A new independent report (PDF) on the police response to last summer's massacre on Utoya Island in Norway finds that the Oslo bombing, which preceded the island shooting, could have been prevented using protocols the police already had in place. The findings by an independent commission were submitted to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Monday are still cursory, but it sounds pretty bad for the police and intelligence services that have already apologized for their failure to stop Anders Breivik sooner. Last July 22, Breivik first set off a bomb in Oslo, killing eight people, then took a ferry to a political youth camp on an island 25 miles away and gunned down 69 more.
"The attack on the government complex on 22 July could have been prevented through effective implementation of already adopted security measures," the report reads, according to The Telegraph. "The authorities' ability to protect the people on Utoya island failed. A more rapid police operation was a realistic possibility."
Bloomberg Businessweek and the BBC both pointed out that police have been criticized for failing to use a helicopter they had at their disposal, and instead using a boat to reach the island, experiencing engine trouble and delaying their response. Russia Today has a few more details from the report, which says Breivik passed two police vehicles on his way from Oslo to Utoya, but "they failed to put the license plate of Breivik's car on the wanted list, although this number was suspected." As more of the report's content comes out, and the public awaits the verdict from Breivik's criminal trial, expect this to be a very difficult day for Norwegian police and the families of those lost.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.