The PST (Norwegian Police Security Agency) says that terrorism networks are now actively trying to recruit Norwegian youth to take part in a terror attack abroad.
PST head Jørn Holme says that there have been several worrying reports about older, manipulating, extreme Islamists who have tried to motivate youth to take part in a jihad-attack abroad.
He says PST takes the issue very seriously. He won't give any more details about who or how many people were involved, how the recruiting attempts were done or how contact was made with Norwegian youth, but he confirms that the recruiters were physically in Norway.
Holme says that there is no serious danger of terrorism at home, and therefore they haven't changed the threat level.
He says that situation is much more complex than in the past and that it's therefore important for the PST to have a dialog with the whole of Norwegian society about it. They must engage counter-forces in local society and in different ethnic communities.
At the same time he criticizes politicians, journalists and police who express themselves in such a a way that Norwegian Muslims feel stigmatized in Norwegian society.
Holme says that in more than 90% of terror attacks, Muslims are the victims. Ethnic Norwegians can't demand differently from Non-ethnic Norwegians. It's not right to demand from Norwegian Muslims to publicly denounce terror since they do that regardless.
Terrorism expert Brynjar Lia at the FFI (Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment) says that nobody had managed to recruit Norwegians till now. As far as she knows nobody with Norwegian citizenship or Norwegian residence permit was found among the foreign fighters taking part in holy war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Citizens of other Norwegian countries were caught in Iraq or Afghanistan or sit in Guantanamo.
She says she will be surprised if communities in Norway hadn't been influenced by extremist communities in Europe, where it happens to a much greater level. But in Norway the Muslim extremist community is probably so small that they have not reached a critical mass and they therefore hadn't been capable of recruiting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She says that professional al-Qaeda recruiters don't go round from class to class in schools. It's far more common for youth to be radicalized among family acquaintances or friends.
Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian)
See also: Norway: Lynching fears, Norway: Muslims feel watched, Terrorist threat - European citizens