After the shooting the police seized a 32-year-old Norwegian man on the island, according to the police and Justice Minister Knut Storberget. He was later identified as Anders Behring Breivik and was characterized by officials as a right-wing extremist.Other outlets are putting the death toll at least 87.
The acting chief of police, Sveinung Sponheim, said Mr. Breivik, who is not known to have any ties to Islamic extremists, had also been seen in Oslo before the explosions. The police and other authorities declined to say what the suspect’s motivations might have been, but many speculated that the target was Mr. Stoltenberg’s liberal government.
“The police have every reason to believe there is a connection between the explosions and what happened at Utoya,” the police said. They said they later recovered explosives on the island.
Mr. Breivik had registered a farm-related business in Rena, in eastern Norway, which authorities said allowed him to order a large quantity of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, an ingredient that can be used to make explosives. Authorities were investigating whether the chemical may have been used in the bombing.
As the investigations continued, the police asked people to leave the center of Oslo, stay indoors and limit their cellphone use. They also said they would initiate border checks.
The attacks bewildered a nation better known for its active diplomacy and peacekeeping missions than as a target for extremists.
In Oslo, office workers and civil servants said that at least two blasts, which ripped through the cluster of modern office buildings around the central Einar Gerhardsen plaza, echoed across the city in quick succession around 3:20 p.m. local time. Giant clouds of light-colored smoke rose hundreds of feet as a fire burned in one of the damaged structures, a six-story office building that houses the Oil Ministry.
The CSM is reporting that Brevik had posted nationalistic and anti-immigrant positions online, and I'm sure that much more information will be forthcoming about whether he had accomplices.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Norwegians on this terrible day.