Norway terrorist attack aftermath

The Utoya Island mass shooting is among the worst incidents in history of Norway. Combined with the bomb blast damage outside the prime minister's office, they formed the deadliest day of terror in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings killed 191.

The Norwegian national broadcasting company revealed that a total of 153 people were injured during the attacks, in addition to the 77 deaths. Original estimates of casualties were over 90 people. Together with 91 injured from the Oslo bombing brought to hospital and medical treatment centers and 62 people from the Utoya shooting, facts place the Norway terrorist attack among the worst modern day incidents.

Breivik was arrested for both the Oslo bombing and the Utoya massacre. He was questioned by police several times where he claimed he acted to stem the Islamisation of western Europe and blamed the Norwegian government for allowing it to happen.

Condemnation of the attacks
The United Nations, the European Union, the United States of America, NATO and governments around world expressed their condemnation of the attacks, condolences and solidarity with Norway. On 25 July, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik was arraigned in Oslo District Court. The police feared that he would use the hearing as an opportunity to broadcast a political statement. Because of this, the arraignment was held completely closed to the media and all other spectators.

Judge Kim Heger held a press conference shortly afterwards where he read the court's decision. The practice of completely closed court hearings is extremely rare in the Norwegian justice system. It was strong debate which criminal charges to use in this unique situation. Many police attorneys wanted high treason or crimes against humanity. The prosecution ended up indicting Breivik on terrorism charges. He was immediately transferred to Ila Landsfengsel, a maximum security prison.

Breivik admitted carrying out the attacks but has pleaded not guilty to charges, arguing that that the attacks were atrocious but necessary for his campaign to defend Europe against a Muslim invasion. In 2011, the two psychiatrists who interviewed him on 13 occasions concluded that he lived in his "own delusional universe where all his thoughts and acts are guided by his delusions". Their diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia however must be reviewed by a panel of forensic psychiatrists. Breivik will still be tried in April 2012, but it seems likely he will be placed in psychiatric care rather than prison.

Even though Norway has fully recovered from the global economic crisis, the social consequences of the attacks will probably be felt for years. The future trial will certainly show the appropriate punishment for terror upon innocent people, as well as the strength of the Norwegian nation and hopefully give the victims some peace.