Norway Raises Terror Alert To Highest Level Following Deadly Shooting Outside LGBTQ+ Bar

To read the Counter Extremism Project (CEP)’s resource Norway: Extremism and Terrorism, please click here.

(New York, N.Y.) — On Saturday, Zaniar Matapour opened fire outside a popular LGBTQ+ bar in Oslo, Norway killing two and injuring 21. Matapour, a Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin, was taken into custody shortly after the attack and has since been accused of terrorism along with murder and attempted murder. While police are still determining the exact motive behind Saturday’s attack, the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has stated that Matapour has been on intelligence watch lists since 2015 for his connections to an Islamist extremist network in Norway.

The attack came eight months after a Danish man carrying a bow and arrow killed five and injured three others in the town of Kongsberg before being apprehended by police. The suspect had reportedly converted to Islam and was previously in contact with police due to concerns related to radicalization. In 2014, the PST reported that its most important task would be “to prevent persons with close links to Norway from becoming involved in terrorist attacks.” According to the PST, acts carried out by Islamist extremists “will either come from people who are inspired by the ideology and message of the terrorist organizations ISIL and al-Qaeda, or from people who are mobilized by conditions that are perceived as provocations, violations or oppression of the religion Islam and Muslims.”

Following the attack on the LGBTQ+ bar this past weekend, Norway’s terror alert level was raised from “ordinary” to “extraordinary”—its highest level. As additional precautions, Oslo canceled its annual Pride Parade, and Norwegian police—who do not normally carry guns—will be armed until further notice.

Related Press Resources

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

View Archive

CEP on Twitter