Reporters simply refuse to give up their idea that Islamic terrorists had something to do with the attacks. Journalists had the same initial reaction in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.


by Paul J Balles / My Catbird Seat

Powerful explosions rock govt. HQ in Oslo

At 3:30 pm on July 22nd major news sources reported that a large explosion had damaged government buildings in central Oslo, including the office of the Norwegian prime minster.

The BBC said police had told them it was believed to be terrorism-related.

Alyssa Nilsen told the Guardian: “My entire building was shaking ….People are lying across the street everywhere, I’ve seen people hanging out of the windows.”

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported that an unknown group called “Helpers of the Global Jihad” had posted a message that this is only the beginning of the reaction to Norwegian periodicals publishing the Muhammad cartoons.

Then came the news that a gunman disguised as a police officer was shooting up a camp full of teenagers at Utøya in Buskerud.

An eyewitness described the shooting from his position on the mainland: “There is a little war going on out there.”

According to the BBC, police were saying they believed the person(s) responsible for the bomb to be foreign. But the NRK reported that the attacker in Utøya, now arrested, looked Norwegian.

Witnesses who managed to escape from the island said to NRK reporters on the spot that the perpetrator had a Norwegian look. He should be between 185 to 190 cm tall and have blond hair.

Anders Behring Breivik

Then the New York Times chimed in. “A terror group, Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (the Helpers of the Global Jihad), issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack,”

The message said the attack was a response to Norwegian forces’ presence in Afghanistan and to unspecified insults to the Prophet Muhammad. Denmark not Norway harboured the insulting cartoonist.

The same evening Oslo police said they suspected the man arrested after the youth camp shooting was also linked to the bombing in Oslo.

At 8:48 pm The Norwegian justice minister confirmed at a news conference that the suspect arrested at the youth camp in Utøya was Norwegian.

At 10 pm, one journalist said that this was starting to look less like the work of international terrorists and more like that of a lone attacker with a grudge against the government.

On BBC’s Newsnight Security Correspondent Gordon Corera said “a youth rally is not a usual type of target for an Islamist terrorist… but he points out that the car bombing in Oslo was big, so it would have been a lot for someone working alone to achieve.”

Reporters simply refuse to give up their idea that Islamic terrorists had something to do with the attacks. Journalists had the same initial reaction in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.

By 11:30 pm, Norwegian police and the justice minister said a 32-year-old Norwegian man was arrested on the Island where a man…opened fire on teenagers attending a camp of Norway’s ruling Labour Party.

The man was reportedly also seen in Oslo before the bombs went off. “The police have every reason to believe there is a connection between the explosions and what happened at Utøya.”

According to earlier reports on Norwegian television, the man–later named Breivik–had connections to right-wing politics.

Another Norwegian news account indicated that Breivik harboured anti-Islam sentiment. The report said he identified strongly with nationalism and posted on an anti-Islam right-wing website, where he expressed views in opposition to multiculturalism and internationalism.

One commentator realistically observed that “The story will die down now that the perpetrator has been identified as non-Muslim.”

It was just too easy for the Western press to believe and publish the claim by Helpers of the Global Jihad. For all that anyone really knew, that bogus claim could have been the work of Israel’s Mossad.

A word to mainstream media: get the facts straight before instilling terror in your readers.

Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years. He’s a weekly Op-Ed columnist for the GULF DAILY NEWS . Dr. Balles is also Editorial Consultant for Red House Marketing and a regular contributor to Bahrain This Month.

Read more


  1. George on the 01. Aug, 2011 remarked #

    Sanilac county Sheriff Virgil Strickler was BFF and business partner with David Rydel, “commandant” of the “united States Theatre Command” militia which is named in the FBI “Project Megiddo” report for Y2K. LOUD explosions on the Nichols farm were repeatedly reported to Strickler, So what do you know! when the Feds raided the farm the evidence was cleaned up. The FIRST person James Nichols wanted to talk to was Strickler, which he DID BEFORE talking to the FEDS.

    The Feds did a criminally irresponsible job of investigating Sanilac county, and the Militia Culture permeating it. There were TWO militias up there. (1) The CITIZENS Militia, with 85 year old Hattie Farley, which OPPOSED the Sheriff and the “Good Old Boys” and (2) The violence prone, RACIST, PRO-sheriff “element”.

  2. Solon on the 01. Aug, 2011 remarked #

    Open Democracy and Mondoweiss — as well as stalwart Gilad Atzmon– are discussing the Norway tragedy; Mondo is doing a better job than Open Democracy.
    This no-nonsense comment — a “Timeline of 9/11 Terror,” you might say, on Mondo’s blog today:


    “MRW July 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Could we have a moment of clarity here?

    Breivik admitted to massacring the 90+ people; he was caught on the island with his gun and surrendered..

    Osama bin Laden was indicted by Richard Perle and Ehud Barak on BBC on September 11, 2001, in a ‘who else could it have been?’ broadcast (They actually said that.) This happened around 6:30 PM GMT on September 11, 2001, then reported back to the US as the truth. (Ehud Barak was sitting in the BBC Green Room at 9:30 AM EST waiting to go to talk about the WTC. He was shown in an insert, with a “Coming up…” announcement. That was 1/2 hour before the first tower came down. I saw replays of the BBC show where I live over and over again. You bet I noticed this, because my question was, ‘What the hell is he doing in London’?)
    • Bin Laden denied, repeatedly, having anything to do with 9/11 in the weeks following 9/11.
    • The Taliban told the USA and Britain, ‘show us your proof he did it and we’ll hand-deliver him’. Neither Bush nor Blair did.
    • A fat, bulbous-nosed OBL, wearing gold and gesticulating as if he were right-handed, in a fuzzy video delivered in Nov/Dec 2001 is the supposed proof he did it. (Delivered via S.I.T.E. if I remember correctly.) This is the only proof they have. The video was debunked by Swiss experts, by the way, who used voice and body comparisons.
    • The FBI refused to put OBL on its Most Wanted List for the crime. As of June 2006 (could have been 2005) the spokesman for the FBI when asked about it said “We have no proof.” That is documented, and I have a copy of the written FBI response somewhere.

    I shouldn’t need to remind all of you of the difficulty the Jersey Four wives had getting an official investigation into 911 even two years after the fact. Nor, should I need to remind you that the legal counsel for the commission, John Farmer (Dean of Rutgers Law School and former Attorney-General of NJ) wrote a book (Ground Truth?) detailing how critical info was withheld from the Commission, how they were prevented from investigating key parts of the events, and how they were shut down in their investigation. Commissioner Kean confirmed Farmer’s assertions.

    So let’s be achingly accurate here and use that ancient and out-of-use 20th C journalistic word, which used to mean something: “allegedly.””

    What this signifies is that “conspiracy theories” about 9/11 are working their way into the mainstream.

    Over the last few days the Mondo site has been tussling with DailyKos, whose zionist patrol calls Mondo “Mondofront” and has moved to have reference to Mondo by a DKer a banable offense.

    Any suggestion that 9/11 happened in any way other than the government-dictated orthodoxy is strictly verboten on the blog of the Orange Dems.

    What do you suppose they are afraid of?

Leave a Comment