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Norway: Threat of Jihad

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Gatestone Institute

by Judith Bergman

Norway seems to be making the same poorly thought-out choices as Britain.

It has apparently not occurred to these authorities that encouraging Muslims in prison to study the Quran and hadiths, with their exhortations to jihad against the "infidels", may in itself serve to radicalize the inmates.

The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) just published in February its yearly threat assessment. It concluded -- as did its threat assessment for 2016 -- that Norway might experience an Islamic terrorist attack from Islamic State (ISIS) sympathizers acting upon ISIS's call to carry out independent attacks. The PST explains:

"These calls to action are one reason why we have seen an increase over the last few years in the number of lone terrorist attacks in the West. The likeliest scenario for a terrorist attack in a Western country is an ISIL-/AQ-inspired attack carried out with a simple weapon against a target with little or no protection".

"Lone wolf" attacks are rightly described as an actual terrorist strategy, rather than what the media likes to describe as random "mental illness". In addition, this threat assessment now fits all of Europe.

The PST goes on to warn:

"Immigration to Europe will influence the terrorist threat in various ways in the coming year. One of the problems we expect to face is the radicalization of asylum-seekers, migrants and illegal immigrants in Norway. Attempts may be made to radicalize members of these groups by other migrants at reception centers or by visitors. As in previous years, individuals who support and sympathize with extreme Islamist organizations will arrive in Norway in 2017".

The security risks inherent in unvetted migration are clearly spelled out by the PST. Migration to Norway in 2016 was at a record low of 3,460 asylum seekers -- the lowest since 1997. The reason, according to Norway's Directorate of Immigration, is that "... border and ID checks in Europe have had a decisive effect on numbers of arrivals in Norway". Even so, the Directorate of Immigration estimates that double that number, or around 7,000 asylum seekers, will arrive in Norway in both 2017 and 2018.

The PST mentions another source of future jihadist attacks:

"Radicalization in prisons is a phenomenon that will become more common in Norway in 2017. There are a number of individuals currently in prison as a result of national investigations of travelers to Syria, and in 2017 more of them will be prosecuted for violation of the terror provisions in Norwegian law. This means that there will be an increasing number of prisoners in Norway who have played a role in extreme Islamist groups here and who also have operational experience gained abroad. It is likely that extreme Islamists will retain their convictions in prison and attempt to radicalize others. Attempts have already been made to radicalize other prisoners, including individuals sentenced for gross violence".

Read more: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10192/norway-jihad