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Overview:  Norway’s Police Security Service’s annual threat assessment stated that the terror threat level remains moderate with an “even chance” — the third on its five-tier threat scale — that right-wing or Islamist extremists will carry out an attack in 2022.  Lone-actor attacks continue to be the greatest threat, driven by continued online recruitment and radicalization to violence.  Norway’s law enforcement capacity for proactively detecting, deterring, and preventing acts of terrorism in its territory is strong, despite underfunding in some areas.  Norway is postured to prevent acts of terrorism, and its bilateral counterterrorism cooperation with the U.S. government is strong.  Operational cooperation is high.

2021 Terrorist Incidents:  There were no terrorist incidents reported in Norway.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:  There were no legislative changes related to counterterrorism in Norway in 2021.  Norway issued new passports with enhanced security features in 2020.  To prevent misuse, Norwegian passports are immediately canceled when they are reported lost or stolen.  The adjudication process for new passports includes automatic biometric comparisons and more training for adjudicators at 79 passport and ID offices nationwide, including at Oslo Gardermoen Airport.  Biometric emergency passports issued at Gardermoen are valid for one exit and one entry to Norway and must be surrendered on the traveler’s return.  Older passports will be phased out as they reach the end of their 10-year validity for adults, and sooner for children under 16.

A 16-year-old Syrian boy was found guilty of planning an act of terrorism on June 29.  A Norwegian-Pakistani woman is appealing her three-year prison sentence handed down in May for traveling to Syria to be with her husband, who was then a member of the al-Nusra Front and later a member of ISIS.

Authorities arrested five persons connected to right-wing anti-government extremism in an August investigation into a Norwegian citizen for firearms violations.  The inquiry led to an investigation of a related individual for demonstrated interest in “accelerationism” and ISIS propaganda videos.  Norwegian and U.S. law enforcement counterparts coordinated well on an investigation into the outlaw motorcycle gang Chieftains’ activities in the United States and Norway.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism:  There have been no changes since 2020.  Norway is a member of the Defeat-ISIS Counter-ISIS Finance Group, and its FIU is a member of FATF and the Egmont Group.

Countering Violent Extremism:  The government announced a new counterterrorism strategy focused on 1) improving technology in the intelligence services; 2) increasing communication with identified targets of terror; 3) expanding public-private and agency-to-agency cooperation to mitigate and respond to terror attacks; and 4) strengthening reintegration efforts for persons who have been radicalized or convicted for terrorism-related acts.  The government continues to implement its Action Plan Against Radicalization and Violent Extremism.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) provided $1.1 million in grants for local community programs countering radicalization and violent extremism.  The grants went to a variety of municipal programs such as training mentors, a summer work program for youth, and strengthening cross-cultural identity youth programs.

Norway repatriated a Norwegian orphan from the Al-Hol camp in Syria, the third repatriation from ISIS refugee camps in Syria to Norway.  At least four of the 11 Norwegian women known to have traveled from Norway to Syria to join ISIS remain in refugee camps in Syria.  Norwegian authorities presume five are dead.  The Police Security Service (PST) charged the remaining women with participating in a terrorist organization in absentia.  The foreign minister said that as a general rule, Norway does not assist citizens who participated in a terrorist organization overseas, in response to a petition from two of the women for help repatriating to Norway.  The PST estimates that 20 out of at least 140 Norwegian-affiliated individuals who traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight on behalf of ISIS remain in those countries.

The Supreme Court is reviewing the appeal of a 25-year-old man who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for participating in ISIS online forums and encouraging terrorist acts in England and Denmark.  He is the first individual in Norway to be convicted for acts committed exclusively online.  Kristiansand and Oslo are members of the Strong Cities Network.  Norway is a donor for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) and the Strong Cities Network.

International and Regional Cooperation:  Norway chaired the UNSC Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Sanctions Committee, the ISIS and al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee, and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, and was penholder for Afghanistan and Syria issues.

Norway supported the UN Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism and provided resource support to UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.  In addition to is support to GCERF, Norway supported INTERPOL’s capacity building programs on border security and rule of law in North Africa and the Sahel.  And in addition to its membership in the Counter-ISIS Finance Group, Norway is a member of the Foreign Terrorist Fighters, Stabilization, and Communications Working Groups in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

The country contributed $1.2 million to the UN Office of Counterterrorism for the 2018-21 period and supported Norwegian Special Forces in the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.  Norway also provided an annual $7.1 million to Afghan security forces and provided up to 70 personnel in counseling and force protection duties through Operation Inherent Resolve and 10 in the NATO Mission Iraq.  Norway co-led with the United States on the Global Counterterrorism Forum “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism” REMVE Toolkit Initiative and actively participated in the EU’s Radicalization Awareness Network; OSCE; the Christchurch Call to Action; and the Global Counterterrorism Forum Working Group on Capacity Building in East Africa.

State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Henrik Thune spoke at the launch of the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law Criminal Justice Practitioner’s Guide for Addressing Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism.  Kristiansand and Oslo are members of the Strong Cities Network (SCN).  During an SCN visit to Kristiansand, the municipality of Mombasa, Kenya, signed an MOU that outlines plans for the two cities to conduct practitioner exchanges and trainings, youth exchanges, civil society mobilization, and crime and violence prevention programming to prevent violent extremism.  Ten Norwegian cities are part of the Nordic Safe Cities Network.

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