From Atlantic Monthly via Memeorandum; Al-qaeda’s problem with Norway stems from their participation in Afghanistan or possibly it could be because several Norwegian newspapers published some anti Muslim cartoons by Danish cartoonists or it could be because of perceived maltreatment of Mulla Krekar, an Iraqi Kurdish Islamist. Or it could be because Al-Qaeda saw an easy opportunity to “practice” one of their plans against the West. Can you imagine a similar plan being orchestrated in Washington D.C. with a simultaneous attack against Camp David or some other D.C. area government installation?
There are several theories about why Norway would be on al-Qaeda’s hit-list — but they raise more questions than answers.The first explanation is Afghanistan. Norway has been part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from its foundation in late 2001. Since Norway threw in its lot with the “crusaders,” it’s fair game in the eyes of many Islamists. In late 2007, for example, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, said that the group had previously threatened Norway because it “participated in the war against the Muslims.”…While Afghanistan is likely a factor, then, it’s not a satisfactory explanation. So a second theory has been proposed: the cartoon crisis. In early 2006, a small Norwegian newspaper angered many Muslims by reprinting Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. This sparked a flurry of Internet threats as well as physical attacks on Norwegian interests abroad. In Syria, angry demonstrators burnt down the Norwegian embassy. In Pakistan, offices of the Norwegian company Telenor came under attack.…Which brings us to the third theory: Norway’s treatment of the Iraqi Kurdish Islamist Mulla Krekar. Onetime leader of the Islamist guerrilla group Ansar al-Islam, Mulla Krekar came to Norway as a refugee in the early 1990s and spent years secretly shuttling between Oslo and Kurdistan until his arrest in September 2002. Although terrorism charges were dropped in 2003, he has been officially declared a threat to national security and placed under house arrest awaiting deportation to Iraq. For many Islamists, Mulla Krekar’s treatment demonstrates Norway’s subservience to the cruel whims of the United States.