How beer became a weapon against terrorism: 1985 incident in Norway

Who thought that beer can serve as an anti-terrorist. After September 11, 2001, the whole world realized what monstrous evil terrorism is. There is hardly a single person on the planet today (except, of course, the terrorists themselves) who would not condemn such cruelty.

Against the background of such sentiments in the world, the harshest methods of combating terrorism, and even cruel ones, are quite often used. But not so long ago, at the end of the 20th century, there was a precedent when beer helped to disarm the attacker who had hijacked the plane. How did the foamy drink become a weapon of anti-terrorism?

Norway’s first airplane hijacking

Friday, June 21, 1985, marked a historic event for Norway – the first hijacking in the history of the Scandinavian country. The passenger Boeing-737-205 of Braathens SAFE was on a scheduled flight from Trondheim to the Norwegian capital, Oslo. There were 116 passengers aboard the airliner that day.

Shortly after the plane gained altitude, one of the air passengers donned dark sunglasses, dressed in a business suit. He took out a pistol and, threatening the flight attendant with them, ordered her to report to the crew commander about the terrorist hijacking of the airliner.

Terrorist Stein Arvid Huseby

The attacker who hijacked the aircraft turned out to be a 24-year-old Norwegian citizen, Stein Arvid Huseby. By then, the terrorist had already been convicted five times for not very serious crimes – the armed robbery of a taxi driver and threats to a police officer. The young man’s criminal inclinations were most likely the result of his “difficult childhood”.

Stein was subjected to domestic violence from an early age – his father beat him. From the age of 13, the boy began to drink alcohol regularly. This was the reason that by the age of 17, Stein Arvid Huseby became a real alcoholic. Against the background of frequent depression associated with this disease, the young man even underwent treatment in a psychiatric hospital in Trondheim.

In the end, Stein graduated from a Christian gymnasium with grief in half. It happened just the day before the incident. Then, having celebrated the beginning of adulthood, he bought himself a pneumatic pistol. The next day, the young man threatened the flight attendants of the Boeing-737-205 airliner with this weapon.

Aircraft hijacking

The flight attendant reported the incident to the pilots, who in turn notified the ground controllers in Oslo. Everything was calm in the ship’s cabin. The terrorist, from whom the smell of alcohol was distinctly audible, settled down in the rear of the plane. He behaved quietly, without attracting the attention of other passengers.

As soon as the Boeing of the Braathens SAFE company landed at the Oslo airport, the plane was immediately surrounded by law enforcement officers. Stein Arvid Huseby immediately left his chair and went to the toilet. There the terrorist closed down and, threatening to detonate the explosives that he allegedly had, began to follow the unfolding events.

Boeing-737-205  of Braathens SAFE
Boeing-737-205 of Braathens SAFE

Beer and Prime Minister

Representatives of the Norwegian special services tried to establish a dialogue with the terrorist. The first requirement was to bring him several cans of beer. The frothy drink was immediately handed over to Huseby. Negotiations began. When asked by law enforcement officers what reasons prompted the man to seize the liner, Stein replied that he was very dissatisfied with the state’s attitude towards him.

The terrorist insisted on continuing negotiations with the participation of journalists, the Norwegian Prime Minister, and the Minister of Justice. In the process of dialogue, Stein Arvid Huseby constantly demanded to bring him more beer. The stewardess continued to pass foamy alcohol to the terrorist locked in the plane’s toilet.

An hour and a half after landing in Oslo, the terrorist released all passengers
An hour and a half after landing in Oslo, the terrorist released all passengers

Foamy drink in exchange for a pistol

Just an hour after the start of negotiations, law enforcement officers persuaded Stein Arvid Huseby to release seventy passengers who were in a hurry to transfer. Less than half an hour later, the pretty drunk terrorist showed generosity and released everyone else, except for the five members of the liner crew. Negotiations continued, as did Khusebi’s beer libations.

Towards evening, the supply of foamy drink in the buffet onboard the aircraft came to an end. However, the terrorist continued to demand alcohol, threatening to blow up Boeing. Then the law enforcement officers offered Stein to give them the pistol in exchange for replenishing the liner’s pantry beer supplies. The rather drunk “terrorist”, without hesitation, agreed to this proposal.

As soon as the weapon was thrown from the plane directly onto the runway at Oslo airport, several members of the special police squad jumped into Boeing’s cabin. The drunk terrorist was immediately knocked down and captured by law enforcement officers. None of the crew members was injured during the “assault” on the aircraft.

End of story

After the arrest of Stein Arvid Huseby, given his more than strange behavior, was assigned a psychiatric examination. The doctors who examined the “terrorist” came to the conclusion that he had a very weak, shattered psyche, as well as a very poor ability to think rationally and make adequate decisions. All these ailments were directly related to Huseby’s alcohol addiction.

Despite this, psychiatrists found him sane, which made it possible for the court on May 29, 1986, to sentence the “beer lover” to 3 years in prison. After his release, the former terrorist was under special police supervision for another five years.

Thus, we can safely say that beer has become a real anti-terrorist weapon in the case of the seizure of a Norwegian airliner. This means that alcohol may not always be harmful. And not only to people but also to our smaller brothers. Don’t believe me? Then here’s a story about a monkey who loved brandy and worked for ten years on the railroad for food and drink.

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