17th of May celebrations could be a terrorist target

May 17th, 17 may-celebration of Karl Johan Street in Oslo17 may-celebration of Karl Johan Street in Oslo.Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

May 17th and holidays may be typical target for terrorists, researchers say. Sunday the Special Branch (PST) upped the threat level for the next two months.

During this period, there are several holidays and celebrations, which are typical target for terrorists.

– Terrorists are concerned with symbolism, and there is a lot of symbolism surrounding National Days and larger events, researcher Cato Hemmingby at the Police Academy, told NRK.

– There may be large crowds on other days of the year as well, but there are probably more actors who are motivated to do something on an anniversary such as the National Day, because they then get the extra symbolism they are looking for, the researcher states.

Head of the 17th of May Committee in Oslo, Bjørnar Moxnes, says they plan a great celebration of May 17th, with the parade going on as usual.

– The police will do whatever that is necessary for us to be safe on the National Day. We have full confidence that they do so in a good way, says Moxnes.

Extremism researcher Lars Gule at the University of Oslo and Akershus notes that attacks on holidays is something ISIS encourages, and therefore it is quite natural that PST especially fears for terrorism on such days.

PST has previously considered it ‘possible’ that Norway may be exposed to terror in 2017, now they believe it is likely.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today