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Norway

Yearbook 2011

2011 NorwayNorway. The year became the darkest and bloodiest for Norway since the Second World War. On July 22, the country was hit by Northern Europe's worst terrorist act and the greatest mass murder of modern world history, committed by a lone perpetrator.

According to Countryaah official site, a 32-year-old right-wing extremist, Anders Behring Breivik, had been planning his crimes for months. With a very powerful car bomb, he blasted large parts of the central government headquarters in central Oslo, where eight people were killed and many injured. The car with the bomb was placed in front of the Prime Minister's Office, but Jens Stoltenberg was not present. Because it was Friday afternoon and holiday time, many government employees were vacant, which limited the number of victims.

2011 Norway

Disguised as a police officer, Breivik then drove through Oslo to Lake Tyrifjorden, northwest of the capital, where he took the ferry to the idyllic island of Ut°ya and the Labor Party's youth camp's summer camp. Breivik gathered camp participants around him on the pretext that he, as a police officer, would carry out a routine check on the occasion of the bombing in Oslo. Instead, he produced automatic weapons and shot down youth and leaders. For over an hour, the perpetrator was able to wander around the island, pursuing and shooting young people who tried to escape. Some of the swimmers who escaped from the island were also shot, while others were rescued by private individuals in boats.

Among other things, due to communication errors and transport problems, the police were delayed, and it took over an hour from the first alarm until Breivik could be arrested. By then he had killed 68 people at Ut°ya, most of them teenagers. One person later died in hospital, and many were treated for injuries.

The offender's motive was political. He wanted to fight the Labor Party and its positive attitude towards immigration and a multicultural society. Prior to the terrorist attacks, Breivik e-mailed to more than 1,000 addresses an approximately 1,500-page manifesto written in English: "2083 A European Declaration of Independence", describing his ultra-nationalist and Islamophobic worldview. Former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland was a main target for Breivik, who however was delayed and did not get to Ut°ya while Brundtland was in place during the day of the deed.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and King Harald spoke to the shocked and mourning nation. Stoltenberg emphasized that Norwegian democracy could not be silenced, saying that the attack on the political leadership and politically active youth would meet with more democracy. On the contrary to the perpetrator's purpose, notifications of new members poured in to the political youth unions, mostly to the Labor Party. A study also showed that a quarter of the Norwegians said they had become more positive towards a multicultural society.

About 95% felt that Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg handled the crisis well, and the Labor party stepped forward in public opinion. Anders Behring Breivik, who accused the Labor Party of "mass imports of Muslims", had previously been a member of the Progress Party, which in turn warned against Islamization of Norwegian society.

In the municipal and county elections in September, the Labor Party went ahead and became, as before, the largest party. However, H°yre was the big winner and rose sharply, while the Progress Party lost third voters.

Gradually, criticism of the police's actions grew in connection with the terrorist act. Above all, it was considered that it took too long to stop the mass murder on Ut°ya. A commission appointed by the government would investigate what happened in connection with the terrorist act and how the authorities handled their responsibilities. The result was to be presented in 2012. In November, Minister of Justice Knut Storberget resigned, who was hard pressed for the terrorist act. He was succeeded by former Defense Minister Grete Faremo.

In an opinion poll in November, the Labor Party and H°yre went back to 32 and 26.5%, respectively, while the Progress Party withdrew some of its previous opinion losses and received support of 17.8%.

The judicial investigation of the terrorist act was extremely extensive and went on throughout the year while Anders Behring Breivik was detained. The charges against Breivik were expected to be presented in early 2012, and the trial was scheduled to begin in April. In a forensic psychiatric examination, Breivik was declared paranoid schizophrenic and thus criminally unjustifiable, which means compulsory care instead of imprisonment. Breivik's diagnosis was widely debated, and psychologists and a psychiatrist who did his own research on Breivik concluded that he was not schizophrenic.

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