In response to today’s bombing and shootings in Norway, Oistein Mjarum, head of communications for the Norwegian Red Cross, told the BBC:
“We have never had a terrorist attack like this in Norway — if that’s what it is — but of course this has been a great fear for all Norwegians when they have seen what has been happening around the world.”
By any definition, this was a terrorist attack; what Mjarum means is that it is unproven whether the attack was indeed carried out by Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami. As the New York Times reports:
A terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or the Helpers of the Global Jihad, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, according to Will McCants, a terrorism analyst at C.N.A., a research institute that studies terrorism. The message said the attack was a response to Norwegian forces’ presence in Afghanistan and to unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad. “We have warned since the Stockholm raid of more operations,” the group said, according to Mr. McCants’ translation, apparently referred to a bombing in Sweden in December 2010. “What you see is only the beginning, and there is more to come.” The claim could not be confirmed.