US embassy attacks Norwegian terror investigation / News / The Foreigner

US embassy attacks Norwegian terror investigation. VG reports the American Embassy in Oslo has fired a broadside at what it believes is the Police Security Service’s (PST) unprofessionalism. Limited international cooperation and slowness hamper terror investigations, according to documents published by WikiLeaks. US ambassador to Norway Barry White wrote to American authorities in November last year, expressing his frustration at how the PST handled the investigation prior to July’s arrest of three suspected terrorists with links to al-Qaida. “The PST is over its head regarding this investigation. They simply cannot keep up, not even after withdrawing all other surveillance from every other investigation in the country,” quotes VG from the leaked minutes, written following a meeting of the embassy’s own ‘Oslo Emergency Action Committee’.

us, embassy, oslo, barry, white, knut, storberget, wikileaks, terror, al-qaida, police, arrest, emergency, action, committee



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US embassy attacks Norwegian terror investigation

Published on Tuesday, 7th December, 2010 at 12:02 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 7th December 2010 at 13:59.

VG reports the American Embassy in Oslo has fired a broadside at what it believes is the Police Security Service’s (PST) unprofessionalism. Limited international cooperation and slowness hamper terror investigations, according to documents published by WikiLeaks.

US Embassy, Oslo
US Embassy, Oslo
Photo: © 2009 Kjetil Ree/Wikimedia Commons


Pride

US ambassador to Norway Barry White wrote to American authorities in November last year, expressing his frustration at how the PST handled the investigation prior to July’s arrest of three suspected terrorists with links to al-Qaida.

“The PST is over its head regarding this investigation. They simply cannot keep up, not even after withdrawing all other surveillance from every other investigation in the country,” quotes VG from the leaked minutes, written following a meeting of the embassy’s own ‘Oslo Emergency Action Committee’.

The Americans criticize the PST’s inability to handle “complex investigations”, lack of proper resources to combat terror, and express serious concern about authorities’ apparent disregard of the gravity of US warnings.

One of the alleged terrorists had a coded phone conversation with another person. This unsettled UK and US intelligence services, prompting justifications for comprehensive surveillance.    .

British espionage officers met with the PST, offering the assistance of 24 agents, which the PST turned down, the embassy claims.

“Not only did [the PST] decline to use its own resources on him...but also rejected an offer of two,12-man teams from visiting British intelligence, which not only could have aided and improved Norwegian surveillance of the three subjects, but contributed to following the fourth as well,” states the report.

“Instead, the PST found a way to put the same decoded phone call in a rosier and less threatening light, an interpretation that means little to the USA or Britain.”

Keystone cops?

The Emergency Action Committee also censures an Oslo District Court judge for not renewing security authorities’ permission to conduct technical surveillance. This almost led to the PST dismantling equipment in the suspects’ cars and apartments.

Also contained in the report is US criticism of the PST’s apparent slowness in investigating the terror plot.

“There is a huge lag in relation to how long it takes the PST to interpret the information gathered, even after [we lent them at least two sets of surveillance tools].”

The Americans also claim the PST lost track of materials it fears the men were going to use to make a bomb, despite the huge surveillance operation.

“The chemical hydrogen peroxide compound...is no longer in the apartment as has already been reported. The PST lost track of the chemicals that were apparently removed from the apartment at some stage during the main (Uyghur) suspect’s trip to Turkey.”

However, this may make little difference, as the PST managed to substitute the hydrogen peroxide for a non-lethal substance before the three acquired it.

Authorities are refusing to comment about the report, but Norwegian Minister of Justice Knut Storberget.

“I wish to remind you that the PST received major international recognition when it arrested [the men] in the summer,” he tells VG.





Published on Tuesday, 7th December, 2010 at 12:02 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 7th December 2010 at 13:59.

This post has the following tags: us, embassy, oslo, barry, white, knut, storberget, wikileaks, terror, al-qaida, police, arrest, emergency, action, committee.





  
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