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Thread: Norway attacks: what happened and the implications (new title)

  1. #21
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Four articles worthy of reading

    Understandably the press have started let's say more thoughtful, reflective pieces and having read through a pile I've picked out four IMHO of value.

    Breivik's Swamp: Was the Oslo killer radicalized by what he read online? From FP Blog by Tony Archer, a Brit who has lived in Finland and watched the CT scene:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...swamp?page=0,0

    The NYT looks at Norway's immigrant population:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/wo..._r=2&ref=world

    Which cites an Eritrean refugee:
    The most important thing is what the majority thinks and the majority is fine with us.
    A Norwegian professor's article notes half the immigrants are from Poland and Sweden ends with:
    ..we doubtless woke on Saturday morning to a slightly more paranoid, slightly less pleasant society. A society where we have become aware of our fundamental vulnerability.
    Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/thomas-...d-consequences

    Finally the 'Five Remedial Lessons from the Norwegian Tragedy' by Paul Pillar;Only the opening line for each
    1. Don't jump to quick conclusions about responsibility for an attack, let alone spin out instant analysis based on such conclusions. 2. The threat that gets the most attention is not the only threat. 3. Individual incidents are not necessarily indicative of larger trends. 4. Open societies are inherently vulnerable to terrorist attack and ultimately unprotectable. 5. That a previously unknown individual (possibly with some help) could inflict so many casualties (more even than the 7/7 transit bombings in London) should put into perspective the limits of detection and prevention.
    Link:http://nationalinterest.org/blog/pau...n-tragedy-5659
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    Default I agree w/Pilar

    I was both concerned and amused at some of the initial conclusion jumping "analyses" that accompanied the early reports from NO. STRATFOR did a better job of laying out various possible explanations, and then analyzed the impact of each on greater Europe.

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    Default A matter of "it could never happen here"?

    Thanks to Wikileaks we learn that the Norwegians failed to take the threat of terrorism seriously.

    WikiLeaks files show Norway unprepared for terror attack

    It seems that it always takes a tragedy before a country (the politicians, security services and the people) starts to get serious about the diverse terrorist threat it faces.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Useful comment, from Foreign Affairs:

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl...unter-jihadism

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl...lims-of-norway

    Don't really need Wikileaks to see that Norway wasn't taking terrorist threats very seriously, as public documents make it clear that the authorities saw very little risk. Cited in the above:

    The PST -- the Norwegian Police Security Force, somewhat comparable to the British MI5 -- concluded in its most recent publicly available risk analysis, published in February, that right-wing extremists posed “no serious threat.”
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    The PST -- the Norwegian Police Security Force, somewhat comparable to the British MI5 -- concluded in its most recent publicly available risk analysis, published in February, that right-wing extremists posed “no serious threat.”
    Dayuhan, I am in no position to know what the right wing threat is in Norway, but I also don't think one madman (a condition that tends to manifest itself in every nation) constitutes a grave threat trend. If there are additional planned or actual attacks conducted by the far right indicating a conspiracy then the threat would be high in my view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Dayuhan, I am in no position to know what the right wing threat is in Norway, but I also don't think one madman (a condition that tends to manifest itself in every nation) constitutes a grave threat trend. If there are additional planned or actual attacks conducted by the far right indicating a conspiracy then the threat would be high in my view.
    Well they have now had their wake up call.

    I guess that as they saw “no serious threat” they would have been unprepared for any such eventuality and as such the criticism of the response time for armed police to arrive at the island is unfair given the state of readiness the police would have been at. I suggest that under the circumstances the response was good (given the distraction of the bomb blast and all).

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Dayuhan, I am in no position to know what the right wing threat is in Norway, but I also don't think one madman (a condition that tends to manifest itself in every nation) constitutes a grave threat trend. If there are additional planned or actual attacks conducted by the far right indicating a conspiracy then the threat would be high in my view.
    Didn't mean to suggest that the analysis was deficient - based on the information they would have had available it was probably a reasonable conclusion - only that it was no secret, and that you wouldn't need Wikileaks to be aware of it.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    JMA and Dayuhan,

    No issue with either response. The right wing, Islamist, left wing terrorist threat in Norway may be real or imagined, but there is still the issue of the criminal threat (the madman who killed 10s of Norweigans) and the terribly slow response to one gun man that in my opinion should compel the gov to relook their policing procedures.

    I have the unpopular opinion that although we generally respond quicker in the U.S. our so called SWAT teams (in many of our smaller cities they're largely composed of overweight, under trained police who obviously don't this responsibility seriously) will wait outside a building (name your school shooting) "assessing" the situation while innocents are being murdered.

    It won't get any better with the current financial challenges in the U.S..

  9. #29
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Thanks to Wikileaks we learn that the Norwegians failed to take the threat of terrorism seriously.

    Really?

    Even after this, safety measures on one of the many, many Norwegian ferries are more important than CT.

    Resources (including attention) need to be allocated rationally, not based on fear.

  10. #30
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    'The Anders Breivik I knew'

    And, more importantly, I have never felt the kind of rage or hate he must have had inside him.

    I still cannot understand the source of all that hate.

    Most people think of him now as a monster.

    I still remember his smile and his jokes.

    I remember how Anders would sometimes come up to you from behind, and jokingly yell "Kra!" in your ear - just for a good-hearted scare.

    It was his signature greeting in the school yard back then.

    Basically, he was not that much out of the ordinary.
    A very well written and thoughtful article written by somebody who was his classmate and crossed Anders paths twice that day.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default E-Bay and supplies

    davidbfpo

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    Prof Paul Wilkinson, of the Centre for the study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews, said: “With hindsight I think the Norwegians need to step up monitoring of these transactions and of domestic extremist groups.

    “I think there is a strong case that with closer monitoring there would have been a chance of finding out what Breivik was up to, taking him into questioning and preventing this terrible sequence of events.”
    ''

    David, quote is from the link you provided, and what concerns me is we now have people suggesting that Norway and it implied that e-bay and other companies also should more closely monitor their suspects and customers. We can take this fear thing too far in short order (Homeland Defense) and inch every closer to Orson Wells 1983 novel. You don't protect freedom by denying it.

  13. #33
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    There's a huge horde of people with certain beliefs and preferences who would do lots of very unpopular and crappy things if they only could.
    They lie in wait till something happens that can be misused to push through their agenda when other people's brains at least temporarily (sometimes permanently) lose the capacity to think rationally about the topic in question.

    Examples;
    * TSA tap-downs
    * OIF
    * Patriot Act

    And at other times said 'despicable' people have enough power to bring about the crisis that helps their agenda. Your news are full of it these days....

    The nazis even waited till they had a world war as distraction for their most egregious plans.


    Societies' biggest failure is to not keep their ~5% 'despicable' people in check, away from (direct) power. Crisis situations that lead to otherwise unacceptable reactions merely expose that the society failed to keep the 'despicable' people away from power. The society enabled them to get into a jump-off position, close enough to power to eventually realise their crappy ideas.



    On the other hand, the Norwegians don't seem to be poor at keeping their wrong people at bay; afaik their head of government refused to promote any new anti-terror laws and the state (officially) merely intends to add some police presence to some locations and events.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Societies' biggest failure is to not keep their ~5% 'despicable' people in check, away from (direct) power.
    Would that be "...in check and away from direct power."?

    If so how does one identify this 5%?

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    Default I know some of those guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    I have the unpopular opinion that although we generally respond quicker in the U.S. our so called SWAT teams (in many of our smaller cities they're largely composed of overweight, under trained police who obviously don't this responsibility seriously) will wait outside a building (name your school shooting) "assessing" the situation while innocents are being murdered.
    That’s just resources, though, isn’t it? Small town law enforcement agencies just can’t afford full-time SWAT types, and even if they could I don’t know that there would be enough individuals with the right mix of talents and motivations to fill the posts, not to mention the time and expense of training up those who do. Now, by ‘small town’ I mean those communities of 500–10,000 people like most in the area where I grew up. But if by ‘smaller cities’ you mean communities of 250,000 or more the reasonable expectations may well be different (and if you have a unit you feel fit to call a SWAT team I would think you could at the very least require the members to be physically fit).
    Last edited by ganulv; 07-31-2011 at 12:49 AM. Reason: wording
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    If so how does one identify this 5%?
    Establish a culture of reality, not fiction. The few per cent 'despicable' persons are usually known, but their character and demonstrated leanings are not being published and considered properly. Instead, they keep a shroud of fiction around themselves.

    Lenin warned about the power hunger and extremism of Stalin - the party did not listen.

    Hitler wrote about most of his intents back in the 20's - nobody believed him.



    It's also rarely a surprise to hear some idiotic advice from certain people. We know our usual suspects, but societies fail to keep them in irrelevancy.

    In Germany we have one arrogant prick who played the representative of high morals for years until he got busted with Cocaine and forced prostitutes.
    Guess what? He's back on TV 'because he's so good on TV'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    I have the unpopular opinion that although we generally respond quicker in the U.S. our so called SWAT teams (in many of our smaller cities they're largely composed of overweight, under trained police who obviously don't this responsibility seriously) will wait outside a building (name your school shooting) "assessing" the situation while innocents are being murdered.
    Opinion? That sounds like a fact to me.

    Raising and exposing painful home truths is never a popular activity as they tend to want to shoot the messenger.

    Why even around here...

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Around here there is little to no shooting of messengers...

    Howsomeever, there is a fair amount of shooting at dubious messages and even more at good messages poorly delivered in an antagonistic or condescending tone...

    Seems fair.

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    When I worked with Local, County, State and Federal LEAs in my home state I was always curious why so many small towns created SWAT. Even with great training, one has to have a large gene pool to draw from first. Michaelangelo spent much longer looking for the perfect block of marble than he did actually carving the David once he'd made his selection.

    Most communiites would be better served by having 1-2 guys who train with a larger city SWAT, who can act in a pinch as shooters, or more likely as liaisons to facilitate bringing in the main team once needed. The lure of black velcro is strong, though, and everyone wants to be a cool guy...
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Most communiites would be better served by having 1-2 guys who train with a larger city SWAT, who can act in a pinch as shooters, or more likely as liaisons to facilitate bringing in the main team once needed. The lure of black velcro is strong, though, and everyone wants to be a cool guy...
    The bottom line is:

    If you're an obese cop that can't sprint, lift and carry a person, run up stairs and climb a ladder quickly with kit on, shoot well under pressure (to include after rapidly deploying by running to a position where you can engage) you're a phony pretending to be a SWAT officer. You don't take your job seriously.

    If your organization is too risk adverse to allow your team to take a risk and enter a school/hospital etc. while a shooter is active and you have less than perfect intelligence, then the citizens have a right to question why they're funding a SWAT team.

    Black velcro would be more appropriate than trying to look like a tree inside a building

    That is my politically incorrect rant for July.

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