On Thursday, PST published a new threat assessment particularly linked to the celebration of Pride 2023.
The terrorist threat in Norway is moderate, and PST still considers it possible that we will see attempted terrorist acts from both the far-right and extreme Islamists.
Last year, Zaniar Matapour (43) killed two men and injured 23 others when he shot at the pubs London pub and Per on the corner. The police believe the act was Islamist-motivated, with people from the LGBT community as targets.
Points to individuals
PST points out that LGBT+ are in the image of the enemy of both the far-right and extreme Islamists, and that attacks against this group have become actualized in the past year.
– Both far-right and extreme Islamist propaganda encourage attacking easily accessible targets with few security measures. Populous targets with few or no security measures are therefore attractive terrorist targets, and a large proportion of carried out and averted attacks in recent years have been aimed at such targets, writes PST in the threat assessment.
The security service further points out that it is particularly Pride events that gather large crowds that will be attractive targets.
– PST’s assessment is that a possible terrorist attack will most likely be carried out by individuals. Both far-right and extreme Islamist propaganda encourage attacking easily accessible targets with few security measures. Such targets make it possible to hit many people with simple means, says the report.
The police are familiar with the threat assessment, and work to secure all Pride events in accordance with PST’s assessment.
– The police districts will have a dialogue with local Pride organizers and implement measures based on available risk assessments, says Bjørn Vandvik, department director in the Norwegian Police Directorate (POD).
In addition to local dialogue between the police, LGBT+ organizations and other organizers, meetings have also been held at national level.
Which police resources are used in the various Pride events will be decided at local level.
– There is great variation between the formats of the various Pride markings, and many different factors that come into play in the assessment of which security measures are to be implemented. Therefore, local assessments will be the basis for the police’s security measures at the various events, explains Vandvik.
Encourage everyone to celebrate
The police will still be celebrating Pride, and encourage everyone else to do the same.
– The police themselves will fly the rainbow flag at police duty stations and participate in various events. We will ensure that the framework surrounding this year’s events is taken care of so that everyone can have a safe and good Pride celebration. The police encourage everyone to mark and celebrate Pride as normal, concludes Vandvik.
The general manager of Oslo Pride, Dan Bjørke, also encourages participation in Pride celebrations.
– The rainbow days in Bergen are just around the corner and Oslo Pride is at the end of June, and we are confident that both the Norwegian Police Directorate, the police district in Oslo and PST will do their utmost to make it a great and worthy celebration, he says to TV 2 .
– We understand that these signals and threat assessments can be frightening. For us, it is important to convey a message that when the police go out and say: “participate, join the commemoration and the party”, that is also our call.