An official report released today states that Norwegian police could have stopped the bombing of central Oslo last year and stopped the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik sooner.
AFP and BBC reports quoted the independent investigation commission which stated that "the attack on the government complex on 22 July could have been prevented through effective implementation of already adopted security measures," and added that "the authorities ability to protect the people on Utoeya island failed. A more rapid police operation was a realistic possibility."
The Norwegian authorities have received criticism for their handling of those attacks on that fateful day. It took the police three hours after the bombing in the middle of Oslo to catch Mr. Breivik, his mass murdering rampage on Utoeya island lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, police were unable to get out to the small island since they didn't have an available boat to transport them 600 meters across the lake the island is situated on.
The report pointed out that a two-man police team had reached the lake shore early on but instead of finding a boat and going out to try and stop Mr. Breivik they waited for more trained authorities to handle it.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg expressed deep regret for the mistakes made and states he will take responsibility for what had happened on that day. He didn't say however that there would be any resignations from the government.
The 482-page report also asked why the street situated outside the prime ministers office -- Grubbegata -- wasn't closed to traffic as was recommended back in 2004.
The response to the Oslo bombing was also criticized, a terrorist attack had been carried out and there was no emergency nationwide alert, no special police forces on the street looking for the terrorist (or 'terrorists' for all they knew).
The report however was not all doom and gloom, the government's communications with the public was satisfying and the health services responded effectively following the bloodbath Mr. Breivik perpetrated.