• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Day 2: Norway terror warnings
Top government officials in Oslo react to the terror alert. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB Scanpix

Day 2: Norway terror warnings

NTB/The Local · 25 Jul 2014, 09:59

Published: 24 Jul 2014 10:23 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Jul 2014 09:59 GMT+02:00

  • "Credible" but "unspecific" intelligence of terror attack
  • Threat linked to fighting in Syria
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg postpones holiday
  • Increased security at Norway's two atomic reactors
  • Increased security at borders and Norway's two nuclear reactors
  • Oslo City Hall and the Royal Palace  and closed to public
  • Prime Minister informed on Wednesday evening
  • Flights unaffected
  • UK and US embassies in Oslo warn travellers to 'remain vigilant'

“The PST [Norway’s security police] recently received information that people with links to Islamic extremists in Syria may intend to carry out attacks against Norway,” PST chief Benedicte Bjørnland told a press conference in Oslo on Thursday. She added that the attack was planned to take place “within a few days from now.”

“The PST has warned several times that extremist Islamist groups in Syria intend to carry out terror attacks in Norway. We often receive such information, but often it turns out to be inaccurate. However, on this occasion our suspicions have been backed up,” she said.

“The resulting investigation we have carried out leads us to believe that this is credible, while unspecific. This is related to people who have participated in fighting in Syria,” she said.

Norway's intelligence services estimate that between 40 and 50 people with links to Norway have fought or are fighting in Syria.
 
Justice minister Anders Anundsen said people should be vigilant and follow instructions from the police.
 
“But it’s important not to judge people,” he told the press conference.
 
Police on alert
 
All Norwegian police districts have increased their level of alert, Bjørnland said:

“We have called in people from their holidays and want to work to confirm or disprove the information we have.”

Bjørnland added that further information would be limited out of respect for the security service's sources. She added that the PST did not know who was behind the threat, nor where or how any attack might be carried out.

The PST said it was releasing the information in the hope of preventing the attack. Police are raising their alert level, said acting police director Vidar Refvik:

“People will mostly notice our increased level of alert through increased presence at border crossings, among other things. The police will be armed,” he said.

Increased security at nuclear reactors

Security tightened at the atomic reactors in Kjeller, Oslo and Halden, south of Oslo. Viktor A Wikstrøm, communications director of Institute of Energy, said to Adresseavisen: "Our security people are in place and have taken all the neccessary precautions. We have continuing contact with PST."

PM cancels summer holiday plans

Prime Minister Erna Solberg said she was informed of the threat against Norway on Wednesday evening. She told news agency NTB that she trusted police to take the necessary actions.
 
“This is a terror threat against Norway that PST and the Norwegian Intelligence service judge to be credible,” she said, adding that the decision to inform the public was made in light of the intelligence services’ policy of increased openness.
 
“I trust the police to keep abreast of the issue and take necessary actions, the PST and Intelligence Service to cooperate effectively through the joint counter-terrorism centre.”
 
Solberg has postponed her planned summer holiday in light of the threat. Secretary of State, Sigbjørn Aanes says to NRK:"I can confirm that Erna Solberg should have gone for her vacation together with her family today."

City Hall closed

Following the information about the threat, Oslo City Hall announced that it would not open to tourists until further notice. 
 
“We are currently assessing the situation. We will have a meeting at 1pm with experts who will carry out a security assessment,” City Hall manager Bjørn Risvik told NTB.
 

The Royal Palace closed

The Royal Palace in Oslo has cancelled all tours of the building until further notice. The move was decided by the Head of Court on Thursday.

Tickets pre-paid for tours will be refunded at the ticket office (billettservice.no).


Norway Chess Olympics under threat

The Chess Olympiad to be held in Tromsø - the world's third biggest sports event and 181 nations scheduled to take part - said they have a "security plan" and are working with the Norwegian authorities and police, said organisers on their official Twitter account.

Jewish Museum in Oslo closed

The Jewish Museum of Oslo has been closed because of the terror threat against Norway on Friday. Rolf Kirschner, assistant manager of the museum said to NTB: "As a potential target, we have made this decision. It is sad. We have nice exhibitions going on, but we cannot risk the lifes of our staff and the visitors."

 
Flights unaffected
 
Armed police were patrolling Oslo's Gardemoen airport at lunchtime on Thursday.
Story continues below…
 
SAS, Norwegian and Avinor said flights were running normally. Neither the airlines nor airport authorities had been contacted by police regarding the threat.
 
Marit Kjær, communications director at the airport said they had not raised the threat level. "For the time being everything is running as normal," she told NTB.
 
UK and US travellers must 'remain vigilant', say embassies
 
Officials at the British Embassy told The Local that they were aware of the situation, but had not changed their travel advice for British citizens visiting Norway. The Foreign Office website noted the Norwegian warnings and advised travellers to 'remain vigilant'.
The American Embassy has issued the same warning to travellers. They emphasise public institutions, businesses and especially US embassies are targets for terrorists and extremist groups.

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

NTB/The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
A throw-back photo before the beard and hair reached their full potential. Photo: Lasse Matberg/Instagram

Hot enough to melt snow, this apparent reincarnation of Thor has captured hearts the world over.

13 feared dead in Norway helicopter crash
Rescue crews reported no signs of survivors. Photo: Marit Hommedal/Scanpix

UPDATED: Eleven dead bodies have been recovered and there is little hope that the other two on board survived.

Norway's sovereign fund posts negative return
Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's biggest, posted a negative return in the first quarter after being tapped by the government to balance its budget for the first time ever.

Philippine troops attack Norwegian hostage's captors
Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad (right) in a still from a previous video released by SITE. Photo: Screen Grab

Philippine warplanes on Thursday attacked Islamic militants holding a Norwegian and 19 other foreign hostages.

Norway vows to change child welfare practices
Minister of Children and Equality Solveig Horne has announced a series of changes to how the Norwegian Child Welfare Service operates. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Following global protests, Norway prepares changes and reviews of the Child Welfare Service (Barnevernet).

Statoil tops expectations to stay in the black
The Statoil headquarters in Fornebu. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Norwegian oil giant Statoil held up better against lower oil prices than expected.

Philippines vows military strike on Norwegian's captors
The Abu Sayyaf terrorists have killed one captive and have threatened to kill the others, including Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad (right). Photo: NTB Scanpix

Following the execution of a Canadian hostage, Philippine President Benigno Aquino says he will 'neutralize' the terrorists still holding a Norwegian and up to 20 others.

Norway cabin gets 'Frozen' treatment at Disney World
When Disney World visitors enter the Royal Sommerhus, they'll actually be entering a replica of this cottage at Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum. Photo: Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum

Kids will be able to meet Elsa and Anna in a replica of a Trondheim cottage.

Norway moves to bar entry to 'hate preachers'
Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

The Justice Ministry wants to crack down on religious groups who invite people into the country "who undermine Norwegian values".

Breivik civil case
Norway to appeal Breivik human rights ruling
Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

UPDATED: The Norwegian state will appeal against the Oslo District Court’s ruling that convicted terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s prison conditions violate his human rights.

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
National
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
Politics
Norway's tough asylum plans face resistance
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose International Health Insurance
National
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
National
Oslo is the real ‘Capital of Scandinavia’
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
Health
Norway doctors push plan for 'tobacco-free generation'
2,136
jobs available