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Norway Attack: Sizing Up, Watching Rightist Suspects …

  • July 28th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

utoeya-rescuers.jpgAfter the bomb outrage and mass shootings in Norway, a methodical response has been unfolding in the adjacent countries of Europe.

Some signal, if qualified  relief was provided as initial counting of the number dead was contradicted; as many as 93 were thought killed at one time, that number now brought down to 76.

EUROPOL ACTION

europol-image.jpgThe Europol service, an agency of the European Union set up to mount joint operations and connect the police forces of member countries, said it had put its anti-terrorism unit at the disposal of Norwegian authorities.

That provided access to 50 anti-terrorism specialists, with another 100 intelligence analysts available.

It said it had set up a new operations centre based on a “First response Network”, with extra staff moving in to its base at The Hague, from Norway, and six members of the EU — Denmark, Finland, Germany,  Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

 

FOLLOWING LEADS, NEW-MEDIA ZEALOTS

“The team will focus on pursuing a number of international leads that are currently being explored”, it said.

“They will also urgently assess the wider implications of the incidents in terms of the threat from right-wing extremism across Europe.”

Europol declared it had already had cause to give a warning about stepped up efforts of extreme right wing groups, including a section of its annual report.

“The 2011 report, published in March, warned about the increasing levels of professionalism used by right-wing extremists, for example through the use of the Internet to spread propaganda, and the use of social media to attract younger people and mobilise a larger community”, it said.

BRUSSELS: WE ARE “NOT READY”

In Brussels on Thursday (28.7.111) a panel of officials responsible for counter-terrorism was called together in an  emergency session, with Norwegian representatives to discuss implications of the weekend attacks.

Interior Ministers of the EU countries will take it further, at a scheduled meeting, on 22.9.11.

“We don’t know how big the threat really is,” said Cecilia Malmström, the European Commissioner for home affairs, quoted in European Voice.

European governments were not well set up to deal with attacks like the one in Oslo.

POLICE RAIDS IN GERMANY

Police were down to business in Germany.


On Wednesday, in Baden-Wurttemberg state they raided 21 homes and other premises, as part of an investigation into right-wing extremist groups.

They found a gun with ammunition, and knives, and some neo-nazi propaganda, carrying off also some computers.

They detained 18 members of the “Standarte Württemberg” group aged from 17 to 50.

Germany has strong “never again” laws against organising political acts to overthrow the democratic state.

The man in Oslo who has confessed to the bomb attack and the shootings at a youth camp near the city, last Friday 22.7.11, had published a manifesto on radical right-wing themes, especially anti-immigration and the idea of Europe being colonised by Islam.

The campers he targeted were from the young people’s wing of the governing Labour party.

Reference

Deutsche Welle, Bonn, “German police raid homes of far-right extremists”, 28.7.11. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15273343,00.html, (28.7.11)

Europol, The Hague, “Europol responds to attacks in Norway … “, 27.7.11. https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/news/europol-responds-attacks-norway-mobilising-eu-first-response-network-1035,(28.7.11).

Toby Vogel and Constant Brand, “Attacks on Norway prompt EU to review far-right threat”, European Voice, Brussels, 28.7.11. http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/imported/attacks-on-norway-prompt-eu-to-review-far-right-threat/71781.aspx, (28.7.11)

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