Oslo Terror Attacks: A History Of Terrorism In Norway

A History Of Terrorism In Norway

Friday's devastating pair of attacks in Norway that left at least 16 people dead turned the capital city of a country known for the Nobel Peace Prize into a setting of chaos and terror.

Between 1970 and 2010, only 15 terrorist attacks occurred in Norway, according to the Global Terrorism Database, a project of the University of Maryland that has been recording terrorist attacks since 1970. By comparison, 2,347 acts of terrorism occurred in the United States during this period.

(The GTD considers specific criteria when labeling an incident an act of terrorism. More information can be found here.)

Those 15 terror attacks over 40 years left one person dead and 13 wounded, according to the database, and paled in comparison to the destruction of Friday's attacks.

Indeed, The Economist calls Friday's attack "the most devastating attack on a Scandinavian country since the second world war."

The attacks between 1970 and 2010 include two bombings, two hijackings, an assassination attempt, and attacks on government facilities, among others. They were confined to Oslo and carried out by a variety of groups, according to the GTD, from Kurdish militants to Iranian opposition groups. While it is unclear as of Friday evening who exactly is responsible for Friday's attacks, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg vowed in an address to the nation that "we will find the guilty and hold them responsible."

"No one will bomb us to silence. No one will shoot us to silence. No one will ever scare us away from being Norway," the prime minister said. "You will not destroy us. You will not destroy our democracy and our ideals for a better world."

Visit the Global Terrorism Database for more information about terrorist attacks.


This post previously described Norway as “a country known for calm and neutrality.” That phrasing has been removed and the post has been updated for accuracy.

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