Oslo Pride targeted with threats following 2022 shooting which killed two people
Author: Chantelle Billson
Threats have increased against Oslo’s Pride festival in what is believed to be an attempt to prevent the event from going ahead, following a deadly shooting where two people were killed at the festival last year.
Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) said on Wednesday (21 June) that threats against the 1 July parade have increased, but the service noted that it wasn’t aware of any certain danger.
Head of the PST counter-terror unit, Lars Lilleby, said the threats, which are being taken “very seriously”, come from right-wing extremists and radical Islamists and might be an attempt to see the parade called off.
On Tuesday (20 June), a man in his 20s was detained in pre-trial custody for four weeks in Oslo. His arrest concerns alleged threats, made via email and other digital forms, against the parade in the Norwegian capital, police said.
At Oslo’s 2022 Pride festival, a deadly mass shooting took place, leaving two dead and wounding more than 19 others.
The PST called the attack an “islamist terror act”, and Zaniar Matapour, who is from Iran, was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and terrorism. A trial date is yet to be set.
Officials cancelled the Pride celebrations following the attack and a vigil was held in Soho, London, where mayor of London Sadiq Khan was among those to speak.
“In these dark and difficult times London stands shoulder to shoulder with Oslo,” he said at the vigil.
“Yes, we are here to show solidarity, but we are also here to send an emphatic message to those who seek to spread hatred and to those who seek to sow division, and to those who terrorise LGBT+ communities: you will not succeed.”
Singer Harry Styles also paid tribute to the victims of the shooting during a performance at Telenor Arena in Norway just a week after the shooting.
Styles, who held a Pride flag, told the crowd: “I am well aware that, right now, this means more to you than it ever has before.
“I just wanna tell you that I’m very sorry, and I hope you all feel safe in here with each other.”
PST’s warning follows Austrian police foiling a potential terror attack at Vienna Pride after arresting three suspects with alleged links to Islamic extremism.
The suspects, aged 14, 17 and 20, who are Austrian nationals of Bosnian and Chechen origin, were arrested by Austria’s Cobra special forces ahead of the parade on 17 June.
PinkNews has contacted Oslo Pride for comment.
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Author: Chantelle Billson