One man show - was monitored for a while by the authorities.... we'll talk about it later.
A combined attack - VBIED, active shooter, probably some IEDs that we don't know about them.
Well planned - the M.O is indicating on high quality planning and preparations, both in targets and tactics selection.
A classic case of counter terrorism falling asleep!
Lets make a short analysis of this incident and try to come up with some conclusions and lesson learned.
- The overall coverage of terror organizations - islamic or not in Norway, wasn't updated and upgraded with the potential threat - this is not an impulsive act of terror, this is a long term running operation.
- the fact that this individual was screened by the intelligence organs in Norway but neither found or labaled as a living threat indicates that the system didn't upgrade their resources and tactics to face the reality. The days of big and organization oriented terror groups are changed. Al Quaida is at it's best an umbrella organization that doesn't have control over all of its branches or supporters. Nowdays we are talking abou very small groups who are operating independently, a kind of home made mini terror organizations, highly dedicated to their goals and well aware to the counter measures different agancies have in their arsenal for dealing with them
- Threats assessment was based on electronic gathered intelligence - ELINT - that was high proccessed technologically. Someone neglected the HUMINT - the human intelligence. O.K we can say that to inflitrate a target organization like these is very complicated and hard, but aint that what intelligence is all about.?
- We can say that in a country like Norway - high individual freedom and open democracy makes life hard for the security organs. Think again - it may encourage these groups and individuals to act more freely while planning their attacks and by that making it easier for the security organs to detect it, I won't get too detailed about it - we don't teach the bad guys new tricks!
- Terrorism is not an Islamic branding project - we've just seen it a few times done by others who have nothing to do with Islam and they did much better when talking about the outcomes....