Leading crime writer blames 'complacent' security forces
Sunday 24 July 2011
One of Norway's most celebrated crime writers has criticised the Norwegian security services, saying complacency had allowed 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik to massacre almost 100 people.
Anne Holt, a former government minister and prominent journalist before turning her hand to crime writing, believes too much attention had been given to addressing a perceived Islamic threat over the past 10 years, while home-grown extremism has largely been ignored.
Speaking to The Independent on Sunday from her home in Oslo last night, Ms Holt said: "I don't think I'm the only person who wonders how the intelligence service in Norway let this guy fly under the radar. He has written a lot of internet posts on a very right-wing website. This guy should have been picked up one way or another by the intelligence service. I would be very ashamed, if I was responsible for the intelligence service, of the fact that they have been focusing on the Islamist threat."
Ms Holt, 52, is one of Norway's most successful crime novelists and is published in more than 25 countries. She was also formerly Norway's minister for justice.
"I can understand the feeling around the world that people may be feeling that if this can happen in Norway, then it can happen anywhere. But on the other hand, terrorist attacks on Norwegian soil are much easier as we are a much easier target than any other country. There is a quite low level of security. Our police do not carry guns. We still have this kind of innocence. Until yesterday, we could still meet our Prime Minister in a shop, our members of parliament in the movie theatre.
"We pride ourselves on this low level of security. That is a very genuine quality of our society and we want to keep it that way. It is really unbelievable – even to a crime writer – that one person could pull something off like this."
Another of Norway's most famous crime writers, Jo Nesbo, who has sold more than 1.5 million novels in his native country, said it was too early to try to draw any conclusions about the state of Norwegian society, based on one person's act.
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Qualified and experi...
£21588 - £31552 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Exceptional teacher ...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to be part ...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are currently recruitin...