Armed police are on alert across the country for an imminent terrorist attack in Norway. We recently received information linked to an extreme group recruited in Syria that could have intended to carry out a terrorist attack in Norway, says PST chief Benedicte Bjørnland at a press conference on Thursday.
– We do not know what their goals are, who is behind or how such goals are planned to be implemented. PST is working to verify this, said Bjørnland.
– PST recently received information that individuals affiliated with an extreme group in Syria may have the intention of carrying out a terrorist action in Norway. PST receives this sort of information from partner services from time to time, but it often turns out not to be correct after we have carried out our investigations to be able to confirm or deny the information.In our preliminary investigations in this case, the credibility of the information was however strengthened. We also have information indicating that a terrorist action against Norway is planned to be carried out shortly – probably in a few days, wrote a press releas from PST.
Armed Police at Airports, Train stations and borders
Acting Police Director Vidar Refviksanden also reports that emergency level in Norway has therefore been increased.
– Police increased presence at border crossings, entrances, international airports and train stations. Police patrolling in these areas will be armed, said Refviksanden.
There will be both civilian and uniformed personnel from 10 o’clock, and this will continue. At the press conference it was also announced that the military has been informed of the imminent terrorist threat. Police has a close dialogue with the military, and they will assist if the police might need, said police director.
Extreme groups in Syria
PST-chief Benedicte Bjørnland refused to comment on whether anyone has been arrested for questioning in recent days as they have worked to identify the threat.
According PST boss, it is uncertain whether there are Norwegian citizens affiliated with the group and whether the suspect is residing in Norway, or is on the way now.
She points the warnings from earlier this year and points out the extreme groups recruited in Syrian civil war is one of the biggest challenge for Norway. PST had previously reported a number of Norwegian citizens have traveled to fighting on the rebel’s side, and they have high risk to come back to Norway radicalized and with training and weapons knowledge.
– What we have been informed is that there are people who have participated in the fighting on the ground in Syria. We keep all options open. We will work hard to achieve a clearer assessment, says PST chief Bjørnland.
Justice Minister Warns against prejudice against immigrant groups
Justice Minister Anders Anundsen asked people to be a little extra alert during the next few days. He also warned against prejudices toward individual community groups.
– Our citizens need to be a little more careful than usual. It is simultaneously important that we do not condemn certain groups in society, says Anundsen.
Norway Cup as a Potential Target?
When asked whether the football tournament Norway Cup is being considered as a potential target for terrorist plan, neither the police director, minister nor PST commented. Norway Cup starts on Sunday and is attracting tens of thousands of participating children and youth from all over the world and spectators from all over Norway. The organizers says to NRK that they will come with an announcement during the day.