Former Norway PM censures officials’ terror readiness / News / The Foreigner

Former Norway PM censures officials’ terror readiness. Kåre Willoch claims politicians should take their share of responsibility for what happened during Anders Behring Breivik’s massacres. The former Prime Minister’s statements come in addition to comments by a host of other critics suggesting that officers and authorities could done more to avoid the death of 69 people on Utøya, and a further 8 in the government building at the heart of Oslo five weeks ago. Police response times and choice of route to the island have been condemned as inadequate.Whilst Breivik conducted his shooting spree unhindered for what was later reported to be approximately one hour, the police’s only helicopter was grounded due to crew holidays. The aircraft was only deployed to Utøya the same evening, two hours after Breivik started gunning people down, reports Aftenposten.

kaarewilloch, knutstorberget, andersbehringbreivik, norwegiananti-terrorpolicecriticism



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Former Norway PM censures officials’ terror readiness

Published on Wednesday, 31st August, 2011 at 15:25 under the news category, by John Price and Michael Sandelson      .
Last Updated on 31st August 2011 at 16:56.

Kåre Willoch claims politicians should take their share of responsibility for what happened during Anders Behring Breivik’s massacres.

Kåre Willoch (L) and Thorbjørn Jagland (illus. ph.)
Kåre Willoch (L) and Thorbjørn Jagland (illus. ph.)
Photo: Høyre/Flickr


The former Prime Minister’s statements come in addition to comments by a host of other critics suggesting that officers and authorities could done more to avoid the death of 69 people on Utøya, and a further 8 in the government building at the heart of Oslo five weeks ago.

Police response times and choice of route to the island have been condemned as inadequate.Whilst Breivik conducted his shooting spree unhindered for what was later reported to be approximately one hour, the police’s only helicopter was grounded due to crew holidays. The aircraft was only deployed to Utøya the same evening, two hours after Breivik started gunning people down, reports Aftenposten.

It has also been revealed anti-terror police had conducted a training operation just minutes before the Oslo bomb explosion very similar to the events on Utøya. Nevertheless, Mr Willoch, who was PM between 1981 and 86 for the Conservative Party, places the blame on government officials.

“It is important that criticism does not affect the police and bureaucracy. They could not do better because they had no resources, and in some cases no training to do what you really would have liked to have seen them do,” he said to NRK.

Mr Willoch headed the so-called “Vulnerability Committee” (Sårbarhetsutvalget) established in 1999 under Kjell Magne Bondevik’s coalition government.

In a White Paper sent to Parliament three years later, the committee stated its views on “the government’s proposals to reduce the vulnerability of modern society and how to increase safety and security in the years to come.”

Amongst its suggestions was a proposal to gather Norway’s security responsibilities under one department. This was never adopted.

“One department head would not have been able just to sit and watch the shortcomings in security that developed [on 22 July],” said Mr Willoch. “The responsibility [for improving national security preparedness] lies with the politicians.”

Minister of Justice Knut Storberget agrees with the ex PM’s statement, but concludes that, “the necessary forthcoming investigations must now show whether a serious failure occurred, as Mr Willoch claims.”

More answers will emerge once the “22 July commission” gets underway.



Published on Wednesday, 31st August, 2011 at 15:25 under the news category, by John Price and Michael Sandelson      .
Last updated on 31st August 2011 at 16:56.

This post has the following tags: kaarewilloch, knutstorberget, andersbehringbreivik, norwegiananti-terrorpolicecriticism.





  
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