22. juli-senteret

Threat assessment

The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) carries out annual threat assessments. In the threat assessment in February 2011, it was mainly Islamic extremism that was considered to pose a direct threat to Norway. It also stated that the extreme right and left-wing groups would not pose serious threats to Norwegian society. The threat level was not adjusted after the terror attack on 22 July 2011.

PST was later criticised for having a one-sided focus on Islamic extremism, and that the investigations into extreme right-wing groups were based on an outdated understanding of right-wing extremism, such as the type of neo-Nazi groups that were more common in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The 22 July Commission report emphasised the failure to become aware of the threat Breivik could pose and to prevent the terror attack because both Breivik as an individual and his preparation methods went counter to the prevailing understanding of who might pose a threat to Norwegian society.

Extreme Islamism has consistently been singled out as the biggest threat against Norway even after 22 July. It was only after the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the terror attack against the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Bærum in 2019 that this view started to change.

The PST stated in January 2020 that a terror attack carried out by right-wing extremists is now considered just as likely as an attack by Islamist extremists.

The threat assessment also stresses the increase of potential threats to democracy in the digital space. Hereby pointing to the general threat that harassment and hateful comments online aimed at elected politicians and public persons pose.

 

References

NOU 2012:14. (2012) Rapport fra 22. juli-kommisjonen. Regjeringen. https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/bb3dc76229c64735b4f6eb4dbfcdbfe8/no/pdfs/nou201220120014000dddpdfs.pdf 

PST (2011) Nasjonal trusselvurdering. https://www.pst.no/alle-artikler/trusselvurderinger/trusselvurdering-2011/

PST (2019) Nasjonal trusselvurdering. https://www.pst.no/alle-artikler/trusselvurderinger/trusselvurdering-2019/

PST (2019) Pressemelding. https://www.pst.no/alle-artikler/pressemeldinger/oppdatering-i-trusselen-fra-hoyreekstreme/ 

PST (2020) Nasjonal trusselvurdering. https://www.pst.no/alle-artikler/trusselvurderinger/nasjonal-trusselvurdering-2020/

PST (2020) Pressemelding. https://www.pst.no/alle-artikler/pressemeldinger/terrortrusselen-mot-norge-fra-hoyreekstreme-og-ekstreme-islamister/