Local terrorism expert says Norway attack shows new shift in targets

Expert: Norwegians blindsided by attacks

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - As the world reacts to the violence overseas a local man, who served as a C.I.A. counterterrorism officer in Norway ,said it was only a matter of time before a major attack was carried out on Norwegian soil. The images coming out of Norway over the weekend can be very difficult to view, especially for Brad Robinson, who tracked potential terrorists in that region before they could strike.

Robinson now heads up The Millennium Group, a private security consulting firm in based in West Palm Beach. He spent eleven years with the C.I.A. For four of those years, he was stationed in Scandinavia and made frequent trips to Norway. He said the recent attacks there show a shift in the potential targets of terrorists from traditional, western targets like the United States or the United Kingdom, to softer targets like Norway and Sweden, where there was a bombing in December.

Though these attacks are overseas Robinson is paying close attention and said all of the world should be, too. "The focus is away from the United States from now, but globally, terrorism is on the rise and that's bad news for all of us," he said. Robinson has been in close contact with fellow counterterrorism operatives in Norway this weekend, who said that country is still very much in shock.

Robinson has been watching news reports coming out of Norway since Friday. He said that it has been a wrenching awakening for a region often known for being very calm. "Terrorist acts are much, much more prevalent here and the Norwegians have very little experience with that," he said.

Citing international statistics compiled between 1970 and 2010, Robinson said there were 2,678 certified acts of terrorism recorded in the United States. "During that same period, forty years, there were fifteen in Norway.

The former covert agent believes that is new evidence that potential terrorists are setting their sights on softer targets. "The upside is that we are now more aware and alert which is going to go a long way toward protecting us."

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