Sunday, July 24, 2011

Norway: The Other End of the Extremism Spectrum

In the wake of the attacks in Norway there was much speculation as to who would carry out something so brutal and senseless. Of course the usual list of suspects came up in conversations. In a document generated by STRATFORentitled "What the Norway Attack Could Mean for Europe" (22 July 2011) the scenarios included the usual suspects. Jihadist groups based in Europe, far-right or neo-Nazis based in Norway, or even a retaliation sponsored or carried out by Libya.

The scenario that is closest to the facts (and, so far, looks to hit the nail mostly on the head) was limited to these few lines:

"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."

We live in times where it pays to keep your head on a swivel. Unfortunately, it seems that too often we get tunnel vision looking out on the horizon and forget to glimpse over our own shoulder from time to time. Our world seems to get more and more polarized every day. These polarizations, compounded with fear, lure irrational people out of the dark.

The headlines have been calling this "Norway's 'Oklahoma City.'" I think it looks more like a combination of Oklahoma City and Tuscon.

The worst part is that this guy in Norway thinks that this is justified. That he is saving Norway from the spread of Islam. I think we would all agree that there are better ways to enact change on your society than by taking innocent lives.

Back to my point. The point is that the threat of violence doesn't always come from the usual suspect. It isn't always a jihadist with a suicide vest. It's not always a tattooed up neo-Nazi. Sometimes it's the blonde guy with a sick mind and some guns. The "Lone Wolf" style terrorists are the hardest to defend against.

1 comment:

  1. He supposedly pleaded not guilty today though he admitted to the act. In his mind, it is not a crime. He is a martyr come to save his people. A messiah. You can't reason with crazy.