The terrorist attacks in Oslo on Friday that killed at least 92 mostly young people have been compared with the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which also had a right-wing background. The Oslo atrocity has also been compared with school shootings, such as at Columbine High School in Colorado and in Erfurt and Winnenden in Germany.
But the murders in Oslo have a new quality. Far-right extremist violence is now aimed at a political party because the perpetrator sees it—its actual policies notwithstanding—as embodying “cultural Marxism,” internationalism and generally left-wing views.
Anders Behring Breivik, who was arrested at the scene by the police, sought out the offices of Social Democratic Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as the target for his bomb attack. Then, on Utoya island, where the Norwegian Labour Party had held its youth camps for decades, he carried out a cold-blooded massacre of the camp’s participants. It was a politically motivated terrorist attack by a fascist against a social democratic party.