Within hours of Norway’s deadly bomb and gun attacks claiming at least 91 victims it has become clear that the horror was perpetrated by a Norwegian loner with rightwing Christian fundamentalist affiliations.
Yet President Barack Obama reacted immediately to the news of the atrocity to insinuate an Islamic connection and to justify America’s war on terror.
Obama spoke on Friday while hosting New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in the White House.
The US President said of the attacks: “It’s a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring, and that we have to work co-operatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks.”
Prime Minister Key added: “If it is an act of global terrorism I think it shows that no country, large or small, is immune from that risk, and that is why New Zealand plays its part in Afghanistan as we try and join others like the United States in making the world a safer place,” he said.
On Friday evening local time, 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik was captured by police moments after he went on a two-hour shooting rampage at a youth summer camp, killing at least 84 people, most of whom were aged between 14 and 18.
Hundreds of teenagers had gathered on the island of Otoeya, about 20 miles northwest of the capital, Oslo, for an annual summer camp organised by the Scandinavian country’s ruling Labour party.
Six-foot blond-haired Breivik was heavily armed and dressed as a policeman when he arrived on the island and beckoned the youths to assemble near him. About two hours earlier, a massive car bomb had exploded in the downtown area of Oslo ripping through government buildings and killing at least seven.
The youths on the island of Otoeya thought that Breivik was carrying out a security check in connection with the bombing in the capital. He proceeded to open fire on the campers and ran amok for nearly two hours before being arrested. There were scenes of pandemonium as the gunman chased after victims through wooded areas on the tiny resort island. Some youths dived into the water in a bid to swim back to the mainland, with Breivik shooting at those trying to escape.
The gunman is believed to have also carried out the bombing. Days before the massacre, Breivik reportedly posted a message on the internet saying: “One person with belief can achieve more than one hundred thousand without belief.”
The Norwegian is also reportedly associated with extremist rightwing groups in Northern Europe. A Christian fundamentalist, Breivik is believed to have shared rabid “Islamophobic views”.
He is said to have been living with his mother in a wealthy district of Oslo and to have run a farming business. This is how he obtained the fertilizer materials believed to have been used in making the car bomb.
The profile of Breivik that emerged minutes after the incidents was clearly that of a Norwegian citizen who acted on a deranged loner mission.
However, this did not restrain Obama or his New Zealand guest from issuing wild insinuations about Islamic terrorism. Obama is reported to have been briefed by intelligence officials before he spoke on the matter. Which makes his response an all the more odious bit of politicking to turn a horrific, tragic event into a propaganda stunt to stir up anti-Islamic fears and shore up Washington’s illegal “wars on terror”.
What should be disturbing is the level of inculcation of such irrational propaganda. It seems that every and any horror no matter how obviously unrelated to Islamic countries can now immediately be attributed by Obama and other Western leaders to “Islamic terrorists”.
It is as astounding act of reality inversion. The US leader who has taken international wars of aggression to record heights of lawlessness and who has made such a big deal of “embracing the Muslim world” nevertheless shows a disgraceful ability to prolong these wars by twisting any tragedy into a snide vilification of Islam.
Finian Cunningham is a Global Research Correspondent based in Belfast, Ireland.