“You know, it was a near miss for you just as it was for me as I narrowly avoided being on the Piccadilly line train when one of the bombs exploded on 7/7”
The sentiment belongs to my Dutch ex-partner. We lived together in London on and off for years, and I was just talking to him over the phone yesterday about what happened in Oslo on Friday, on 22/7, when he said something along these lines.
He had left five minutes earlier for work than usually on that fateful day in 2005. Had he got on the Underground train at his usual time that morning, he would have been on the 311 train that was close to Russell Square when the bomb went off.
Myself, I don’t really feel that I was caught up in the bomb attack in Oslo Friday, even though I was in a newspaper building close to where the bomb went off. All of us in that building had a very lucky escape.
I’ve described what happened on that day to Journalism.co.uk, who also recorded an Audio boo with me, here.
It just felt incredibly surreal and incredibly sad when it happened.
I’m devastated for all those who were killed or injured by the twin-attacks in Oslo and on Utøya, and for all those who have loved ones who were killed, injured or are missing.
But the scope didn’t really sink in until I read what we believe to be the terrorist’s manifest0 this morning.
Even if the perpetrator is a Norwegian this was beyond any doubt a meticulously planned and well-executed terrorist attack.
It had very explicit political motivation and aims - a key aim being to wake people up to, and halt, what this guy sees as the Islamification of Europe - but I’ll return to that in a different post.
Here’s Oslo City Hall yesterday: