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FEATURE

Syrian teen arrested in Norway for plotting attack

Norway's intelligence services (PST) said Friday it had arrested a 16-year-old Syrian immigrant suspected of planning an attack on an undisclosed target.

Syrian teen arrested in Norway for plotting attack
Hans-Petter Fjeld

The suspect, who was arrested on Thursday, has been living in Oslo for several years and had begun preparations to carry out his attack, PST spokesman Trond Hugubakken told AFP.

“He is suspected of plotting an attack. It’s more serious than the usual cases of participation in or attempted participation in a terrorist organisation,” he said.

The teen was to appear before a judge on Friday for a detention hearing, which PST was to request be held behind closed doors. No details were provided on the intended target which, according to
information provided to AFP, was in Norway.

“He claims he is innocent and will ask to be released. His age is not
compatible with a detention order,” the suspect’s lawyer Andreas Berg Fevang told AFP.

According to the VG newspaper, PST believes that the the teen is an Islamic State supporter who came to Norway as part of a family reunification.

“In recent years we have seen youngsters, including kids as young as 13 or 14, being radicalised in both far-right circles and radical Islamist circles,” Hugubakken said.

“It’s a worrying trend.”

The PST did not exclude further arrests.

Also on Friday, Norwegian police charged a 30-year-old Norwegian woman of Pakistani origin, repatriated last year from Syria’s Al-Hol camp for humanitarian reasons, with participating in a terrorist organisation.

Member comments

  1. And there’s the problem with allowing immigrants from the Middle East. That’s the thanks you get….

    Deport him if he is found guilty!

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TRAVEL

Could Oslo-Copenhagen overnight train be set for return?

A direct overnight rail service between the Norwegian and Danish capitals has not operated since 2001, but authorities in Oslo are considering its return.

Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.

An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail.

Jernbanedirektoratet is expected to assess a timeline for introducing the service along with costs, market and potential conflicts with other commercial services covering the route.

“I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting, including taking a train to Malmö, Copenhagen and onwards to Europe,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The minister said he envisaged either a state-funded project or a competition awarding a contract for the route’s operation to the best bidder.

A future Oslo-Copenhagen night train rests on the forthcoming Jernbanedirektoratet report and its chances of becoming a reality are therefore unclear. But the Norwegian rail authority earlier this year published a separate report on ways in which passenger train service options from Norway to Denmark via Sweden can be improved.

“We see an increasing interest in travelling out of Norway by train,” Jernbanedirektoratet project manager  Hanne Juul said in a statement when the report was published in January.

“A customer study confirmed this impression and we therefore wish to make it simpler to take the train to destinations abroad,” Juul added.

Participants in the study said that lower prices, fewer connections and better information were among the factors that would encourage them to choose the train for a journey abroad.

Norway’s rail authority also concluded that better international cooperation would optimise cross-border rail journeys, for example by making journey and departure times fit together more efficiently.

The Femahrn connection between Denmark and Germany, currently under construction, was cited as a factor which could also boost the potential for an overland rail connection from Norway to mainland Europe.

Night trains connected Oslo to Europe via Copenhagen with several departures daily as recently as the late 1990s, but the last such night train between the two cities ran in 2001 amid dwindling demand.

That trend has begun to reverse in recent years due in part to an increasing desire among travellers to select a greener option for their journey than flying.

Earlier this summer, a new overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin began operating. That service can be boarded by Danish passengers at Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new night train from Copenhagen to Germany

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