Oslo bombing, shooting (big photo gallery, news updates)



(Photos: scenes from a powerful explosion that rocked central Oslo July 22, 2011. A huge explosion damaged government buildings in central Oslo on Friday including Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's office. The blast blew out most windows on the 17-story building, as well as nearby ministries including the oil ministry, which was on fire. REUTERS/Berit Roald/Scanpix)

Above and following, photos from the bombing that took place in Oslo earlier today. Two apparent terrorist attacks struck the Norwegian capital: a car bombing at government offices in the city's center, and a shooting at an island youth camp of Norway's labor party. At least 16 are confirmed dead at the time of this blog post.

Immediate theories of who was responsible varied, and ranged from domestic right-wing extremists to possible external groups retaliating for Dagbladet's publication in 2010 of a comic that portrayed the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as a pig writing the Qur'an. But the BBC reports:

Police said the suspected gunman had been arrested, and later that he was also linked with the bomb attack. Reports described him as tall and blond.
The man arrested for the shootings is Norwegian, and Norwegian authorities have since stated that they do not currently consider this an act of foreign terrorism.

More: Washington Post, ABC News, New York Times, and a Telegraph report on a related Wikileaks cable: a US State Department memo portrays the country as "over its head," and "unable to keep up" with terror risks.

Here's an excellent Twitter list of journalists covering the attacks, assembled by the Washington Post.






(all images in this post: REUTERS/Scanpix)


  1. Suspicions point to the extreme right wing now… it would be right up their alley too… The kids (ages 12 and up) at the left wing youth camp was shot point blank it seems.

  2. Some unsubstantiated reports are coming saying extra-Norwegian groups are claiming responsibility, some are saying it appears to be domestic.

    At this exact point, I’m not sure what is worse, that it is some kind of Norwegian domestic group targeting their gov’t and leveraging the backdrop of Middle Eastern violent extremism as a kind of “dis-info shield”, or whether it is the fact that violent foreign extremists might be benefitting from the perception that they could reach into a place like Norway and do this.

  3. First of all, thank you, Xeni and Boingboing gang, for taking the time to wait and gather up as much of the available details from news sources before posting up the thorough battery of links and details about the dismaying situation in Norway right now. Having browsed with serious disgust at some of the partisan, biased and bigoted comments that were being posited at the Washington Post comment section, I hope that things stay far more civil and better-informed than what I saw at WaPo this afternoon.

    Most of all, thoughts, wishes, and prayers of all beliefs towards Norway, right now. This is a tragic situation that will only get worse before it gets better. It saddens me to know that one of the places where some of the happiest, funniest and most joyful people I’ve had the pleasure to meet call home has this weight this horrifc act to endure at the moment.

  4. It’s kind of interesting – as soon as I heard the target list, I knew that it wasn’t foreign terrorists. Multiple operations against a single political party are of very little interest to organizations outside that country. I can’t think of any Al Qaeda operation that showed that degree of political subtlety… They’d rather just terrorize everyone.

    I have a feeling this guy will turn out to be a nutter of the first order ala the Arizona shooting earlier this year. And a similar story of someone who slipped through the cracks while falling into madness will appear.

    My sympathy goes out to the Norwegian people, and I hope you do not react as we Americans did, with fear and anger. For that lets these madmen win.

  5. This reminds me of Oklahoma City. Remember how they were so focused on finding this truck of “arab-looking” men before they latched onto McVeigh? Even some of the photos of the building remind me of that federal building.

  6. Now terrible stories are heard. A lady in her small boat was pasing by the iland where the shooting acoured, tumbeled upon kids in shock swimming foor life… She picked up 10, but sadly had to leave 2 cause of the small boat…. I pray they survive, and can tell the lady they survived..

  7. @osmo: The camp at Utøya was for the youth organisation of the Norwegian Labour party, which is the largest party in the parliament, the PM’s own party, and the most moderate of all the parties on the Norwegian left. Hardly “left wing”.

    It is true that suspicion now leans towards the right wing, but the problem with that hypothesis is that the Norwegian right-wing extremist groups all but went extinct last decade, much thanks to surveillance (I’m loath to admit) and very effective prevention measures taken to hinder recruiting. They haven’t been considered dangerous for years.

    Some acquaintances of mine, however, keep tabs on the conspiracy scene(s) in Norway. They have reported (before today) that these groups are in fact much more dangerous than one would think. And the Norwegian news agency NTB reports that police knows (through interrogations) which scene the shooter/bomber is affiliated with.

    A madman? Not improbable. A evil man? Most assuredly. But I’m starting to suspect that comparing the murderer to Timothy McVeigh will be more accurate than comparing him to Osama bin Laden.

    1. That bit of weirdness was posted 2/27/11 (February 27), not 22.7.11.

      Sometimes it is very scary raising children in this world. I know that statistically speaking, they’re safer than ever, but things like this make my skin crawl.

      1. Thanks for clarifying what should have been obvious to me! I guess any string of numbers is attached to some madness on the web.

        I stumbled into far more bizarre stuff in my brief skimming of the search results, surely equally coincidental.

        Looking at those horrifying photos, I can only hope the casualty figures don’t climb.

    2. Does the date mean anything? Nah. But, conspiracy theorists has already pointed out that if you include the time for the bombing, 15:30, you’ll find that 2+2+7 = 11, and 1+5+3+0 = 9, which obviously means that it’s linked to 9/11.

      (of course, this’ll only work if you ignore that the bomb actually went off about five minutes earlier. Luckily, selectively ignoring facts is one of the things conspiracy theorists are pretty good at).

  8. This is making the rounds on FB and G+ among Norwegians at the moment:
    G.W. Bush, 9/11: “We’re gonna hunt you down.”
    Stoltenberg, 22/7: “We will retaliate with more democracy”.
    I’m proud to be Norwegian

    Jens Stoltenberg is the current PM, leader of the Labour party and has spent most of his summers at the island where the worst attacks occurred.

    1. I saw his speech on BBC. Spoken like a true Statesman, with courage and solace. Norway should stand proud.

  9. I was struck by the beauty of the city. My heart is with those that suffer.

    “We will retaliate with more democracy.” You win.

  10. I send my heartfelt condolences to all Norwegian family who lost their love one. today’

  11. The bombing scene looks eerily reminiscent of Tarkovsky’s dream sequence from “The Sacrifice” which was filmed in Oslo in 1986 (begins at 5:17 into the video):

  12. Such a horrible thing to happen to such a country of wonderful people. The world is listening Norway, tell us what you need.

    Also, “We will retaliate with more democracy.” Amazing.

  13. Living close to the senter of Oslo where the bombing happend, and also having a young teenaged daughter living in the area, and friends working there, I felt so violated, hurt and scared when it happend.

    When all of mine where acounted for I was left with a deep feeling of pain and sorrow. My heart and my thougts go to all the innocent people that lost their life in Oslo and on the island yesterday, and to their families and friends.

    Norway have lost our innocence now, but our PM talkes on behalf of us all when he let the world know that we will not let the evil win. We will stay open, unafraid and welcoming.

  14. If the religious views and political affiliations of these killers were not made public they would fail to stir up hatreds which is their aim. Saying it is political or religious fanaticism gives them publicity and allows the fear to be planted.
    These are murderers nothing else and that is the only label they should be allowed to carry, along with their own bad karma.

    1. I personally wish people like this a living hell for x100 as many lifetimes as the number of people they have hurt and killed.

  15. IT is the nature of madmen like like the evil man that murdered these innocents that needs changed.. It is also the punishment for these monsters that needs changed…It needs to be severe and final….

    1. It needs to be severe and final….

      I’m sure that’ll prevent it from happening again.

  16. It’s so hard to see this. My heart goes out to the friends and family of those taken by this crazy. It’s so hard to believe something like this would happen in Norway.  

  17. There should be a rethinking on the arms and ammunation policies of western nations. They should not be freely available for individuals. Licence given to posses arms should be only after stringent screening.
    The Arms delaters and companys will be againt this. And probably the govenment donot avt on this… because… it is the arms delers money that support many high end politicians duringtheir election contest. How can they oppose their friends now?
    See what is happening in US these days.. The news aout school shooting is very frequent. How can the kids get arms?
    The whole world is going like a hell now..
    To whom I am telling? To the deaf years of the citizens of the world. The time has reached for a second thought. We should not sit infornt of our computers idle. Act men and women… act..
    Remember the bright full days the youth of the Utove Island will be missing from Saturday onwards…


    1. “They should not be freely available for individuals.”  Then you need to pick up a history book and rethink that.  I also invite you to have a gander at both Interpol and FBI crime stats.  You will see, quite clearly, that the popular alarmist mentality is totally without merit.  If “public health” is really your goal then you should be trying to take away people’s soft drinks, cheetos and automobiles.  B/c they, far and away, cause more deaths than any armed (non military) conflict. What happened in Oslo was a tragedy. But you should be on guard not to let your emotions make your arguments for you.

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