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"The perpetrator ... is to blame," the report stated. But "there were failures in important areas."
Norwegian authorities failed to respond accordingly to the Oslo bombing and Utoya Island massacre that killed 77 people, according to an investigative report published today by the July 22 Commission.
"The police and security services could and should have done more to avert the crisis," said Alexandra Bech Gjor, head of the July 22 Commission.
“The nationwide message service failed seriously,” said the commission chairwoman, Alexandra Bech Gjørv, according to the New York Times. “Ten minutes after the bomb detonated, a person gave them information about a man in a police uniform holding a pistol, who was acting strangely. The person said he got into a gray van. He gave the license plate number.”
“The person who took this call knew this was important. She brought this information to the operations center,” she said. “This lay around for 20 minutes, once it was passed on it was not read until two hours later.”
By then, the New York Times points out, Breivik was on Utoya Island .
Anders Behring Breivik, an anti-Muslim and anti-timmigrant extremist, has admitted to the murders.
The 22 July Commission report concludes:
• The attack on the Government Complex on 22 July could have been prevented through
effective implementation of already adopted security measures.
• The authorities' ability to protect the people on Utøya Island failed. A more rapid police
operation was a realistic possibility. The perpetrator could have been stopped earlier on 22
• More security and emergency preparedness measures to impede new attacks and mitigate
the adverse effects should have been implemented on 22 July.
• The health and rescue services managed to take care of the injured people and next-of-kin
during the acute phase in a satisfactory manner.
• The Government's communication with the general public was good. The ministries managed
to continue their work despite the devastation.
• With better ways of working and a broader focus, the Police Security Service could have
become aware of the perpetrator prior to 22 July. Notwithstanding, the Commission has no
grounds for contending that the Police Security Service could and should have averted the