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Bombing the embassies

A Norway in fear spends millions of dollars on terrorizing Norwegian embassies abroad.


By Tarjei Leer-Salvesen tarjei@nytid.no

The attacks on the embassies in Damascus and Beirut in connection with

The Mohammed caricatures cast a blow on the Norwegian authorities. Bomb-proof windows are installed, and walls are erected around Norway abroad. However, the authorities dare not talk about it, for fear that terrorists will bomb before everything is clear.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is upgrading the security at a large number of Norwegian embassies and consulates general, but will not release specific figures on what this costs. Nor will they provide a comprehensive overview of the new, physical security measures that are being implemented, but Ny Tid is aware that these are foreign service missions in a large number of countries. A review of the Foreign Ministry's postal journal for the period following the attacks on the embassies in Beirut and Damascus shows, among other things, the following:

  • The chancellor and embassy cars will be secured against bomb splinters in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • An extensive security wall is to be built around the embassy in Amman, Jordan.
  • The embassy in Bratislava, Slovakia, will have the windows secured.
  • Bomb protection of the windows is also introduced at the embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.
  • A number of new security measures are being introduced for the representative office in Al Ram, Gaza, as well as for the housing of the employees.

In addition, measures have been initiated at the embassies in Guatemala City, Mexico City, Madrid, Kabul and Tehran, as well as the Consulates General in Juba and Shanghai, and thorough security inspections have been carried out at the embassies in London, Washington and Bangkok.

"In light of the events of the past year, a critical review and possible strengthening of the general security of Norwegian foreign service missions and residences is needed," the draft state budget for 2007 notes.

Afraid of details

This series of cases paints a picture of a country that sees its own role in the world as more vulnerable. Norway is expecting, or preparing for, rougher. . .

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