Norway should prepare for homegrown far-right extremists carrying out terrorist acts in the coming year, the country’s police service warned on Friday.
The Police Security Service (PST) flagged in a statementthat the March 15 attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, is likely to inspire several other right-wing extremists in the West in the coming year.
Fifty-one people were killed and another 49 were injured when Brenton Tarrant opened fire at the Al-Noor mosque and later at the Linwood Islamic Centre. Before carrying out his attacks, which were live-streamed on social media, the 28-year-old Australian had posted a manifesto on 8chan.
Since then, at least four terrorist acts for which the perpetrators were inspired by Tarrant have been recorded, PST said, including one in Norway.
One person was injured in the August 10 gun attack at the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum, about 20 km west of Oslo. The gunman’s step-sister was later found dead in a suspected murder.
“Several Norwegian right-wing extremists in 2019 have expressed support for perpetrators behind terrorist attacks in New Zealand and the United States. PST has also registered some supporting statements to the perpetrator behind the mosque attack in Baerum on August 10,” the PST said.
“The statements show that terrorism as a method has support among several Norwegian right-wing extremists.
“We now consider it possible that Norwegian right-wing extremists will try to carry out terrorist acts in the coming year,” it added.
According to the authorities non-Western immigrants, Muslims, Jews and LGBT groups are particularly vulnerable. Politicians are also potential targets as right-wing extremists see them as to “blame for facilitating immigration and the alleged negative development of society,” PST explained.