Expert claims Norway may be a target

An expert at the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo claims the likelihood of terror actions against Norway have increased because of the Norwegian involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

15.03.04 11:43

Cecilie Hellestveit, researcher at the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo, said she does not think terrorists see the difference between occupants and Norwegian soldiers.

«It’s important to remember the type of deployment Norway participates in,» said Hellestveit to the Norwegian radio channel Kanal 24. «The fact that we have soldiers in other countries will have a considerable affect on the possible threats against Norway.»

The bombs in Spain may have been the work of Al-Qaeda. Muslim groups claim on video tapes and in letters that the bombs were a revenge for Spain’s involvement in Iraq.

«Important goal»
Norway is also participating with troops in Iraq and has soldiers in Afghanistan.

«Even if Norway has good intentions, we are associated closely with the occupational forces in Iraq,» Hellestveit said. «Norway will be an important goal for terrorists. Norway participated in active combat in Afghanistan, and with the foreign policy we have today, the chances of actions against Norwegian interests have increased the last couple of years.»

Spain calls home soldiers
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who will take office as the new Spanish prime minister after Sunday’s election, stated today that the Spanish soldiers in Iraq will be called home.

He stated that if the situation does not change, the 1300 Spanish soldiers will be called home before June 30 when the US according to the current plan will transfer the sovereignty to Iraqi authorities.

The winner of Sunday’s election said that no decision would be made before he takes office or without political debate.

«But the Spanish soldiers in Iraq are coming home,» stated Zapatero to Spanish radio, according to Reuters.

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