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Friday, May 20, 2022

Big increase in politicians assigned bodyguards

Threats and unusually strong expressions of displeasure have dramatically increased the number of Norwegian politicians who have been assigned bodyguards. More have bodyguards now than ever before.

Until recently only the prime minister was assigned a permanent bodyguard, and that was a fairly new development. Former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, for example, never had a permanent bodyguard.

Since July 22, when Norway was struck by terrorist attacks that left 77 persons dead, nearly a dozen other top politicians have been assigned guards, either because of their position or because of threats. The foreign minister, defense minister and justice minister are among those with permanent escorts at all times.

“We have seen a need to strengthen security around certain individuals and bodyguards are one way of doing that,” Jon Fitje of the police intelligence unit PST told newspaper Aftenposten. Earlier in the week, the wife of a Member of Parliament for the Progress Party revealed that he and his family now have police guards after receiving death threats.

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