Norway’s military intelligence unit known as E-tjenesten confirmed Sunday that it had sent out a warning of a possible terrorist attack to Norwegian government officials. The warning is in line with that issued by US officials who’ve been tipped that a major terrorist action is being planned.
General Lieutenant Kjell Grandhagen, chief of the defense department’s intelligence unit formally called Etteretningstjenesten, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Sunday evening that he and his colleagues had alerted government officials and police on Friday that a terrorist action may be in the works.
Grandhagen said the Norwegian intelligence service had the same information as that which has prompted US officials to close more than 20 embassies and consulates, mostly in the Middle East, as a security measure.
The US’ source of information is believed to be reliable, and may be related to recent prison outbreaks in Iraq and Libya. The terrorist operation is believed to be imminent, with persons standing by to carry it out.
Grandhagen refused to specify the security threat in Norway or say whether it had increased. Nor would he say how the terrorist warning should be addressed, leaving that to government officials.
US-based CBS News reported on Sunday that the terror threat is the most concrete and plausible threat in years, and has been traced to Yemen, where terrorist organization Al-Qaeda is active. The threat is based on communication said to have been picked up between high-ranking Al-Qaeda members who were discussing plans for an attack either in the Middle East or North Africa.
The US intelligence sources lack any information about a date, time or goal for the suspected attack. That’s why so many US embassies and consulates were closed on Sunday.
France, Germany and Great Britain have also closed their embassies in Yemen’s capital, Sana, while Canada has closed its embassy in Bangladesh. Norwegian authorities, while tipped of the increased danger for a terrorist attack in the Middle East or North Africa, have not closed Norway’s embassies but a foreign ministry spokesman told news bureau NTB that security has been heightened.