July 23, 2011

Oslo police terror drill 48 hours before attack

Here we go again, is it not surprising that every major terror event is accompanied by a security drill focused around the same scenario. Oslo police were conducting a bombing exercise at a location near the Oslo Opera House just 48 hours before a terrorist blast hit a government building in the Norwegian capital.
According to the translated version of an Aftenposten report, “Anti-terror police fired explosive charges at a training center in Oslo, two hundred meters from the Opera, but forgot to notify the public.”
The exercise occurred on Wednesday and revolved around anti-terror units attacking a disused building at the edge of Bjørvika pier with bombs and firearms.
Police had to publicly apologize today for not informing the public about the exercise.


To give some context on the current situation of Norwegian politics below an excerpt from Wikipedia on Stoltenberg and his cabinet:

Stoltenberg's second cabinet has governed Norway since 17 October 2005. The 2005 parliamentary election saw a vast improvement for Labour, and the party gained a majority in parliament together with the other "Red-Green" parties, the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party. This paved the way for a historic first in Norway, with Labour joining in a coalition government, the Red-Green Coalition, after a coalition deal with Stoltenberg was struck. Since the government's formation, key political issues such as Norwegian military participation in the current war in Afghanistan, petroleum activities in the Barents Sea, LGBT rights, immigration and the quality of standard education have been greatly debated by the public. Following Stoltenberg's re-election in 2009, the government has put further restrictions on immigration matters due to ongoing threats of terrorism, centralised and re-organised health care and public hospitals, dealt with the ongoing global recession and championed for environmentalist policies through private and corporate taxation.[15]
A marine border dispute with Russia in the Barents Sea since 1978 was settled when Stoltenberg and President of Russia Dimitry Medvedev signed an agreement on 27 April 2010 in Oslo.[16][17] The agreement is a compromise, which divides a disputed area of around 175,000 km2 (68,000 sq mi) into two approximately equally sized parts.[18] However, the agreement still needs ratification by the State Duma and the Parliament of Norway in order to be implemented.
In January 2011, the Stoltenberg government ordered law enforcement personnel to arrest and deport Maria Salmanova, a Russian-born writer and blogger who had lived as an undocumented immigrant in Norway since 2002, a case later known as the Maria Amelie case. It was highly covered by the press as Salmanova was gaining more support and large demonstrations were taking place; Her Facebook page has gained more than 88,000 supporters and the Norwegian Amnesty International has its own signature campaign for Maria Amalie that by 23 January 2011 had over 28,000 signatures.[19][20][21][22] Reasons for this intense media attention included her exceptional fluency in the Norwegian language, and her master's degree in studies from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. On January 24 2011, Salmanova was deported from Norway to Russia[23] to much divided public opinions according to recent pollings. [24] As a result of alleged government inefficiency, blunders, scandals and misquotations made by members of the cabinet, among them Centre Party leader and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Liv Signe Navarsete, Stoltenberg's second term has attracted controversy and criticism from both conservatives and liberals. According to a recent polling, the three governing parties (combined) gained a 35.8 percent approval rating from the electorate.[25]
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