"Anywhere is a target for Al-Qaeda"

Hours after a blast hit downtown Olso, killing seven and injuring 15, experts suggested reasons for why calm Norway has been targeted. Norway’s involvement in NATO’s operations and Mohamed cartoons were among the likeliest reasons.

Mark Almond said Norway’s involvement in NATO’s actions in Libya and Afghanistan are among main reasons.

“The most likely explanation is that Norway’s involvement as a NATO member in various armed actions from Libya to Afghanistan will have been the basis for some backlash,” Almond told RT. “Now whether this backlash comes from a Libyan group or more generally from an Islamic group which is hostile to the region, NATO involvement is obviously a reason".

Many political analysts are linking the blast to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s promise to strike back against Europe in response to NATO’s Libyan activities.

Researcher Robin Simcox suggested that Norway could have become a target for organizations like Al-Qaeda. 

“The fact that the minister said that this is the most damaging thing that happened to Norway says it all,” Simcox told RT. “This wasn’t a country that people regarded as being especially likely to be hit – which also just reconfirms that this type of terrorism is indiscriminate in who it targets, and it goes to show that really anywhere is a target for the likes of Al-Qaeda.”

While Norwegian police are investigating the deadly blasts that hit the center of Oslo, locals say anti-Islamic sentiments have already started rising in one of Europe’s most peaceful countries.

“The attacks could be easily linked to Norwegian foreign policy or to Mohamed cartoons reprinted recently in a Norwegian paper,” Danish journalist Helle Brix told RT. “There have been many protests connected with these cartoons, both in Denmark and in Norway alike.”

Brix believes that while the Danish intelligence service luckily prevented terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, Norwegian intelligence service was probably not that alert, as no one would expect such a development.

Now that the peaceful community is stirred by the sudden attack, immigration issues are likely to become more and more pressing, Brix says.

“European governments, as well as the Norwegian one, have to rethink the frame of multiculturalism. We have seen that several times – in New York on 9/11, in London, in Copenhagen,” the journalist told RT.

Whereas the world is lost in debates and discussions, most Norwegians are trying to remain calm and not rush into blaming anyone before anything is confirmed.

“People are surprised and shocked, because we have looked upon ourselves as a peaceful nation even though we are in two wars – in Afghanistan and in Libya,” Dag Herbjornsrud, editor-in-chief of an independent news magazine based in Oslo, told RT. “But most of them try to stay calm and not to jump to conclusions too early.”