Norway: Right-Wing Extremists a Threat, Islamists a Greater Threat


"In recent years we have seen a development in which (Muslim) people raised in Norway become radicalized, and for whom Norway and Norwegian society are the enemy," she told a news conference.

"These people have a lot of contact with extreme Islamists abroad. They travel to training camps in conflict areas and they travel to participate in armed combat before returning to Norway."

Responding to critics who have said the police are neglecting the threat from right-wing militants like Anders Behring Breivik, who admitted carrying out the July 22 attacks, she said the threat they represent is far smaller.

"The number of violent right-wing extremists is still low," she said.

This brings up a number of issues to those involved in counter-terror.

For instance, we know a great deal about extremist networks on the right, left, and among Islamists, but don't cases such as Breivik or Nidal Hasan show that our biggest vulnerability lies with lone gunman?

It's why Samir Khan and his cohorts over at AQAP were busy urging Muslims to not join terror groups and simply follow Nidal Hasan's example for the past few years. They understand, correctly, that each added person in a cell increases the probability of detection and prevention. The only safe terrorist cell is the cell of one.

Luckily for us it usually takes a little something extra for an individual to commit mass murder. Usually they find that little extra thing in a social network that tells them that what they are doing is okay. That killing is a good or necessary thing.

But when you have no one around to help you over the wall that prevents most normal people from committing homicide, then usually you just don't climb it.

But, there is one thing that can help you do it. And that thing is being crazy.

Nidal Hasan had it. Behring Breivik definitely had it.

Being an extremist and being crazy is not a healthy recipe for peaceful behavior. How you address that, I do not know.

However, I think our normal human response is to dismiss people who are mentally disturbed as less dangerous. That is, if we hear some guy ranting on and on about some extremist ideology we are more inclined to be dismissive of him when we realize that he's also crazy.

At least, I think this is the case.

The temptation for law enforcement is probably the same. But law enforcement and CT officials need to fight that normal reaction and respond to reports of extremist rhetoric coming from a crazy person with more vigor rather than less.

Posted by: Rusty at 11:57 AM


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