The London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat claimed Norway feared Islamist operatives much more than rightist extremists despite a significant growth of such groups in 2010. Another London-based international Arabic publication, Al-Hayat, added that the attacks were perpetrated by a Christian extremist who deplored Islam and Europe's cultural pluralism.
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Meanwhile, a short time after news of the attack spread, many Arab and Muslim web surfers claimed that it was Israel who was responsible: "A criminal operation of this magnitude is not carried out without the support and planning of a terrorist state, which stakes out opportunities to shuffle the deck. It is the Zionist state, in collaboration with the extremist Zionist Christians, that wants to hurt Islam in its ally, Norway," a surfer named Omar Ali commented on Al Jazeera's website. "It's not al-Qaeda. The Zionists carried out the attack to punish Norway for supporting Gaza."
Oslo bombing site (Photo: Reuters)
'Mossad behind operation'
Another web user accused the Israeli secret service for the attack, and explained why: "Before Europe and the US rush to blame us for terrorism, know that the body behind this operation is none other than the Mossad. And why the Mossad? Because Norway recognized the Palestinian state two days ago, and what does it mean when a gas- and oil-rich nation like Norway supports the Palestinians? Israel would never allow it."
Another theory attributed the act of terror to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in light of his threats to retaliate against the NATO strikes. Others yet blamed the Syrian regime for trying to divert attention from what is going on in their country.
Shortly after the extent of the tragedy became known, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which counts 58 nations among its members, released a statement condemning the event, calling it a "terrorist attack."
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