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Thursday, July 18, 2024

More threats logged since July 22

Norwegian politicians and other high-profile persons in Norway have been receiving more threats since the terror attacks of July 22, and the nature of the threats is more serious. The trial of confessed terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, meanwhile, continued this week with some of the most disturbing testimony to date.

Newspaper Vårt Land wrote earlier this week that politicians are reporting more threats made against them, and police intelligence unit PST is taking them seriously. The head of one of the terror victims’ support groups also has received threats lately.

PST believes the threats are made mostly by persons with psychiatric problems, and they now hope to track them down. PST has therefore launched a new cooperative effort with psychiatric health units in southern and eastern Norway that specialize in court-related mental health issues.

“Those who make threats often do so in connection with an illness,” Trond Hugubakken of PST told Vårt Land. “Psychiatric competence and police evaluations can achieve better results (in leading to those making the threats) than police evaluations alone.”

Judge moved to tears
Court proceedings in the terror trial this week, meanwhile, continue to deal with examinations of how each of Breivik’s 69 murder victims died during his massacre on the island of Utøya last summer. Details were so gruesome and there are so many young victims involved that even the judge in the case was seen wiping away tears, while other attorneys and victims’ family members in the courtroom cried as well.

“It was terrible to listen to what happened with people who I knew well and who I remember as so full of life, so positive and happy,” Eskil Pedersen, leader of the Labour Party youth group’s summer camp targeted by Breivik, told news bureau NTB. “I’ve spent some days in court, but this was the toughest so far.”

While testimony on Monday centered on the 13 persons gunned down inside the camp’s café building, Tuesday’s focused on 12 young campers whose bodies were found on a trail running along the perimeter of the island. All the victims were named, and attorneys for victims’ families and survivors read short statements about each of them, and what they were like before they were killed.

Shoes left behind
Newspaper Dagsavisen reported that among the disturbing photos from the island was one showing shoes piled up inside the entrance of the café building on Utøya. Campers were required to remove their shoes before entering the building’s rooms that were a popular gathering place on the island.

That explained why all the dead victims inside were described as being found “without shoes,” while others found scattered around the island were shoeless as well, because hundreds fled the building in their stocking feet. Their shoes and sandals were left behind.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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