Saturday, July 23, 2011
The New Face of Terrorism?
CNN is running this picture of a suspect in the Norway bombing and shootings. As of now, 91 are dead in the Norway attacks. One of the targets was a youth camp where around 600 were attending. The suspect dressed as a policeman opened fire and killed 84 campers in a shooting spree that witnesses say lasted nearly two hours.
Norway has been throughout most of the 20th and 21st centuries are neutral country more known for its fiords than for invading countries or persecuting minorities. Like much of Scandinavia, Norway is a progressive country with very liberal policies towards immigration. The openness towards immigrants may have be the motive behind the attacks.
The last time Norway had been at war was during the Nazi occupation. Since then, Norway has been a very peaceful place to visit and live. The attack had the kind of success most terrorists can only dream of; an almost paradise wrecked by violence against children. The media and governments will be pontificating about the events for weeks.
The attack comes less than two months from the ten year anniversary of 9/11. It seems ominously coincidently and will have both security professionals as well as conspiracy theorists conjecturing on the timing. Gun control advocates will be beating their drums for disarmament and the NRA loyalists will be launching counter-attacks. DHS will be revamping screening procedures and will be asking for more money to purchase high-tech equipment to detect future attacks.
At the end of the day, none of that would have mattered. At least one person (perhaps more) attack a soft target and was successful. We cannot fortify every single summer camp, little league baseball game or high school football game. If someone wants to commit violence, they will find a way.
The Norway attack stands as a stark reminder that even in Utopia, violence can strike. Oh and it doesn't take a radicalized Muslim either!