Obviously, it is important to be cautious in drawing conclusions when the attacks just happened and facts are still coming in. But at the Standard, FDD’s Tom Joscelyn, as usual, provides some essential context. A year ago, an al Qaeda cell embedded in Oslo, under the direction of superiors in Pakistan, was thwarted in an attempted bombing. (Thwarted by aggressive intelligence collection, it should be added, including the penetration of email communications — the sort of thing frowned on by European and American critics of Bush counterterrorism.)
Tom points out that al Qaeda tends to go back after the same targets after failures. (He notes that it is not known whether they’d zeroed in on a specific Oslo target the last time, but they clearly intended to hit the city.) He also observes that the attack comes only days after Norway finally indicted Mullah Krekar, the founder (with bin Laden) of Ansar al-Islam. Earlier this month, Krekar threatened to attack government officials if they deported him, as they had threatened to do.