Oslo rocked by terror attacks. Islamic extremists suspected. UPDATE: Norwegian citizen in custody

Bomb blasts rocked Oslo, Norway today, targeting the Prime Minister’s office.  Meanwhile, someone dressed as a police officer opened fire on a group of students, killing at least 4. 

No groups have yet come forward to claim the attacks, but there is already strong suspicion that radical Islamic groups with ties to Al Qaeda are to blame.

From the UK Guardian:

Oslo police have confirmed the source of the blast that damaged the prime minister’s offices in Oslo was a bomb. The question now is who is likely to be behind it.

The most obvious conclusion would be a jihadist group.

It has been known for some time that al-Qaida and other related “franchises” – including the most active groups in Yemen – have been trying to develop operations.

read the rest

Norway has several reason to be a target for Islamic extremists, including the 2005 Mohammed cartoons published by a Norwegian newspaper.

Norway has also been involved in the international security force fighting in Afghanistan.  More recently, prosecutors there filed terror charges against an Iraqi Muslim cleric for threatening to kill Norwegian politicians if he was deported. 

UPDATE: Radical Islamist group Helpers of Global Jihad is now claiming responsibility

UPDATE 2: Apparently the guy who posted the claim of responsibility on the jihad forum has retracted his statement saying that Helpers of Global jihad was involved.

UPDATE 3: Will McCants is following and translating chatter on jihad-friendly forums.  He’s posting updates as they come in.

UPDATE 4: It’s now being reported that Norwegian authorities have a “Caucasian male" in custody for his suspected involvement

UPDATE 5: Norwegian press is quoting the Oslo police chief saying that the suspect in custody is a Norwegian citizen

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