Olympiad: Terror warning in Norway

by ChessBase
7/25/2014 – We don't want to scare anyone, and things around the Olympiad seem fine. But the country is bracing for an attack by ISIS jihadies that "could happen in three, five or seven days – or not at all." Meanwhile heavily armed police are patrolling streets airports, ports, train stations and other transport hubs, and there are extended immigration and border controls. Norwegian press reports.

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Terror threat in Norway

The Norwegian government has received information about a possible terror threat against Norway. They see the potential threat as "plausible" and say an attack against Norway could happen within days. The American and French embassies have issued warnings.

Friday morning the Norwegian police security service say that the basis for their threat assessment is information that a terrorist group has left Syria heading for Europe, with plans of conducting a terror attack. Norway has been mentioned specifically as a target. The attack could happen in three, five or seven days – or not at all. They hope reaching out to the public with this information will deter the terrorists from moving forward with their plan.

After the threat was announced, armed police personnel have been stationed at airports, ports, train stations and other transport hubs. There has also been an extended border control on the border checkpoints between Norway and Sweden, Finland and Russia following the threat announcement. Cars are stopped and armed police are watching the traffic crossing the border very closely.

According to the information the Norwegian government has acquired, the threat is connected to Islamist groups in Syria. They do not know which group in particular the threat comes from or whether or not the threat comes from Norwegian citizens or people who have previously lived in Norway who have fought on the ground in Syria. Several Norwegians and people with a relation to Norway have gone to Syria to fight in the Syrian civil war.

Source: Aftenposten Norway

A good friend in Olslo informs us: "Heavily armed police are patrolling the streets, airport, train station, etc. Normally, Norwegian police are not armed on the street. July is also vacation month here, when the police are usually down to half strength, so they must have called in vacationers." There are no flight restrictions, no indication that the threat is directed at flights or other transportation. No flight or movement restrictions will be enforced unless new information points to this becoming necessary.

Some of the measures in place in Norway according to The Local:

  • Police officers have been called back from vacation;
  • Police will be able to use the military to deal with the threat situation against Norway;
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg postpones holiday;
  • Increased security at Norway's two atomic reactors;
  • Oslo City Hall and the Royal Palace and closed to public;
  • Flights unaffected, but UK and US embassies in Oslo warn travellers to 'remain vigilant';
  • The Royal Palace closed.

However The Local says the Chess Olympiad is safe:

Previous ChessBase reports

  • 7/21/2014 – Organisers stand by case but allow teams to play
    At a board meeting on Sunday the Tromsø 2014 organisers met to discuss the situation surrounding teams that missed the deadline for Olympiad registration. They have now informed FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov that while they stand by its interpretation of the regulations the COT2014 will accept teams that missed the June 1 deadline to register. Letter to FIDE.

  • 7/18/2014 – Chess Olympiad without the Russian women?
    No way José, says FIDE President Ilyumzhinov in an Itar-Tass interview today. And hear this: Anatoly Karpov has come out strongly supporting FIDE's position. Meanwhile the Russian Chess Federation sent us a detailed description of the current situation. They have hired a powerful legal team which set the Tromsø organisers a deadline to concede: 5 p.m. CET today, 18 July, 2014.
  • 7/18/2014 – Olympiad Tromsø: FIDE President issues a deadline
    The problems of missed registrations for some teams has come to a head, with FIDE President stating that the Organizing Committee has "performed an unbelievable scheme of combined illegitimate actions which should never take place in a democratic country like Norway." Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has issued a deadline to the Norwegians to solve the issues: Monday 21 July, 11 am CET.

  • 7/10/2014 – Visa problems for the Chess Olympiad
    In order to travel to the Olympiad in Tromsø many players require a visa. But in countries without Norwegian embassies this can pose a problem. European laws require biometric data to be supplied personally, forcing players to travel to a different country. In an open letter FIDE President has complained to the Norwegian Prime Minister, and the Olympiad CEO has replied.

  • 7/17/2014 – Russian Women's team out of Olympiad
    Shocking news: the organisers of the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø have informed FIDE that federations that did not meet the June 1st deadline for registration had been excluded from the Olympiad. One of these is the Russian Women's team! FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer has mysteriously blamed Garry Kasparov for this development and advocates cancelling the Olympiad.

  • 7/17/2014 – Garry Kasparov on the threat to Tromsø
    "Unfortunately the Organizing Committee [of the Tromsø Olympiad] is influenced by people who are working for Garry Kasparov. They are using it for their election purposes." That was what FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer said in a much-publicised video interview yesterday. After debating the subject with Kasparov after midnight, this morning he sent us the following statement.

  • 6/5/2014 – To Tromsø with Style
    Norway's coastline is spectacular. As has been noted by thousands of tourists and by Douglas Adams in his classic "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". But what does this have to do with chess? Well, if you want to visit the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø in August and experience the beauty of Norway's coast there is an opportunity to combine both.

  • 6/5/2014 – Breaking news: "There will be a Chess Olympiad"
    That's the good news the twitter account ChessOlympiadNorway could spread to the chess world. After doubts whether the 41. Chess Olympiad 2014, which will take place from 1. August to 14. August in Tromsø, Norway, could be financed, the Norwegian parliament has come to the rescue. With 12 million Norwegian Crowns (about 1.47 million euros).

  • 5/14/2014 – Trouble in Tromso: Olympiad underfunded
    The Chess Olympiad is scheduled to begin in just two and a half months. Everything was looking great, with participants and fans expecting to see the biggest and finest team championship ever. But now, suddenly, the Norwegian media has sounded alarm: apparently there is a US $2.5 million hole in the budget, which the organisers need to fill at very short notice. Should we be worried?

  • 10/2/2010 – 41st Chess Olympiad to be staged in – Tromsø!
    On its last working day the FIDE General Assembly took a decision on the venue of the 41st World Chess Olympiad in 2014. There were two cities bidding to host the event – Albena in Bulgaria and Tromsø in Norway. The bidding procedure lasted several days, in the end the Norwegians won by a 95-47 vote margin. We have reported extensively on Tromsø – here's a summary.

All ChessBase reports on the 2014 Olympiad in Tromsø

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