Terror in Oslo: Saturday's frontpages
Oslo terrorist attack just a marketing ploy to promote the terrorist’s anti-Islam manifesto?

Terror in Oslo: A near miss

“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: 



After 9/11, I emailed New York users of my software - in order to check they were okay and offer my condolences. One sent back first hand reports of what was going on. And seeing it affect the life of a person in my life made events feel "closer to home".

Following your blog seems to have had the same effect, because these attacks feel much more heart-wrenching than 7/7. I s'pose there are other explanations for why that might be, but if the "connection" is the correct one, then maybe the world needs to work harder at forming more—and more diverse—connections. Come to think of it, following the blog of a CSI-loving, Australian Muslim made me realise how much I'd got sucked into the sterotypes (cf http://www.tv.com/users/abdullah2220/profile.php?action=show_blog&entry=m-100-25855647 ) So I think, yes, I am arguing "We can save the world by blogging." :shock: ;)

Anyway, I'm not really trying to punt a solution; just lift your spirits. I'm glad Friday's attacks only cost you a phone charger. (What other blog would I turn to, to make me think?) And I'm *really* glad you weren't deeply caught up in the attack. (Although "Fateful day"?! Was it a "Dark and stormy night", too? :-P ) And if *you're* getting narked at Mark Twain being cited – think how pissed off Twainy would (?must?) be...

Thanks, a_spod - and tanks for putting a big smile on my face. You know, I didn't even loose my charger, I just left it behind in the rush to get out of the building when the fire alarm went off (after the bomb shook our office building and shattered much of the our glass walls facing government HQ). It was still here when we were let back into the building. It's truly amazing no one here was injured, as I say in the piece I wrote for the mail on sunday yesterday. The glass wall even shattered over the desk of our editor-in-chief, but luckily he was on holiday - if not, God knows what injuries he'd sustained.

The comments to this entry are closed.