Norway terror suspect says act 'atrocious yet necessary'

Anders Behring Breivik, detained after 98 people killed in bombing, youth camp shooting spree, had reportedly been planning attacks since 2009.

By REUTERS
July 24, 2011 03:09
3 minute read.
Norwegian attack suspect Anders Behring Breivik

Norway Killer 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A suspected right-wing fanatic accused of killing at least 92 people had been planning his attacks since at least autumn 2009, according to an on-line manuscript written by the suspect, local press reported Sunday.

Anders Behring Breivik deemed his acts "atrocious" yet "necessary" as Norway mourned victims of the nation's worst attacks since World War Two.

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

In his first comment via a lawyer since he was arrested, 32-year-old Norwegian 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 Labor 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.

King Harald would attend a service in Oslo cathedral, a few hundred meters (yards) from where a bomb devastated government buildings including the offices of Labor Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

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 criticized 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.


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