing of Libya at the end of August.

  5. Stephen,

    Thank you, that is hilarious.

  6. No, Stephen, that is not a ‘great analysis’. It is still connected with the subject of this particular blog. Try http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/22/anders-behring-breivik-id_n_907513.html for less conjecture & more actuality.

    Norway has issues for some time with the amount of foreigners moving there owing to Norway’s very liberal social system and relative wealth, and what’s just happened is a severely extreme protest to the left wing labour government there. It’s of course an appalling reaction but not without some foundation.

    What’s most worrying is the possible future of two extreme sides of a growing reactionary terrorism, with everyone else caught in the middle.

    That’s what needs evaluating in depth. Where it came from, what to do to resolve it. At least Murdoch’s empire is waning – we may yet stand a chance of achieving this.

  7. Stephen,

    Can you source that Peter Beaumont comment for me? He now has a column up saying the precise opposite!

  8. Richo,

    A different and interesting debate and I would take issue with you there. From the experience of Uzbek refugees there, Norway is an extremely unwelcoming state where racism is pretty pervasive and the state very unhelpful to foreigners. Norway actually has very low immigration for a Western European nation. What it does indeed have is lots of racist nutters who dislike what little immigration there is.

    Stephen’s “Great analysis” was sarcastic, incidentally.

  9. I hadn’t a clue what had happened until just half an hour ago.
    I switched on the TV BBC news just before reading this and it was reported Anders Breivik had links to the far right and acted alone but they had know idea what his motives might be.
    .
    First thing I thought was,…. that’s the sort of thing people on the far right sometimes do and they never act alone.
    .
    But if you strip away Anders Breivik’s blond hair, pale skin, Nordic looks, and no doubt Christian upbringing you have a typical brown skinned middle-eastern crazy Muslim coming over here hell bent on destroying our way of life.
    .
    You couldn’t make it up … the media did. And just as the media was telling us Murdoch’s tabloid shit was on the wane.
    .

  10. Absolutely agree with you Craig, listening to Frank Gardener on the 10pm news was gut wrenching, despite his knowledge of it being ‘most likely an internal affair’, showing that he full well knew that this was not an attack by so called islamic fighters, but a Timothy Mc veigh type attack, almost copied, bar the shooting at the youth camp, despite all this he still had to mention that one ‘can’t rulle ouit the possibility of Al Quaeda links blah blah blah, equally some other commentator on Newsnight.

    This si a clear manifestation that the BBC is part and parcel of a conspiracy to misinform, distort and lie in order to support a geostrategic effort to gain control over the worlds dwindling resources, another indication of fundamentalist radical capitalism at work.

    Not a word of an organised European rightwing movements linking together, not a word of Timothy Mc Veigh, not a word of the close links these groups keep with a certain middle east usurping power.

    Sadly this action will rejuvenate the terror crap we are going to hear from our Leviathan.

    My condolences to all families who have lost a child, it must have been a horrifying moment when it turned out that a figure of trust in a police uniform, so they thought, instantly turned on them.

  11. There is some running commentary on the medialens message board on this starting
    Yesterday, 7:33 pm http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/
    .
    A link from the message board. *Julian Borger and Peter Beaumont
    guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 July 2011 20.57*
    .
    ”There was speculation that yesterday’s attacks could be linked to Norway’s military involvement in Nato operations in Afghanistan, where it has 500 soldiers, or Libya, where Norwegian jet fighters are flying sorties.

    .

    ”Norwegian television reported that a previously unknown group called “Helpers of the Global Jihad” had posted a message online claiming the attacks were “only the beginning” of a response to the decision by Norwegian periodicals, like other Scandinavian media, to publish cartoons portraying the prophet Muhammad.
    .
    ”Last week a Norwegian prosecutor charged an Iraqi Kurdish cleric, Mullah Krekar, the founder of the Ansar al-Islam militant group, with making death threats against Norwegian politicians.”
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/22/norway-attacks-oslo-bomb-explosion
    .
    You couldn’t make it up! But they did… who bloody needs Murdoch!
    .

  12. Daily Telegraph – midnight last night.
    .
    ‘A spokesman for Executive Analysis, a London-based risk consultancy, said last night: “It is likely that [the suspect] was ethnically Norwegian. This could indicate the involvement of a far-Right group rather than an Islamist group, though it is also the case that the Labour Party would be a favourable target for Islamist groups due to its role in authorising Norwegian military deployment in Afghanistan.”
    .
    However, al-Qaeda has also been known to recruit local extremists and converts. A report earlier this year by Norway’s intelligence service noted the domestic terrorist threat posed by Norwegian citizens trained in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen or Afghanistan.’
    ,

    Norway: was far-Right group behind attacks?
    .
    Investigators are trying to establish if the captured suspect in the Oslo terrorist attacks operated alone.
    .
    At least one Islamic terror group quickly claimed the attacks were “revenge” for Norway’s engagement in Afghanistan Photo: AFP
    .
    By Duncan Gardham, and Martin Evans
    11:57PM BST 22 Jul 2011
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/8655979/Norway-was-far-Right-group-behind-attacks.html
    .
    The MSM cannot help themselves in putting out this junk.
    .
    Death toll now reported as 91. 9.00 am on Sky News who have just had two ‘security experts’ on.

  13. According to Norwegian sources on twitter last night, this guy is ‘anti-multiculturalism’, ‘anti-internationalism’, and seriously anti-Islam.
    And Sky News have just had a tw*t on who was asked about Christian fundamentalism and talked about ‘anti-Jewish’ groups. He slipped in anti-Islam in the middle.
    .
    This business of waffling by “terror experts” during 24-hour news coverage of such events – allowing for ridiculous speculation and bullshit – is the pits. And of course they went to town on “Al Quaeda” when they got the chance. Even this morning, someone has suggested “Al Quaeda inspired”.
    .
    Meanwhile, the death toll is now 91. What a horrific day for Norway.

  14. I missed the sarcasm, Stephen & Craig. Sorry about that ;) I lived in Oslo for years until a decade ago so this event had really gotten to me.

    Norway has indeed drawn a tight circle around itself the last few years owing to having been too generous before that. Unfortunately it’s now too late. 2 years ago while visiting my daughter there many Norwegians agreed it seems like Oslo now has 40 to 50% foreigners living there. There are now less safe inner city neighbourhoods too. And yes, that’s related.

    To be honest I’m not entirely surprised this has happened. The right wingers weren’t going to sit still forever. I just hope it galvanises a real international debate. Seems like we’ve all got to get involved now eh?

  15. Beaumont’s piece was on a blog on the Guardian.
    .
    4.25pm: Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor at the Observer, says a jihadist group is most likely to be behind the blast:

    Photo: AP/Richard Lewis It has been known for some time that al-Qaida core and other related “franchises” – including in the most active in Yemen – have been attempting to develop operations. Which leads to a second question: why Norway?…

    The answer to that is three fold. In then first instance, with the increased levels of security and surveillance in the UK and the US as well as other European capitals, Norway might have been seen as a softer target despite the recent breaking up of an al-Qaida cell in Norway.

    A more detailed explanation of the problems that Norway has had with Al Qaeda were supplied a year ago by the Atlantic magazine in an article by Thomas Hegghammer, a senior fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment in Oslo, and Dominic Tierney.

    That piece followed the arrest of three men in Norway and Germany for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack involving peroxide explosives. All of those arrested were were Muslim immigrants to Norway.

    The first explanation,” wrote Hegghammer and Tierney, “is Afghanistan. Norway has been part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from its foundation in late 2001…. In late 2007, for example, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida’s
    second-in-command, said that the group had previously threatened Norway because it “participated in the war against the Muslims…

    A second contributory factor for why Norway may have been eyed in the past for potential jihadi terrorist attack is the fact that in 2006, a Norwegian newspaper reprinted a series of Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad which prompted threats against the country. A third potential explanation is the recent decision last week by a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he’s deported from the Nordic country. The indictment centered on statements that Mullah Krekar – the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam – made to various media, including American network NBC.
    .
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:GQmMq_UKdxIJ:www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/jul/22/oslo-explosion-live-coverage+peter+beaumont+observer+norway&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk

  16. Beaumont had some guidance to revise later.
    .
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1311407278.html

  17. I think Stephen’s right Craig. The ‘revised’ article appears to be much different from the heading linked to it. I’ve just copied this, but I guess the heading will be taken down next.
    ‘Oslo bomb: suspicion falls on Islamist militants | World news …
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/…/oslo-bomb-suspicion-islamist-militantsPeter Beaumont · guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 July 2011 16.38 BST … A more detailed explanation of Norway’s problems with al-Qaida were supplied a year ago …
    Get more results from the past 24 hours’
    The tragedy and grief caused by such mindless acts of terrorism should be handled responsibly. Peter Beaumont should apologise, if not resign, for his blatant Islamophobia. So should all the other reporters who have been irresponsible.

  18. “BBC and Sky News”
    .
    They are one and the same. No view but the far and extreme right will be allowed. The people working for both these organisations must constantly live in fear of losing their employment if they don`t toe the line!. There is no “mainstream media”, what we have is the most sophisticated propaganda machine the world has ever seen, a propaganda machine that can convince others to buy into any untruth that will serve the purpose of accumulating power and money for the few at the expense of the many. The motto of the “propaganda machine” amounts to just one sentence….Keep the masses dumbed down.

  19. “Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t

    Perception is not reality. Due to the right wing’s influence and propaganda, people mistakenly think that Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to the Western world. It is even a commonly held belief that Islamic terrorism poses an existential threat–that the very survival of the Western world is at stake. Of course, the reality is that there are other groups that engage in terrorism on a much larger scale, yet these terrorist incidents are minimized. Acts of terrorism committed by Muslims are purposefully sensationalized and focused upon, culminating in the idea that “(nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/01/terrorism-in-europe/

  20. An ‘ex’ CIA PR stooge was on CNN last night saying the same thing i.e that we shouldn’t put too much store by the nationality of the suspect because Al Qaida were recruiting foreign nationals to do their work for them, all this without any shred of evidence of course. Interesting how this line synchronised between News organisations.

  21. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/jul/22/oslo-explosion-live-coverage

    This gives Guardian reporting minute by minute including Peter Beaumont’s rash piece.

  22. Unfortunately it ain’t just the media going wild with the Islamophobia. I think Obama’s initial response to the tragedy also implied that the attack was carried out by international players and therefore most likely Al Qaeda.
    .
    “It’s a reminder that the entire international community holds a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring. We have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks.”
    .
    The New Zealand PM then got in on the action (I miss Helen Clark);
    .
    “If it is an act of global terrorism, then I think that what it shows is no country, large or small, is immune from that risk,” Key said.
    “And that’s why New Zealand plays its part in Afghanistan as we try and join others like the United States in making the world a safer place,”
    .
    Even the Norwegian PM’s statements imply the attacker/s are external to Norway, although far more subtle (I’m not 100% on this interpretation, it could go either way);

    “No one will bomb us to silence. No one will shoot us to silence. No one will ever scare us away from being Norway,” the prime minister said. “You will not destroy us. You will not destroy our democracy and our ideals for a better world.”

  23. Wasn’t entirely baseless though, given recent events such as:

    http://bit.ly/qoapPs and

    http://bbc.in/o04kEb

    It’s all very well blogging in hindsight but these news organisations will speculate in real-time based on such past events

  24. OldTrot

    .

    ”An ‘ex’ CIA PR stooge was on CNN last night saying the same thing i.e that we shouldn’t put too much store by the nationality of the suspect because Al Qaida were recruiting foreign nationals to do their work for them, all this without any shred of evidence of course. Interesting how this line synchronised between News organisations.”
    .
    They all know the script off by heart.

  25. This morning’s Guardian, Kindle edition: http://twitpic.com/5ugfpv – emulating slow print media.

  26. The captured man in this shooting belongs to the same organisation that the Dunblane killer belonged to. Many saw Dunblane as being set up to strengthen gun control in the UK, thereby lessening the chances of a citizens revolt.

    I think the object of this massacre is more to do with terrorising Norway to stay in line with the West’s policies.

    The people that are likely behind it owe their place in the world to terrorism and are probably the people that the Norwegian PM was addressing last night.

  27. Remember when this news broke? … ”Report: ‘Dirty bomb’ parts found in slain man’s home” By Walter Griffin Posted Feb. 10, 2009, at 10:22 p.m
    .
    ”According to an FBI field intelligence report from the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center posted online by WikiLeaks, an organization that posts leaked documents, an investigation into the case revealed that radioactive materials were removed from Cummings’ home after his shooting death on Dec. 9.
    .
    ”The report posted on the WikiLeaks Web site states that “On 9 December 2008, radiological dispersal device components and literature, and radioactive materials, were discovered at the Maine residence of an identified deceased [person] James Cummings.”

    .

    ”It says that four 1-gallon containers of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide, uranium, thorium, lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium, boron, black iron oxide and magnesium ribbon were found in the home.
    .
    ”Also found was literature on how to build “dirty bombs” and information about cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60, radioactive materials. The FBI report also stated there was evidence linking James Cummings to white supremacist
    groups.”
    .
    http://bangordailynews.com/2009/02/10/politics/report-dirty-bomb-parts-found-in-slain-mans-home/
    .
    The only person to have attempted to make a dirty bomb, any where in the world, is only newsworthy in a local paper.

  28. Apologies for reposting Mary’s link to the Guardian blog. I missed it somehow.
    How much of this Islamophobia stems from the Russian Federation’s independence? ‘The Cold War’ enabled western ‘democracies’ to detract attention from domestic problems by concentrating on an idealogical enemy. Ever since that enemy disappeared our governments have been looking for another enemy. As western oil reserves deplete the easy enemy has become oil-rich Islamic states. Our foreign policy stinks.

  29. Shaun
    .
    ”It’s all very well blogging in hindsight but these news organisations will speculate in real-time based on such past events”
    .
    Here is an idea, how about news organisations reporting the facts as they are known instead of just making stuff up.
    .

  30. I wouldn’t say speculating based on past events is making stuff up. Given the events such as those I put in those links I believe media organisations are justified in speculating, so long as they acknowledge that they are speculating – I was under know illusion watching Sky and BBC News coverage yesterday that they were discussing possible (key word) motives for the attacks.

    I don’t know if this ( http://t.co/tGpHkdZ ) actually is the front page of the Sun today for example, but if it is then it is obviously out of order.

  31. Shaun,

    It is indeed.

  32. Paul Johnston

    23 Jul, 2011 - 10:40 am

    It seems it is just the opposite to Madrid where at first they were trying to pin it on ETA only to find it was Islamist.
    I have to agree with SOME of Richo’s comments. I frequently go to Norway and it does “seem” to have a lot of non-Scandanavian looking people (best way I can put it).
    That’s only an observation don’t know how they are treated, curious to know what are the figures for Uzbek refugees in various countries around the world.

  33. Paul,

    according to Wikipedia (I know) the immigrant population is about half a million or 10% – not high by Western European standards. The two largest immigrant groups are Poles and Swedes.

    So racially obvious immigrants are presumably no more than 5% of the population.
    There is nonetheless a great deal of anecdotal evidence of xenophobia both by the public and officials.

  34. @Mary “Any connection?”
    .
    The day before the massacre the norwegian foreign minister visited the island. “The Palestinians must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now, said the Foreign Minister to cheers from the audience”
    .
    A similar view was hold by one of the very rare swedish politicians with personal integrity, Anna Lindh. She was destined to become to next swedish PM, but before that she was conveniantly murdered by a psychcally ill person.
    .
    One of multiple messages sent by this incident could be “Don’t mess with Israel”, the reciever being the norwegian government. The hands-on deliverer of the message would then be Mossad.
    .
    The magnitude of the operation in Oslo implies long time planning, coordination and significant resources. Even if you ship a guy to that island give him an automatic rifle and some ammo, he won’t be able to take down 90 people on his own. I.e. most likely he was assisted by pro’s who helped him shooting people.
    .
    As this unfolds anomalies will start to surface and those are the trails of the real perpetuators.

  35. Instanalysis from stratfor:

    At least 17 people have died and more have been injured in an explosion in downtown Oslo and a shooting at a Labor Party youth camp outside the Norwegian capital. Norwegian police arrested the shooter at the camp and believe he is connected with the explosion, though others could be involved.

    The significance of the events in Norway for the rest of Europe will depend largely on who is responsible, and the identity of the culprits is still unclear. However, STRATFOR can extrapolate the possible consequences of the attacks based on several scenarios.

    The first scenario is that grassroots Islamist militants based in Norway are behind these seemingly connected attacks. Grassroots jihadist groups are already assumed to exist across Europe, and this assumption — along with previous attacks — has bolstered far-right political parties’ popularity across the Continent. Many center-right politicians have also begun raising anti-immigrant policy issues in order to distract from the ongoing economic austerity measures brought about by the European economic crisis. If grassroots Islamist militants are found to be the culprits in Norway, it will simply reinforce the current European political trend that favors the far right. That said, some far-right parties, particularly in Northern Europe, could get a popularity boost sufficient to push them into the political mainstream, and possibly into government.

    If an individual, grassroots or organized domestic group with far-right or neo-Nazi leanings perpetrated the attack, the significance for the rest of Europe will not be large. It could lead to a temporary loss of popularity for the far right, but long-term repercussions for the far right are unlikely since these parties have begun tempering their platforms in order to attract a wider constituency.

    There is also the possibility that the attacks are the work of a skilled but disturbed individual with grievances against the Labor Party. This possibility would have few long-ranging repercussions beyond a reworking of domestic security procedures in Norway.

    Another scenario is that the attack was carried out by an international group which may have entered the country some time ago. Regardless of the time frame, if the culprits crossed a border to get into Norway, other European countries will feel very vulnerable; Norway is Europe’s northern terminus, and if international militants can get to Norway, they can get to anywhere in Europe. This vulnerability could severely damage the Schengen Agreement, once a symbolic pillar of Europe’s unity, which has been under attack in the last several months. The agreement allows visa-free travel between the 25 countries in the Schengen Area (most of which are EU members, but the Schengen Area does include some non-EU members like Norway and Switzerland). The agreement came under pressure when Italy threatened to allow migrants fleeing the Libyan conflict and Tunisian political unrest to gain temporary resident status in order to cross into France. It was Rome’s way of forcing the rest of Europe to help it with the influx of migrants. The solution proposed by France and Italy was to essentially establish temporary borders “under very exceptional circumstances.” Later, Denmark reimposed border controls, supposedly due to an increase in cross-border crime.

    The attack in Norway, if it involved cross-border movements, could therefore damage or even end the Schengen Agreement. Other European countries, particularly those where the far right is strong or where center-right parties have adopted an anti-immigrant message, could push for further amendments to the pact.

    A transnational militant plot against a European country in the contemporary context could also be significant for European defense policy. When the 2004 Madrid attack and 2005 London attack happened, many in Europe argued that the attacks were a result of European governments’ support for U.S. military operations in the Middle East. This is no longer really the case for Europe, although European forces are still in Afghanistan. It is much more difficult to blame Europe’s alliance with the United States for this attack. As such, Europe could very well be motivated to take ongoing efforts to increase European defense coordination seriously. Current efforts are being led by Poland, which is doing so mainly because it wants to increase security against Russia’s resurgence, not because of global militancy. The problem with Warsaw’s plan is that it has little genuine support in Western Europe, other than France. An attack on Norway could, however, provide the kind of impetus necessary for Europe to feel threatened by global events.

    The last scenario is that the attack is linked to Norway’s involvement in the campaign in Libya. If the Libyan government is somehow connected to the bombing and/or shooting, the rest of Europe will rally behind Norway and increase their efforts in Libya. This scenario would essentially close off the opening in negotiations prompted by a recent move by Paris and other European governments saying they would be open to Moammar Gadhafi’s remaining in Libya.

  36. Shaun
    .
    ”I wouldn’t say speculating based on past events is making stuff up. Given the events such as those I put in those links I believe media organisations are justified in speculating …….”
    .
    Speculating based on past events. That would mean the media would have to acknowledge first that it is absolutely terrible at ‘speculating based on past events’.
    .
    A perfect example is the one we are now discussing.
    .
    So an ‘expert’ on BBC News 24 would have to say – I don’t have clue what I am talking about or know what the hell is going on and have a long record for being completely wrong on everything but here is my opinion any way…
    and don’t challenge me based on my previous ‘speculating based on past events’.
    .

  37. Here’s one from the Independent that was on google news, 22 hours ago.

    ”Analysis: Jihadist networks have long singled out Norway, By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent, Friday, 22 July 2011”
    .
    ” “Norway is part of Nato’s mission in Afghanistan and as far as jihadists are concerned, any country involved in what they see as an illegal occupation of Muslim territory is a legitimate target,” explains James Brandon, an expert on Isalmist militancy at the Quilliam Foundation.”
    .
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/analysis-jihadist-networks-have-long-singled-out-norway-2318922.html

  38. !A shadowy terrorist group called Assistants of the Global Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Norwegian Prime Minister’s office and a massacre at a children’s day camp via the Internet.”

    Said Neil Ungerleider

    http://www.fastcompany.com/1768726/oslo-terrorists-allegedly-claim-responsibility-via-jihadi-forums-youtube

    Who is Neil Ungerleider?

    Here’s another of his articles from 18 months ago:

    http://www.jewcy.com/religion-and-beliefs/we_are_all_converts_reviewing_shlomo_sands_invention_jewish_people

    Go figure.

  39. Like I said, I watched BBC and Sky coverage as events unfolded yesterday and at no point was I led to believe that events in Norway were unequivocally attributed to islamic groups.

    There was discussion about possible sources based on things such as: (i) Mullar Krekar threatening Norwegian politicians for his deportation (if that is not basis for speculation given what happened I don’t know what is); and (ii) the fact that Al-Quaeda linked arrests have been made in Oslo in the last year. I specifically remember Sky acknowledging the fact that this could have also been from internal politically-based groups – a point that was quite strongly put forward by an American commentator ( I forget his profession now).

    My overall point is that, although there have been some stupid allegations – such as that on the front page of the Sun, overall I feel the coverage and speculation regarding the source of these horrific events has been justified and not misleading.

  40. The Quilliam Foundation – a bunch of ‘House Negros’ intent on inciting the opprobrium of their lesser co-religionists.

  41. Shaun,

    Your position I am sure is genuine, but it is confusing. You believe speculation is justified, even when the entire focus of the speculation is completely wrong? What other options did you see speculated upon, and can you compare the weight you felt was given to each possibility?

  42. This from the New York Times article, the paragraph immediately before the section Craig quoted:
    .
    “There was ample reason for concern that terrorists might be responsible. In 2004 and again in 2008, the No. 2 leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, who took over after the death of Osama bin Laden, threatened Norway because of its support of the American-led NATO military operation in Afghanistan.”
    .
    This was obviously an act of terrorism. So the article equates ALL terrorism with Islamist terrorism, and implies that if the perpetrator wasn’t an Islamist, then this wasn’t terrorism.

  43. Shaun
    .
    The bomb went off at about 3.30pm GMT and the shooter/bomber was captured sometime after 9pm GMT.
    .
    Shouldn’t the media have simply reported the events as they unfolded over what was a very short period of time, and couldn’t the talking heads have waited till a few facts had come into the news rooms before commenting?
    .
    Why was there a need to speculate at all?
    .
    As we now know it was a complete waste of time, what exactly was the point?
    .
    Or, maybe I’m asking; what is the point of rolling 24 hour news if they have to fill much of their news shows with people who have as much of an idea of what is going on as I do.
    .

  44. The upside and downside of 24 hour tv news is that it is live and so has to fill the space with something and so when a major news item comes along like this, which clears away all the other stories they have to fill the void with something seemingly relevant and of course in the early hours they no very little. Therefore all the regular correspondents are wheeled out to say their piece in a studio in west London miles from the scene and they fall back to established positions which may have some truth but at this point it is just speculation. As a viewer of these programmes you have to be aware of how they work and be aware they provide only outline details, information and comment. Caveat emptor !

  45. Scouse Billy linked to here:
    .
    http://www.fastcompany.com/1768726/oslo-terrorists-allegedly-claim-responsibility-via-jihadi-forums-youtube
    .
    which cited the following link for its source.
    .
    http://www.jihadica.com/alleged-claim-for-oslo-attacks/
    .
    It’s a blog post with many disgusting racist contributions. But look at the very first comment, posted July 22, 2011 at 10:46 am.
    .
    “I am an arabic linguist trained at DLI. I have been monitoring a lot of websites in my time off as a soldier here in the National Guard. I have a team of retired agency members, along with some SF perosonnel who are also with me as I monitor this material. I would like to include you in the dissemination of material that I find. Our team was responsible for the quick alert that a major CIA analyst’s cover was blown and for a few other reports. I see that your organization and mine share a desire to get to the information and get it out to the proper channels asap. If you need any assistance or would like to be included in emails, please let me know. My name up top is my pseudonym and I would appreciate that it stays that way. I will give you my sources with every report I send out so that your guys not only have access to what I see, but can also verify the information and vett it. Thank you for your time.”
    .
    Disinformation arises randomly. But “a team of retired agency members, along with some SF perosonnel” (sic – SF = Security Forces?) monitor for, gather, and amplify this disinformation, and recruit people who report it.

  46. “All the mainstream media are rushing to take down their crazed Islamophobic rantings from their websites this morning – the BBC did it just twenty minutes ago, and had a short period in consequence when they had nothing up on Norway. I expect newspaper sites will be doing the same. Print editions, of course, do not have that ability.”
    .
    I’m surprised this sort of thing isn’t mainstream already; because once the URL for an on-line article is ‘published’, the author can change the content of that article at leisure, and as frequently as they want, whilst maintaining the same URL, and its place in the search engines.
    .
    A bit like the horse reading the righting on the wall in ‘Animal Farm’, and suspecting that the message was changing over time, but couldn’t quite pinpoint the changes.

  47. I wouldn’t normally pollute this comments thread with a link to Fox News but Craig, as an ex ambassador, may be interested to see how another ex-ambassador (John Bolton) added his own twist to the ‘disgraceful Islamophobic rantings’ that were prevalent yesterday-

    http://foxnewsinsider.com/2011/07/22/john-bolton-oslo-attacks-were-%E2%80%98politically-motivated%E2%80%99/

    I’d like to think that one benign outcome from the truly terrible events in Norway yesterday would be the termination of Bolton’s career as a Fox News pundit, but I’ll probably be disappointed on that point.

  48. i am glad you articulated my thoughts on yesterday. what annoyed me most about this coverage is that the guardian newspaper, my favourite news source was equally as mistaken. despite the mounting information that pointed inwards, they are still talking about islamist factions, right now on bbc 24. (midday saturday) how they are more vulnerable towards terrorism and that norway are naive to think this wouldn’t happen. and it hasn’t! this ultra tragic event was carried out by a disturbed person with a grudge that went unchecked. this rolling news has hit a new low in my opinion. their collective prejudice has been found out. i hope they really don’t ignore their error.

  49. Norway’s halo is being burnished today. Not such a peace loving democracy really. They are part of the killing coalition in Libya (until August I gather) and previously in ISAF in Afghanistan.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_War_order_of_battle
    .
    and in a small way in Iraq for three years. {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-National_Force_%E2%80%93_Iraq).
    .
    They are also the largest oil and gas producers/traders I believe.
    .
    Questions.
    Was the gunman really solo?
    .
    If som were the gunman and the bomber one and the same person?
    .
    Are there any details of how he came to be captured and restrained when he was well armed and obviously an expert marksman to be able to kill agile youngsters running around? All seems a bit pat.
    .
    Had he been in the Norway military’s version of the SAS to acquire his skills with a rifle?
    .
    Where did that quantity of explosives come from?
    .
    Will we know the truth here?

  50. Clark,

    Thank you for following up on my link.

    Note at the end of the FastCompany piece:

    “We recommend checking the Twitter feeds of the New York Times, BBC, and Norwegian journalist Rune Håkonsen for the latest.”

    (i.e. Get your disinfo here folks…)

    Link here to Alexander Higgins who suggests Mossad to blame:

    http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/channel.cfm?channelid=94&contentid=8719

  51. Someone had the presence of mind to save the FB page as a pdf before it was removed:

    http://www.solidprinciples.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Anders-Behring-Breivik-FACEBOOK.pdf

  52. Mary, the following is from ZeroHedge, by commenter “AldousHuxley”, however, I don’t know his source:
    .
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/oslo-shooter-profiled-anders-behring-breivik-32-nationalist-hated-islam#comment-1483434
    .
    “In May 2009 he founded a company called Breivik Geofarm, a small farm where he produced watermelons and a few other things. Why? To have unlimited access to inorganic fertilizers, which he most likely used to explode the bomb in Oslo. Can’t post links because I haven’t posted enough times, just google Breivik Geofarm.
    .
    But it doesn’t stop there. He bought the farm at a strategic posission: Close to a military landingstrip. Why? To have the noice reduced of his testbombs over the sound of jets. In the coming days though, neighbours will come say they’ve heard loud noises every now and then without thinking too much about it.”

  53. BBC’s Frank Gardner saying on yesterdays six o’clock news that if the two attacks are connected that will most certainly lead investigators to al-Qaeda.
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b012pcd2/BBC_News_at_Six_22_07_2011/
    .
    The BBC and Gardner will have to issue an apology to al-Qaeda.

  54. “Will we know the truth here?” Mary. Good question.

    Answer: Do we ever?
    .

    ‘Assistants of the Global Jihad’. This is precisely what we were discussing yesterday or day before. I even invented an organisation title very similar to this one. They – the intel. and sec services – are so bloody unoriginal. How about ‘Associates of the Inter-planetary Sharia’, or ‘Officers of the Milky Way Farishta Tendency’? These are all intelligence agency inventions and/or fronts.
    .

    The Norway massacre is about something else, I suspect. But it is being used cynically and deliberately – this is NOT accidental, this hymn-singing from the same sheet – there is most certainly something systemic afoot.
    .
    The CIA The usual daddies of bastard terrorists, the world over) exerting pressure on Nordic countries to conform, perhaps?

  55. I used to do analogue electronics, before the components became too small to solder by hand. Designing a powerful amplifier is a tricky business. The faster and more powerful the amplifier, the more prone it is to “instability” – which means that the output feeds back to the input, gets amplified, and goes round and round, getting louder, until something breaks.
    .
    The modern news media is a fast, powerful amplifier, and it wasn’t designed at all, it just evolved. The internal distortion it creates completely overwhelms the actual input, so the output is just meaningless distortion.
    .
    Let’s hope it breaks before we all go deaf, ‘cos we don’t seem capable of turning it off, or even down.

  56. The guy is no “fundamentalist” christian, he simply is a christian, protestant most probably, like 90% of europeans. He is a freemason, that is for sure, and that means antichristian, or at least anti-catholic:

    http://www.libertaddigital.com/c.php?op=thumb&id=http://s.libertaddigital.com/fotos/noticias/andersbreivikmason.jpg&x=0&y=

    Sure that will not be in front page of BBC.

    He also is an admirer of an anti-fascist nazi resistant.
    BBC sucks with ideological agenda against all our roots.

  57. .
    “It’s a reminder that the entire international community holds a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring. We have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks.” Obama (from CheebaCow).
    .

    CheebaCow, this may well be code for: ‘You do as we say always and without demur, qualification or restriction, or else… you see what can happen’.

  58. He is basically a fundamentalist fool. That´s all. May the Lord and Blessed Mary have compassion of those poor people slaughterd.

  59. “fundamentalist radical capitalism” Ingo.
    .

    Absolutely, Ingo. Excellent phrase. I once used a very similar phrase live on-air (in 2003, when Bush invaded Iraq, actually). I said that “the real fundamentalists are the fundamentalist capitalists in the White House”. My ‘segment’ was immediately wound-up and I was never invited on again.

  60. “I think the object of this massacre is more to do with terrorising Norway to stay in line with the West’s policies.

    The people that are likely behind it owe their place in the world to terrorism and are probably the people that the Norwegian PM was addressing last night.”
    Rob Royston.
    .

    My thoughts exactly.

  61. A great analogy Clark – one I appreciate.

  62. “BBC sucks with ideological agenda against all our roots.” Libertad.
    .
    It certainly often sucks with propaganda. But what might you mean by “our roots”? Are you empathising with vegetables, a type of music, or Alex Haley?

  63. Hey Mark_golding, my amplifiers were just for audio. If I remember your electronics background correctly, there were far more serious consequences if one of your amps went unstable.
    .
    The (highly distorted) news media is a vital component in our (barely functional) democracy. That makes the news media one of the most important and influential amplifiers there is.

  64. “Helpers of the Global Jihad”- as in “Santa’s little helpers”. Good to hear that the CIA has not lost it’s sense of humour!

  65. From the Aussie woman on Sky saying this is just the first wave of planned Al Quada attacks; the American on BBC News channel taking great pleasure in stating he had some intel that this was a jihadist terrorist act; the internet forums venting anger and bile on Muslims, well before (and after) it was announced it was even a bomb – let alone who did it; the Sun’s headline “Al-Quada Massacre”; the people on blogs and newspaper website comment pages blaming immigration and the “religion of peace” (oh the irony); and finally western world leaders – namely Obama and Cameron – who said ” the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring” (does that mean you will be disbanding Fox News and reforming the racist police and government authorities, in addition to eliminating the armed right wing groups in America?) – and Cameron “We will work with Norway to hunt the murderers who did this and prevent any more innocent deaths.We can overcome this evil, and we will” – no doubt we will have better integration and antidiscrimination policies then, right?

    You are all SCUM.

  66. Interestingly, I followed this from Hong Kong on the BBC’s website, with my preferences set to “International” and there was absolutely no mention of al-qaeda or any other specific organisation, certainly in the first 3 or 4 hours before I went to bed (in Hong Kong). Does the BBC have two completely separate agendas: one for the UK public and one for the rest of the world?

  67. But what might you mean by “our roots”? Are you empathising with vegetables, a type of music, or Alex Haley?
    _________

    No darling, our roots, those of christiandom, those of our mothers, our fathers, our blood, the christian faith that furnished Europe, our progress, our moral standards etc.

    Those are our roots. You got it now?

  68. By the way,
    Here is a full transcript of the postings and thinking of the alleged killer in the past years at an internet forum:

    http://es.scribd.com/doc/60705175/Anders-Breivik-From-Document-No

  69. Sunflower:
    .
    “One of multiple messages sent by this incident could be “Don’t mess with Israel”, the reciever being the norwegian government. The hands-on deliverer of the message would then be Mossad.”
    .
    This doesn’t ring true to me. I don’t think massacring 80+ young people is likely to bring Norway onside. Also by impersonating a crazed right winger they undermine the Islamophobia Israel relies on so much.
    .
    “Even if you ship a guy to that island give him an automatic rifle and some ammo, he won’t be able to take down 90 people on his own.”
    .
    It’s possible he had assistance, but I think it’s also plausible that he acted alone (at least in the actual execution of the attack). Hundreds of youth were trapped on the small island for 2 hours without weapons. Unless they all mob the attacker, there was virtually no way to stop him.
    .
    Mary:
    .
    “If som were the gunman and the bomber one and the same person?”
    .
    Apparently it was the same person. The attack on the island occurred some time (I heard a couple of hours, can anyone confirm the timeline?) after the explosion in Oslo. The people on the island had all assembled together to discuss what had already happened in Oslo.
    .
    “Are there any details of how he came to be captured and restrained when he was well armed and obviously an expert marksman to be able to kill agile youngsters running around? All seems a bit pat.”
    .
    Maybe he was happy to give himself up. If your so deluded that you think massacring 90+ people is a righteous political act, then you may want to continue making political statements after the act. Initially the victims thought he was a cop so they approached him. When they realised what was happening they ran away and got stuck at the shoreline. No easy escapes and I have never met a person more agile than a bullet. Personally I think if it were a false flag operation he would already be dead. Dead men tell no tales.
    .
    Suhayl:
    .
    “this is NOT accidental, this hymn-singing from the same sheet”
    .
    All big media is part of the establishment. Hyping Islamic terrorism is the default establishment position. I think this is enough to explain why all media were signing from the same hymn sheet.
    .
    Immediately after the Oslo bomb I was browsing reddit (I would argue it’s a good representation of average liberal thought in the US), and virtually all commentators assumed it was Al Qaeda. These are the same people that are generally against the Iraq and Afghan wars, but even they buy into the Islamophobia big time.

  70. Shaun:
    .
    You talk about justified speculation, so lets have a look at some of the numbers.
    .
    EU terrorism between 2006-2008:
    84.8% separatist
    8.3% other
    6.5% left wing
    0.4% Islamist
    Source: loonwatch.com/2010/01/terrorism-in-europe/
    .
    EU terrorism 2009:
    Of the hundreds of terrorist attacks *1* was commited by someone with Muslim heritage.
    Source: juancole.com/2010/10/on-juan-williams-firing-for-islamophobia-and-how-most-european-terrorism-is-by-european-separatists.html
    .
    EU terrorism 2010:
    160 of these attacks that year were carried out by separatists. The number launched by people of Muslim heritage? 3.
    Source: juancole.com/2011/07/white-terrorism-in-norway.html
    .
    The media either can’t count or are deliberately pushing lies.

  71. Excellent article, thank you..

  72. Thanks for this article. The Islamaphobic response to this tragedy is almost as terrible as the attacks/murders, because it’s a different kind of violence…it will be interesting to see how much discussion and blame is attributed to the killer’s ideology and background (as is always the case with ‘Islamic Exremists’), or if he continues to be described as simply a ‘madman’. Of course the media are deliberately pushing lies. It’s called propaganda. The only good that could come from the loss of life is that people open their eyes and learn something. Unfortunately, too many people are ignorant and gullible, they believe what suits thepr world view and they refuse to see past their ideology to the truth.

  73. “Are there any details of how he came to be captured and restrained when he was well armed and obviously an expert marksman to be able to kill agile youngsters running around? All seems a bit pat.”

    I think the question is how it took so long for him to be apprehended. His shooting spree lasted for about an hour. The island isn’t all that far from Oslo. Did a police helicopter with marksmen on board attend the scene, or was he overpowered when he ran out of bullets?

    Interesting to think that if there had only been the bomb in Oslo then it would already have been established as a Muslim attack and you’d be labelled a nutjob conspiraloon to speculate otherwise.

  74. “All big media is part of the establishment. Hyping Islamic terrorism is the default establishment position. I think this is enough to explain why all media were signing from the same hymn sheet.” Cheeba Cow.
    .
    Indeed, it is a systemic and endemic problem. And of course, that makes the pathology even deeper, situation even worse, than if it were simply a plot in which the MSM were involved.

  75. Apparently the island is 45 minutes from Oslo + a boat ride. So I guess after the chaos of the Oslo bomb + the travel time to the island + settings up perimeters etc accounts for the approx 2 hours it took to apprehend the shooter. I also read the shooter was wounded when the police captured him.

    I just saw an interview with a boy who was on the island. Fuck me, the shocked uncomprehending look on his face hit me in the gut in a way that none of the other reporting has. I also don’t understand how reporters have the gall to ask questions that make the survivors relive the terror so immediately after the event. Asking a 16 year old how many people he saw shot dead? These reporters are scum, looking for the emotional reaction without care for the people involved.

  76. CheebaCow, re. the reporters, they were like that at Lockerbie, too in Dec 1988. They were following people from ambulances into A and E and taking pictures of these people – who were busy having heart attacks – people who had absolutely no connection with Lockerbie. These movie pictures appeared on the News later in the day/ the next day. One of my colleagues had physically to throw these geezers out. My pal was so angry about their behaviour, he tossed one of them out, pinned him up against a fence just outside the hospital entrance and politely (!) told him to desist. I think they get lots of dosh for such pornography.

  77. “Apparently the island is 45 minutes from Oslo + a boat ride”

    Or about 10 mins by helicopter with no boat ride.

  78. NORWAY TERROR ATTACK: I hope the airports profile tall white blond men. You can never trust that sort you know. If your neighbour is a tall white blond whiteman….tell the coppers….dont risk it!!

  79. I’m no expert in police procedure, but I don’t think police would just drop a lone or even a few helicopters into the middle of an unknown massacre. Surely they would assemble a number of police, scope the situation (how many attackers, hostages) etc etc. It’s entirely possible the bomb was simply intended as a diversion and the island was the real target (someone mentioned it was a public holiday and unlikely many people would be hurt in the explosion). I’m sure bombing the PM’s building diverted a lot of resources that would of otherwise been at the island much quicker. I would also be surprised if the Norwegian police even had many plans for such a situation. By all accounts it was completely unexpected, I heard some witnesses say they didn’t really believe it was happening even after they had been shot at. I don’t really wanna speculate about all this too much, I don’t really know the deal. However I think it’s safe to say the police ain’t like what we see in Hollywood, always prepared and able to to stop any attack in a matter of minutes Rambo style. There was already chaos in Oslo and island was relatively remote.

  80. It is ‘possible’, I am just speculating (!), that the two attacks are not linked at all. Well, not in the sense of the same people being behind them anyway. The shootings could have been a reaction to the bombing. This guy could have interpreted the bombing to mean something and it caused him to react in that fashion.

  81. Lol Max, especially if they are turbaned, tall, white, blond, white men! :-0

  82. Unfortunately, it is eminently possible for a basically-trained person to kill scores of unarmed civilians who are trapped on an island with a single long gun; less likely with a handgun. Think about that gun-club taxi-driver driving around Cumbria; Cumbria is not an island; or of those people doing shoot-ups in schools (likewise). The point is, these people had nowhere to escape to. What an utter nightmare it must’ve been.
    .
    Ten guys with Kalashnikovs could hold up a major city and kill hundreds – think of the Mumbai attacks.

  83. did you miss the rhetoric from cameron and hague echoing 9/11 ?
    .
    hague said we are standing “shoulder to shoulder” with norway ..

  84. White Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism in Norway

    http://www.juancole.com/2011/07/white-terrorism-in-norway.html

  85. also :The omnipotence of Al Qaeda and meaninglessness of “Terrorism”
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/07/23/nyt/index.html

  86. a timeline :
    .
    How a clueless “terrorism expert” set media suspicion on Muslims after Oslo horror
    http://electronicintifada.net/blog/benjamin-doherty/how-clueless-terrorism-expert-set-media-suspicion-muslims-after-oslo-horror

  87. “Mainstream media – all the hate and lies they can peddle. What would really be an interesting public inquiry, would be the links between “security” and “defence” correspondents and the security services whose propaganda they spread. I should love to know what security service briefings were behind yesterday’s Islamophobic lies.”
    .
    .
    it does beg the question is something in the ‘pipeline’ so to speak .. for the news orgs to have an almost off the shelf complete narrative at hand , from an unheard of islamist group to links to al qaeda in africa and possibly pakistan.
    .
    with politicians and their 9/11 rhetoric and in particular murdochs media (amongst others) going big in those terms .
    .
    it is very strange all of this . something is surely cooking.
    .

  88. Yeah, Wendy, I agree that it’s all very concerning.
    .
    Yes, the “shoulder to shoulder” thing is meant to make one think also of WW2 and the USA/UK alliance. How inappropriate. This is a declaration of war, it’s a criminal act. it ought to be expressions of condolence and then: “If Norway needs any help, we’d be very happy to provide it and to cooperate wrt policing activity, etc.” But no, we get this ludicrously inappropriate Churchillian war-speak. No-one indugled in this with Cumbria, Dunblane, Hungerford, the mass killings in the German town, Columbine, Alabama, or even Oklahoma. It seems almost to have become the reflexive response of the politician-celebrities who deign to rule over us.

  89. The above ought to have read: ‘This is NOT a declaration of war’.

  90. “No darling, our roots, those of christiandom, those of our mothers, our fathers, our blood, the christian faith that furnished Europe, our progress, our moral standards etc.

    Those are our roots. You got it now?” Libertad
    .
    Thank you, Libertad, for providing such passionate, poetic and erudite illumination and elucidation of the concept of ‘root’. In what way, preisely, does the “BBC [suck] with ideological agenda against all our roots” and how might this be relevant to the killings in Norway? My impression, from scanning the various hysterical newspaper headlines, is that the MSM in general seems to have much more of an antipathy to Muslims than to ‘roots’ (though of course, in both the Iberian peninsula and the Balksn, the two were and remain somewhat synonymous or at least entwined to the point of syncretism). Oh, and what about Paganism, surely the original root? Is the BBC against Paganism, too? Or is it pro-Pagan, perhaps? Please would be so kind as to elaborate? Thank you.

  91. “.. for the news orgs to have an almost off the shelf complete narrative at hand , from an unheard of islamist group to links to al qaeda in africa and possibly pakistan”.

    Yes. It’s as though the press (and indeed Cameron) were primed for the bomb but not for the massacre.

  92. To remind everyone, Christianity, of couse, is a Middle Eastern faith. Jesus was a brown man, with wavy, black hair. So were Peter, Paul and Mary (both Marys), Joseph, Didymus Thomas, John the Baptist… Oh yeah! Sing it, people…! Syrians, Egyptians and Ethiopians have been Christian longer than anyone. There were Christians in India before there were Christians in ‘Europe’ and there have remianed Christians India. Byzantium – ‘Rum’ – was a Hellenistic, Near Eastern Empire.
    .
    If one is talking about the Enlightenment, or the Industrial revolution, these are somewhat different phenomena. I would argue that to conflate all of this is refelctive of muzzy thinking.
    .
    So, what, then do we man by ‘roots’, by ‘Christiandom’ (new phrase, slightly clumsy, don’t you mean, ‘Christendom’)?

  93. So, ‘Europe’ is a construct. It was, and never has been, some sort of hermetically-sealed, ‘pure’ blood and soil entity. It’s no even a geographical continent; unlike all other ‘continents’, it is not surrounded on all four sides by water, but is part of the landmass that constitutes ‘Eurasia’. Europe, therefore, might be said to be grossly incontinent. Porous, in other words. It’s the way it’s always been. Which is just as well, really.

  94. ‘It was not’, that ought to have read (line 1). God, my typos are legion this evening!

  95. Same applies to ‘Asia’, of course. It doesn’t exist.

  96. “…these groups are learning from what they see from Al Qaeda,”

    As far as tactics go, perhaps they have long enough memories to have learned a thing or two from Baader Meinhof and the Red Army Faction. Simultaneous attacks in multiple locations. Even operations in Scandinavia. All nearly 30 years before Al Qeda.

  97. Excellent point, Chris. To be pedantic, the RAF (Red Army Faction) was the ‘Baader Meinhof Gang’; the former was the offical title, the latter a pejorative applied by the media.

  98. Duly noted, my misstatement.

  99. I am from Pakistan and when I first heard the news, I was having discussion with colleagues in a software house and most of us felt good when our interior minister didn’t appear on television channel and confirmed that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accepted the responsibility of this attack.

    … I hate this part of me…they have put us Muslims at a point where I don’t feel sad on the death of so many humans …

  100. “Also by impersonating a crazed right winger they undermine the Islamophobia Israel relies on so much.”

    No impersonation is necessary: crazed right wingers tend to be islamophobic, because islamophobia is promoted by zionists of the revisionist school. Who are fascists. The modern fascist is pro-Israel, islamophobic, overtly committed to capitalism. And inclined to get very sentimental about the “holocaust.”

    It makes very little sense, but then fascism rarely does. The one thing that remains constant in the constantly evolving ideology of fascism, is the deep seated hatred of socialists. A hatred shared by the Revisionist founders of the modern Israel and by the neo-Nazis of Scandinavia. And expressed here, tragically, in the serial killing of these young Norwegian Socialists and Social Democrats.

    As to the connection with muslims, it is this: they too are treated as enemies by a system which embraces loan assassins and the armies and security resources of the most powerful states. And whose spokesmen run the gamut from lone bloggers to massive media conglomerates to State Broadcasters.

    In Iran today another nuclear physicist was assassinated at his home. We all know who is responsible for this crime and that, horrifying though it is, we are accomplices in it.

    So too, by tolerating, to the point of encouragement, the common or garden variety islamophobia, evidenced in the attitudes of such people as the Observer journalist, are we accomplices in the killing of the young Norwegian socialists: punished for standing, unarmed, shoulder to shoulder with the wretched of Palestine.

  101. Excellent article Craig.

    The BBC has long since stopped trying to tell us it’s impartial and is now making no attempt to hide the fact that it is a Neoconservative Propaganda Machine. In fact the BBC regularly features a huge amount of commentators from Washington neocon NGOs.

    Jonathan Paris, the BBC’s featured ‘Expert’ last night, from the International Centre for The American the Study of Radicalisation based in London made himself look a complete and utter propaganda parrot with his insistent rants that the Norway attacks were the work of Islamic Jihad, AL-Qaeda. He said: “It looks and feels like a Jihadi attack on the West. The first major attack by Al-Qaeda”

    The BBC’s Tim Willcox, a well known neocon propaganda parrot was just as nauseous. Even after the BBC couldn’t hide the fact any longer that the culprit was blonde, white, Norwegian, Willcox still persisted in getting the ‘Anti-Islam mesasge across by saying ” it still can’t be ruled out that it was an Al-Qaeda attack. Ethnic nationals have converted to Islam”

    And as for the “Helpers of Global Jihad” claiming responsibility? That was so obvious a fake group created by the neocon propaganda machine.

  102. Yeah, the moment the channels began with the Islamist mantra, I began wondering how every Muslim is going to be given an extra-tough time in Norway and Europe at large. Disgusting!

  103. Ivor Cornish

    24 Jul, 2011 - 8:31 am

    Sunday 24th July. Craig I have just heard you speak on the BBC World Service which has prompted me to read your blog…. excellent observations. Keep it up.

  104. Donald Ramsay Mackay

    24 Jul, 2011 - 10:14 am

    Well said,Mr Murray, sir . . . I am with you all the way.

  105. Usman, it’s relief that ‘Thank God it wasn’t a Muslim’, because we know the consequences. It’s not feeling good, I think, it’s simply relief that it wasn’t ‘us’ (as it were). When M.K Gandhi was assassinated, India held its breath. Muslims were so relived that it hadn’t been a Muslim who had killed him. It’s the same feeling, I think.
    .
    Annie, I know, and thanks for your solidarity.
    .
    Craig, please give us the link – if there is one – for your BBC World Service interview. Thanks.

  106. What a feeble and weedy response from Beaumont. Gabriele has returned to Media Lens after a long absence. He did sterling work in holding the war criminals to account during the period when the Iraqi people were being killed and maimed, widowed and orphaned and made refugeea.
    .

    email to Peter Beaumont on “suspicion falls on Islamist militants”
    Posted by gabriele on July 24, 2011, 10:27 am
    .
    Dear Peter,

    On Friday you wrote:

    “Oslo police have confirmed the source of the blast that damaged the prime minister’s offices in Oslo was a bomb. The question now is who is likely to be behind it.

    The most obvious conclusion would be a jihadist group.” (Oslo bomb: suspicion falls on Islamist militants, Peter Beaumont, the Guardian, Friday 22 July 2011)

    The Guardian website deleted that article but Google saved it for us http://tinyurl.com/3pype7e

    The details of the man being a tall, blond, Norwegian looking were available almost immediately on the Internet. Yet, your “most obvious conclusion” was a “a jihadist group”.

    Later on that same day you co-authored another article, together with Julian Borger http://tinyurl.com/3zbyfmj

    This article read: “Counter-terrorist police flew to the island and it was reported that a man, described in reports as tall and blond, had been arrested.”

    In spite of this, you and your colleague went on writing speculations linking that carnage to Islam.

    Of course, you were not alone in this. The whole media circus and its experts “speculated” the same way and were very generous in letting us know about their “suspicions”. An expert on the BBC News channel that afternoon even went as far as to affirm that the tall-blond-Norwegian-looking element actually meant that now Islamist terrorists use locals for their terrorist attacks! (I can’t remember his name, but he teaches in a London university and the his expertise was broadcast by the public service news channel at about 8:10 pm on Friday)

    Now, couldn’t it be the case that all those suspicions and speculations have actually their roots in our own prejudices and many years of propaganda we have succumbed in the west? Couldn’t it be that that propaganda helped/helps our governments to sell us endless wars, including the notorious “war on terror”? Couldn’t it be that this propaganda may actually have helped to arm the hand of Anders Behring Breivik, the tall, blond Norwegian who killed so many innocent lives last Friday in Norway? Can you see any connections?

    Please, take this e-mail in a constructive way. I don’t want to single you out for something that’s very widespread and considered normal in the media and in our society. I just think it may be some food for thought.

    Thank you for reading and please, I would be very interested in your thoughts on this.

    Kind regards,

    Gabriele Zamparini

    .
    Dear G The first version of the article was initially written after bomb explosion and filed as first reports of shooting were coming in ie before any report of a blond man. The analysis piece and first news story were not deleted but updated as new information came in four times in case of analysis piece. Indeed it was david sketchley who drew attention to me of first reports of blond man. We changed tack as fast as possible and had continuous discussion oif whether the initial widespread speculation about it being a jihadi attack was correct.
    .
    my reply
    Posted by gabriele on July 24, 2011, 11:21 am, in reply to “Peter Beaumont replies ”
    .
    Thanks Peter, I appreciate your kind reply. It’s good to know that David Sketchley’s activism helped you. My point, if I may take some more of your time, is why all that “initial widespread speculation”? As I wrote in my first e-mail, couldn’t it be the case that all those suspicions and speculations have actually their roots in our own prejudices and many years of propaganda we have succumbed (to) in the west? Do you think there may be some truth in it?
    .
    Best wishes,
    Gabriele
    .
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1311499671.html

  107. “…couldn’t it be the case that all those suspicions and speculations have actually their roots in our own prejudices and many years of propaganda we have succumbed (to) in the west?” Gabriele Zamparini (via Mary).
    .

    Answer: Yes.

  108. The march of the extreme right wing is very worrying, I think it has it roots in the financial decay we have been brought into by far right politicians that govern the world.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14232768

    It all deflects blame from those who are responsible for the way the world is, and deflects it onto the innocent.

  109. Absolutely, Guest, that’s a good way of putting it. I agree that this may be one of the contributory factors; there are others, though (and some of the other posters have alluded to some of these). Hence my reference to “capitalist fundamentalists in the White House” and, I think, Ingo’s reference to “radical capitalist fundamentalists”.
    .
    We’ve seen this kind of dynamic before. The 1929 debacle was one of the major factors which led directly to the ascendancy of Hitler in Germany. Of course, it’s not an exact parallel – thank goodness – and there were many other particularities in Germany at the time, but in essence, one doesn’t have to be Marxist to come to the simple conclusion – the truism – that in some or other way, economics is often/usually at the root of politics and violence in society.
    .
    War as solution is a necessary driver of such fundamentalist capitalism. War on the outside becomes war on the inside. That, too is what we may be witnessing in this, and some other, ‘domestic’ massacres.

  110. Suhayl Saadi, you are correct. It means the far/extreme right wing end up as the rulers, and we the people end up as the losers.

  111. Suhayl, as Pacino said in the Godfather 3 ‘the higher I go the crookeder it becomes.’ And again from the Godfather 3 when a ‘high up’ said ‘finance is the gun and politics is knowing when to fire it.’

  112. OH F**K OFF!!!

    The BBC have obviously been ordered to keep mentioning Islamic Extremism regarding the Norway attacks. They have just this minute interviewed a Norwegian Palestinian in Oslo asking him about Islamic extremism and how he might have initially thought the attacks were from Muslim Terrorists. The BBC’s Jon Sopel is the propaganda parrot this time.

    FFS!!!!

  113. Yes true Suhayl. I am waiting for something big on this Obama v Congress thing on the debt ceiling. Another crash on the cards to take us right down to the bare bones? Fascism which is waiting in the wings then takes the stage.

  114. Great quotes, Jaded! So true. Thanks, Mary, Guest.

  115. “Fascism which is waiting in the wings then takes the stage.”
    .
    It was planned to be this way, it was put into operation in 1979, it is finally coming to fruition!. Those nasty socialist labour party people will be blamed for it all. The Tories will say only they can be trusted with the governance of britain, and will say this must never happen again. When will be the next free election ???, long time, if ever, methinks!!!. Listen to the Tories for the the tell-tale signs`s of what is to come, I don`t think we will have long to wait.
    .
    Time will tell.

  116. Gabriele is watching them like a hawk.
    .
    e-mail to Simon Tisdall on Norway’s tragedy: “he adopted the language of Muslim jihadists”
    Posted by gabriele on July 24, 2011, 4:57 pm
    .
    Dear Simon Tisdall,
    .
    I am appalled by your words: “Although an apparent racial supremacist and Islamophobe, he adopted the language of Muslim jihadists.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/24/norway-attacks-unaswered-questions
    .
    Do you really believe that Muslims invented or have monopoly over violence? Why not the language of Christian crusaders or Jewish fundamentalists? Or maybe the language of Western imperialists? I won’t offend your intelligence by listing the many examples that come to mind.
    .
    Just when one would have thought the media could not fall lower, after all the “suspicions” and “speculations” we heard and read on the responsibility over the Norway’s tragedy. As I was writing this morning to your colleague, Peter Beaumont:
    .
    Now, couldn’t it be the case that all those suspicions and speculations have actually their roots in our own prejudices and many years of propaganda we have succumbed in the west? Couldn’t it be that that propaganda helped/helps our governments to sell us endless wars, including the notorious “war on terror”? Couldn’t it be that this propaganda may actually have helped to arm the hand of Anders Behring Breivik, the tall, blond Norwegian who killed so many innocent lives last Friday in Norway? Can you see any connections? {http://tinyurl.com/3r9kjhq}
    .
    Can you understand why your words are – at best – irresponsible?
    .
    Kind regards,
    Gabriele Zamparini
    .
    Media Lens Message Board

  117. Good to see that ‘our boys’ are doing so much to assist the people of Libya, via the ‘no fly zone’. From the link below it is obvious that evil that is Gadaffi, must be destroyed!
    http://uruknet.com/?p=m79872&hd=&size=1&l=e

    Don’t you just love it!!!

  118. Samarkandian Boy

    25 Jul, 2011 - 12:35 am

    Here is a brilliant piece by Charlie Brooker, taking piss on that “security experts”

    The news coverage of the Norway mass-killings was fact-free conjecture

    Let’s be absolutely clear, it wasn’t experts speculating, it was guessers guessing – and they were terrible

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/24/charlie-brooker-norway-mass-killings

  119. I am so glad that this monster was caught,because we now know that he is white,blonde,blue-eyed and Norwegian.If he had of escaped the Moslem community throught Europe would have been blamed.I am also certain that there various forms of draconian legislation in bottom drawers waiting for the right opportunity to be pushed into law.

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