Saw a newsflash on tv this afternoon and have been following this on tv and on the web since then, but still catching up. I was changing to a new channel decoder box after the old one passed out last week, and due to a card error I still only have access to domestic (Swedish) tv on the set, but they relayed Norwegian tv news in the early hours after the event; hope to have full access to BBC , CNN and a few dozen more channels in a few days time.
At the moment, about ten hours after the attacks, seventeen people are confirmed dead, seven in Oslo ahd ten at the summer camp. They're still looking through the rubble in Oslo and for that and other obvious reasons the death toll might rise a bit tomorrow.
This seems absolutely warped and I really can't see who would be able to come up with a motive for tossing bombs and engineering a shooting spree in Oslo, even allowing for the unhinged minds of that kind of people. Norway has had very little real involvement in the Afghan fighting and no military presence at all, as far as I know, in Iraq. They have taken an effective part in the NATO effort to aid the Libyan rebels (Sweden sent airplanes down there too as part of the no-fly zone upkeep) so Khadaffi and his sympathizers might be a possible connection, but it still looks far-fetched. If the Khadaffi camp wanted to do something demonstrative, wouldn't they, God forbid, do it in Paris or London?
It does look very likely that the bombs in Oslo and the shooting at the summer camp in the countryside are linked, and are political terror acts; it would be very high odds for this to happen at the same time and just by chance if it were just a few lone maniac disgruntled persons acting from private neurosises. Nothing like this has happened in Norway (or anywhere in Scandinavia, I think) in peacetime for the last two hundred years (and as Sweden and Norway haven't been in war with another country since 1814, except for Norway being occupied and spawning a resistance movement against Germany during the second world war, that means basically nothing like this has happened in modern history here; there are no true parallels in Denmark either). There hasn't been anything like the blowout in Oslo in terms of how strong it was or the number of victims of an act of terrorism, and shooting sprees of the kind that happened at Utöya are extremely rare too. We have yet to see a major school shooting - there's been two in Finland in the past few years.
I was in Stockholm at the time of the failed suicide bombing there. Though it fluked, the guy came close to achieving a carnage that could have been even worse than in Oslo. He had a Middle Eastern background but had lived in Sweden for many years and then started developing secret contacts with foreign jihadists. There's also the "Jihad Jane" plot against artist Lars Vilks who has become a prime target for terrorist threats, and occasional real attacks, after his infamous drawings of Mohammad as a dog (a very crude ploy or joke by him if you ask me, but of course it doesn't justify any kind of blood threats). Unfortunately I think it's likely that some islamist group will attempt suicide bombings or the like in Scandinavia again, but the thing in Norway really looks odd, so far. And absolutely awful. And no matter what the police may find in the coming weeks these acts will be used, of course, to drum up more hatred against - you guessed it - Muslims.