Norway suspect deems killings atrocious but needed

Published: July 24, 2011

Breivik expressed willingness to explain himself in court at a hearing. PHOTO: AFP

SUNDVOLLEN: A suspected right-wing fanatic accused of killing at least 92 people deemed his acts “atrocious” yet “necessary” as Norway mourned victims of the nation’s worst attacks since World War Two.

Police were hunting on Sunday to see if a possible second gunman took part in the shooting massacre and bomb attack on Friday that traumatised a normally peaceful Nordic country.

In his first comment via a lawyer since he was arrested, 32-year-old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik expressed willingness to explain himself in court at a hearing likely to be held on Monday about extending protective custody.

“He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary,” lawyer Geir Lippestad told independent TV2 news.

Police said Breivik gave himself up after admitting to a massacre in which at least 85 people died, mostly young people attending a summer camp of the youth wing of Norway’s ruling Labour Party on an idyllic island.

Breivik was also arrested for the bombing of Oslo’s government district that killed seven people hours earlier. Norway’s toughest sentence is 21 years in jail.

Survivors, relatives of those killed and supporters planned a procession to mourn the dead at Sundvollen on Sunday, near the island where the massacre took place.

Police said they were seeking several missing people and the toll could rise to 98, in the worst case.

Lippestad, speaking late on Saturday, did not give more details of possible motives by Breivik.

Breivik hated “cultural marxists”, wanted a “crusade” against the spread of Islam and liked guns and weightlifting, web postings, acquaintances and officials said.

A video posted to the YouTube website showed several pictures of Breivik, including one of him in a Navy Seal type scuba diving outfit pointing an automatic weapon.

“Before we can start our crusade we must do our duty by decimating cultural marxism,” said a caption under the video called “Knights Templar 2083″ on the YouTube website, which took down the video on Saturday.

A Norwegian website provided a link to a 1,500 page electronic manifesto which says Breivik was the author. It was not possible to verify who posted the video or wrote the book.

“Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike,” the book said.

Norway has traditionally been open to immigration, which has been criticised by the Progress Party, of which Breivik was for a short time a member. The Labour Party, whose youth camp Breivik attacked, has long been in favour of immigration.

About 100 people stood solemnly early on Sunday at a makeshift vigil near Oslo’s main church, laying flowers and lighting candles. Soldiers with guns and wearing bullet-proof vests blocked streets leading to the government district.

“We are all in sorrow, everybody is scared,” said Imran Shah, a Norwegian taxi driver of Pakistani heritage, as a light summer drizzle fell on unusually empty Oslo streets.

“At first, people thought Muslims were behind this,” he said of some initial suspicions that the attacks might have been by Al Qaeda perhaps in protest at NATO-member Norway’s role in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Some terrified survivors of the shooting rampage said bullets came from at least two sides.

“We are not at all certain” about whether he acted alone, police chief Sveinung Sponheim said. “That is one of the things that the investigation will concentrate on.”

Police took almost 1.5 hours to stop the massacre, the worst by a single gunman in modern times. “The response time from when we got the message was quick. There were problems with transport out to the island,” he said, defending the delay.

Witnesses said the gunman, wearing a police uniform, was able to shoot unchallenged for a prolonged period. He picked off his victims on Utoeya Island northwest of Oslo forcing youngsters to scatter in panic or to jump into the lake to swim for the mainland.

“I heard screams. I heard people begging for their lives and I heard shots. He just blew them away,” Labour Party youth member Erik Kursetgjerde, 18, told Reuters.

“I was certain I was going to die,” he said. “People ran everywhere. They panicked and climbed into trees. People got trampled.”

The bloodbath was believed to be the deadliest attack by a lone gunman anywhere in modern times.

The suspect, tall and blond, owned an organic farming company called Breivik Geofarm, which a supply firm said he had used to buy fertiliser — possibly to make the Oslo bomb.

Home-grown anti-government militants have struck elsewhere in the past, notably in the United States, where Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people with a truck bomb in Oklahoma City in 1995.

The district attacked is the heart of power in Norway. But security is not tight in a country unused to such violence and better known for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize and mediating in conflicts, including the Middle East and Sri Lanka.

 

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Jul 24, 2011 - 11:41AM

    These right wing nationalist groups are like minded with our extremist groups that go around flinging accusations and labeling people with accusations of heresy, blasphemy, apostasy and anything absurd.
    The ultra right wing groups in the West have a craving for being blue-eyed and blonde and consider this quality that is deemed and destined to be superior to all others. They also think it is their birth right to rule over others.
    This madness caused the Nazi Party to bring about the downfall of Germany in WW2. The thought of the German races’ martial superiority over others is the result of the ‘neo-Nazis.’
    If this is not sheer madness of thought and action then what is it?
    Justice must be swift and quick because there is no moral, ethical or human reason to keep such a demon alive for twenty-one years. My deepest condolences to the families who have a lost their near and dear ones.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jul 24, 2011 - 11:55AM

    Though I like Mr. Imran Khan but why this person looks like Imran Khan? Does he looks fundamentalist from any angle without a beard and mustache????? There must be some force behind this stupid person who committed this barbaric act in a relatively peaceful country. I hope a thorough investigation must be on its way to look for his links both within West/EU and elsewhere.

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  • Strigon
    Jul 24, 2011 - 12:32PM

    It was necessary? To get world’s attention and some fame among famous murderers? Humanity at its worst.

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  • Pakistani in US
    Jul 24, 2011 - 2:39PM

    Why was an opinion by a “Pakistani” cab driver necessary for this piece? This thinking is exactly what motivated this dude to go on this bloody massacre. The western press and red necks in the habit of stereotyping ordinary Pakistanis with terrorists should remember that what goes around, comes around. If the west is hell bent on creating this mass hatred among their people towards Muslims for political gains, then they should also be prepared to face such hysteria/extremism in return.

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  • Fahad Raza
    Jul 24, 2011 - 11:47PM

    @Pakistani in US: Its the media and its sensationalism.

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  • Yinstine
    Jul 25, 2011 - 5:15AM

    He is a right wing Christian – so applying the same principle, that the rest of the world applies towards Islam, does this make Christianity a violent religion with militant tendencies?

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  • hassan
    Jul 25, 2011 - 10:00AM

    I won’t be surprised if this guy gets a massive following in the days to come…

    And there will be many who will say…’Well, I don’t agree with his methods, but he has a point when he says that…’ (Same line we used with reg to Osama)

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  • najib moha
    Jul 25, 2011 - 10:44AM

    @Pakistani in US:
    hello
    please stop spewing hatred against West while leaving there. Why not come back to Pakistan and help in developing the country??You can serve your motherland better by spewing hatred I guess!!! Pakistanis like you have done a great disservice to Pakistan. There are lots of rednecks and anti -Muslim sentiments. But also take a look at last 50 terrorist attacks and where they originated from, the perpetrators were functioning in the name of which religion and offcourse not to forget brainwashed by what kind of people? Stop stereotyping people and countries and try to be honest, ok??? This killer is teh western equivalent to our terrorists killing Pakistani citizens in this very soil??

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  • Bush
    Jul 25, 2011 - 2:58PM

    if he deemed the killings necessary, who is he still a suspect?!

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  • goggi
    Jul 26, 2011 - 5:05PM

    In year 1981 a group of right-leaning Professors of Germany published a document with the name of “HEIDELBERGER MANIFEST 1981.” The following link is in German but can be translated in English, I hope it is worth studying to understand the nature and psychology of this spree killer. The motives for his rampage are scattered all over in the prewar and postwar European history. He has in any case millions of sympathisers all over in the white Aryan world who believe in the spremacy of White race.

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  • goggi
    Jul 26, 2011 - 5:14PM

    sorry ji I forget to attach the link, worth reading!……………………………………………………………..http://www.politikforen.net/showthread.php?43643-Das-Heidelberger-Manifest

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