Police in Norway continue to be alarmed by outbreaks of violence similar to that plaguing Sweden recently. A house in Drøbak south of Oslo is suspected of being intentionally bombed during the night, while a young politician and social activist has felt forced to move because of threats from gang members.
The house in Drøbak was hit by an explosion at 3am on Tuesday and six residents had to be evacuated. No one was injured but police are investigating the incident as an attempted murder.
“This looks like an intentional and targeted attack on this home,” local police chief Rune Albertsen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “We have reason to believe that it’s linked to a local criminal youth milieu. We think there are ties between one of the people who lived at this address and this milieu.”
Albertsen stressed that there’s nothing directly tying the explosion to ongoing gang wars in Sweden, but police suspect local groups can be influenced by the attacks in Sweden. A large portion of what’s otherwise viewed as a peaceful residential neighbourhood was cordoned off as the investigation continued.
Young activist felt forced to move
Meanwhile, newspaper Aftenposten reported Tuesday that a young Labour Party politician has moved from Oslo’s Søndre Nordstrand area and no longer will live on the ground floor after experiencing a series of threats. Sarah Gaulin has long championed integration and battled against negative social control and so-called “honour”-related violence in immigrant communities, and says she’s no paying a price.
She told Aftenposten that rocks had been thrown at her former home, that she’s been sent threatening messages and been approached by strangers on the street who claimed they knew where she lived. Threatening groups of young men also surrounded the entrance to a local shopping center when she was there.
Gaulin has commented publicly on gang violence, forced marriages and helped young women fleeing domestic violence. Now she’s living at an undisclosed address in another area of Oslo, has installed alarms and avoids public transport but wants to remain socially engaged. “I moved because I want to keep helping people but without putting myself, my partner or my neighbours in danger,” Gaulin told Aftenposten.