News story | Date: 25/05/2023
On 22 July 2011 a bomb exploded in the Government Office Complex in the center of Oslo killing eight people. Later that afternoon, 69 people were killed in a mass shooting on Utøya island.
The terror attack was planned and executed by the right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik. He claimed he was defending Norway from a politically organized and secret “multicultural project”. He wanted to attack the democratically appointed government, and brutally targeted the Labour Party Youth League (AUF) summer camp at Utøya to stop recruitment to the Labour party.
It is important to note that the 22 July attack is very personal to the Secretary General. He was Prime Minister at the time. The current Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was Foreign Minister at the time of the attack, while the current Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt was the Minister for Culture. Stoltenberg was the leader of the Labour Party Youth League from 1985 to 1989, and Huitfeldt was its leader from 1996 to 2000.
This highlights the long-lasting impact that the attack has had on Norwegian politics and society, with individuals who were in positions of power at the time still serving in government today. It also underscores the importance of ensuring that such tragedies never happen again and that those who lost their lives or were affected by the attack are never forgotten.
The Norwegian support group after the July 22 attacks was established in Oslo on August 21, 2011 to promote the interests of those affected after the bombing of Government Office Complex and the shooting on Utøya. They are present at the ceremony with NATO Foreign Ministers, together with the leadership of the Labour Party Youth League. The Norwegian support group is collaborating closely with other support groups for victims and survivors of terrorism internationally, for instance in New York and in France.