The attacker, after setting off his car bomb which killed seven, made his way to the island where the Labour Party was having a retreat for its youth. He then set about a 90-minute shooting spree that left an additional 86 innocent people dead. Reports indicate that the only security for the retreat was an off-duty police officer who was not armed. In fact most police in Norway don’t carry firearms.
The Norwegians are not used to this sort of violence in their society and were ill prepared to confront this sort of evil when it reared its head in a most diabolical way. In fact the Norwegian judicial system is not setup to deal with this sort of atrocity. Even if convicted on all counts of premeditated murder Breivik can only face 21-years in prison, not for each count, but in total.
One must wonder how the Norwegian people will react once the shock and horror of this despicable crime turn to the shock and horror of how ill-prepared their police and judicial systems are to confront it. Will the populous demand that the laws be changed? Will they demand that their police be armed to properly protect the public? Will the Labour Party that was the target of this murderous madman be unseated by a disillusioned electorate, in favor of a more hard line government? Will this be Norway’s “9/11 moment”?
There is no excuse for mass murder – especially of helpless, innocent children – and the only person responsible for these twin attacks is Anders Behring Breivik. Terrorism analyst Walid Phares who has examined the terrorist’s manifesto has indicated that it borrows from both the liberal-left and the conservative-right, making it a unique and twisted ideology. This makes the attempts here in the United States to blame the “violent” Tea Party or conservative bloggers foolish.
But the policies that inspired his violence and which allowed him to hunt down his victims for 90-minutes without opposition of any kind are likely to be closely scrutinized by the Norwegian people and the their policy makers.
The multiculturalism that so infuriated the gunman has been renounced by other European leaders like English Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. They have realized that no nation can absorb large numbers of immigrants that refuse to assimilate into the culture or learn the language of their adopted nations. It’s likely that the government of Norway will now have to examine that policy as well.
More importantly the Norwegian people and government will have to reconsider their security and legal systems which have proven completely inadequate in the wake of these unprecedented attacks. This is a fact as a Norwegian judge has ruled that Breivik, who has warned there a two more cells in his terror group, is to be held in complete isolation for the next four weeks.