The leader of a small anti-Islamic group in Norway who’s known for demonstratively burning the Koran was literally run off a highway in Oslo at high speed Saturday afternoon. Police later arrested the driver of the car that rammed Lars Thorsen’s car, and charged her with attempted bodily harm.
Four of those in Thorsen’s car were sent to a local emergency clinic and one to hospital with minor injuries. Tore Barstad, who led police operations at the scene, told state broadcaster NRK that Thorsen had sought permission from police for his latest demonstration at Mortensrud in Oslo. His application was rejected, however, on the grounds it was not safe given the mass shooting outside several bars in the Norwegian capital last weekend.
Barstad also told Norwegian media that the police could “well understand” how Thorsen provokes many with his Koran burning, and cited the current high terror threat level in Norway. Police had determined that Thorsen’s demonstration should not be carried out “given the threat situation today.” Thorsen seemed to ignore the police warnings and can be seen on video trying to push away passersby trying to douse the flames around the Korans he set on fire Saturday.
Police arrested and charged the driver of the car that rammed Thorsen’s and said it was “important to know what set off this incident.” Police also noted that Thorsen’s demonstrations in recent years have led to “high levels” of conflict and confrontations. An investigation was underway.