An independent inquiry has said that Norway’s 2011 attacker Breivek could have been stopped sooner if police had acted faster.
The report issued on Monday said that the amount of time it took for authorities to arrest Anders Behring Breivik amid the Utoeya Island attack was “unacceptable” and that the bomb in Oslo’s central square could have been prevented.
The country’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has since said that he is deeply regretful of the mistakes made by authorities on and in the lead up to the 22 July dual terror attacks. He said that he would take responsibility for the errors but did not indicate that there would be any resignations.
Specifically, the 484-page report criticises authorities for not closing off the street outside the government offices Grubbegata seven years after it had been recommended and also for waiting for two hours to follow up on a tip provided by a pedestrian that gave a detailed description of an armed man in protective gear leaving the scene of the bombing. Moreover, two local officers reportedly arrived at Utvika Lake early on but waited for reinforcements rather than finding a boat to cross the lake immediately.
According to the report’s authors, Norway’s operation centre had been “simply overloaded” as a result of the initial attack, which resulted in little action to prevent further attacks during the “acute phase”.