COPENHAGEN, June 21 (AP) – Norway’s Police Security Service said Wednesday that threats against next week’s LGBTQ+ Pride festival have increased following a deadly shooting at the annual LGBTQ+ event in Oslo last year.
However, Norway’s domestic security agency, known by its Norwegian abbreviation PST, said it was not aware of any specific danger.
The head of its counterterrorism unit, Lars Lilleby, said the threats may have been an attempt to force the cancellation of the July 1 march.
The PST said the threat came from right-wing extremists and radical Islamists.
“We’re all taking this very seriously,” Lilleby said. “Maybe it’s important to have this activity now, and we encourage that.”
Two people were killed and 20 wounded when a gunman opened fire in an Oslo nightlife district during a music festival last year.
Zaniar Matapour, a Norwegian citizen from Iran, was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and terrorism. A trial date has not yet been set.
There are three other suspects in the case, one of whom has reportedly fled to Pakistan. Norway is awaiting his deportation. PST called the attack an “act of Islamic terror”.
Earlier this month, a report commissioned by Norwegian police lashed out at the PST, saying the country’s external intelligence service had warned of an imminent attack in the Scandinavian country and that there were clues pointing to Norway, And PST could have avoided the bloodshed.
On Sunday, Austrian authorities said they had foiled a possible attack on the Vienna Pride parade by three young men who allegedly sympathized with the Islamic State group.
Three suspects, aged 14, 17 and 20, were arrested an hour before Saturday’s parade began.
A man in his 20s was held in pre-trial detention for four weeks in Oslo on Tuesday for allegedly threatening a pride parade in the Norwegian capital.
He made threats via email and other digital means, police said. (Associated Press)
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