The recent terror attacks in Europe have effected this year’s Norwegian election campaign. The security details for several top politicians have been considerably tightened, according to the police.
The chief of the police’s security services, Harald Thorp, said they fear attacks on politicians.
– There could be a threat from a terrorist group and/or from individuals. There is a fear that such a thing can happen, says Thorp to NRK.
Hanne Blomberg, who heads the PST Security Enforcement Section, provides safety consultations to government officials, saying the threat scenario in the election campaign is affected by the overall threat picture.
“We have seen a negative change in recent years, and we consider attacks with simple solutions currently,” she told NRK.
A lot has changed since the election campaign in 2013: Several have armed bodyguards, and those who are protected have larger security details than before. In addition, they are armed heavier than before.
The police use vehicle barriers to prevent car attacks against top politicians, and the Emergency Response Team assists more than ever in efforts to secure the politicians.
PST states that they have advised several politicians to do certain things for security reasons. There are also more threats to politicians online, and many have been visited by PST.
“There are people in Norway who have been surprised to find PST at their door. We must follow up on all threats to find out if there is a potential danger or not,” Blomberg said.
Who and how many bodyguards are assigned is secret, but among the politicians who are constantly watched are the members of government. Also Labour party leader Jonas Gahr Støre and deputy head of Hadia Tajik are protected at all times, especially now during the election campaign.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today