Norway Faces Rising Jihadist Threat

By Matthew Harwood

Norway's decision to increase its troop presence in Afghanistan is a key reason the country is at risk of a jihadist attack, according to a report released by its Police Security Service (PST).

According to the International Herald Tribune, Norway plans to send more troops to the NATO force in Afghanistan. The new deployment will bring Norway's troop contribution to about 700, including special forces.

Regarding the report, Reuters says:

In its summary released Tuesday the Norwegian Police Security Service agency said the threat to Norway, which has so far been spared serious terror attacks at home, has to be seen in a European perspective. It said increased radicalization in Norway "makes the threat picture less predictable" than is used to be.

The agency said the most common contribution to possible terrorism by people in Norway is likely to remain funding of extremists abroad.

Still, the report fears radicalization may push past the contribution phase and into acts of homegrown terrorism as local terrorist cells "quickly develop 'operative intention and capacity.'"

The Nordic country has already experienced violence in Afghanistan associated with its participation in the NATO peacekeeping mission. A month ago, a suicide raid at a hotel in Kabul killed a Norwegian journalist. Norway's foreign minister was also there, but IHT says he didn't feel he was the target of the attack.

On February 10, Norway closed its embassy in Kabul and, according to Norwegian media, its diplomats went into hiding due to a terrorist threat against its diplomatic station.

Government officials said yesterday that the streets where government ministries reside will be closed in response to the threats detailed in the PST report.



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