Denmark to review fertiliser laws after Oslo bomb

Denmark’s justice minister has pledged to review the country’s regulations on buying artificial fertiliser, in the hope of preventing terrorist from making bombs like the one that devastated Oslo last week.

Lars Barfoed said, “We must learn from this episode and it is sensible for us to go through the rules for the sale of artificial fertiliser to see whether there is a need to make them even more restrictive.”

On Friday, 32 year-old Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed at least 76 people by detonating a bomb in Oslo’s government quarter and then going on a shooting rampage at a Labour Party youth camp on nearby Utoya Island. It is believed that he purchased fertiliser to make the bomb in his role as a farmer.

Fertiliser containing a high concentration of ammonium nitrate is often used in terrorist attacks, such as the 1995 Oklahoma bombings and the 2002 Bali blasts. Three people were also convicted of planning an attack in Denmark in 2007 when they were found with a large amount of the substance.

Currently, any company that requires fertilisers with high ammonium nitrate content must register with the Danish Plant Directorate. Barfoed said, however, that they may introduce regulations that require a report on any company that buys an unusually large quantity.

Such purchases are not usually necessary, according the DLG, which supplies Denmark with the majority of its fertiliser. “Farmers do not need fertiliser with up to 34 percent nitrogen from ammonium nitrate, which is the type you normally hear about in terrorist attacks. Farms can quite easily manage with up to 27 percent,” said Lars Johansen, DLG chief executive, in a Politiken report.