Lawyer: Norway Suspect Wanted A Revolution
Originally published on Sun July 24, 2011 8:15 pm
The man blamed for attacks on Norway's government headquarters and a youth retreat that left at least 93 dead said he was motivated by a desire to bring about a revolution in Norwegian society, his lawyer said Sunday.
In a manifesto he published online, the suspect says his life began to change during the first Gulf War, when a Muslim friend cheered at reports of missile attacks against U.S. forces.
"I was completely ignorant at the time and apolitical but his total lack of respect for my culture (and Western culture in general) actually sparked my interest and passion for it," he said in his manifesto.
It was the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 that "tipped the scales" for him because he sympathized with Serbia's crackdown on ethnic Albanian Muslims in Kosovo. A year later he said he realized that what he called the "Islamization of Europe" couldn't be stopped by peaceful means.
Police are poring over the 1,500-page document and said was posted the day of the attack.
The manifesto ranted against Muslim immigration to Europe and vowed revenge on "indigenous Europeans," whom he accused of betraying their heritage. It added that they would be punished for their "treasonous acts."
"The calculated cynicism in it is really staggering," Goran Skaalmo, an investigative reporter in Norway, told NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "He calls the operation in Oslo the 'ultimate love gift' at one time. He says in the foreword that to put this whole work together has cost him 370,000 euros. Also, he sees himself as a European hero."
The lawyer for the 32-year-old Norwegian suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, said Sunday that his client wrote the document alone.
The treatise detailed plans to acquire firearms and explosives, and even appeared to describe a test explosion: "BOOM! The detonation was successful!!!" It ends with a note dated 12:51 p.m. on July 22: "I believe this will be my last entry."
That day, a bomb killed seven people in downtown Oslo and, hours later, a gunman opened fire on dozens of young people at a retreat on Utoya island. Police said Sunday that the death toll in the shooting rose to 86.
That brings the number of victims to 93, with more than 90 wounded. There are still people missing at both scenes. Six hearses pulled up at the shore of the lake surrounding the island on Sunday, as rescuers on boats continued to search for bodies in the water. Body parts remain inside the Oslo building, which housed the prime minister's office.
Police and his lawyer have said that Breivik confessed to the twin attacks, but denied criminal responsibility for a day that shook peaceful Norway to its core and was the deadliest ever in peacetime. Breivik has been charged with terrorism and will be arraigned on Monday.
Geir Lippestad, Breivik's lawyer, said his client has asked for an open court hearing "because he wants to explain himself."
The assaults have rattled largely peaceful Norway, home to the Nobel Prize for Peace and where the average policeman patrolling in the streets doesn't carry a firearm. Norwegians pride themselves on the openness of their society and cherish the idea of free expression. In recent years, the prosperous Nordic nation has opened its arms to thousands of conflict refugees from Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia.
Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim said a forensics expert from Interpol would join the investigation on Sunday.
European security officials said Sunday they were aware of increased Internet chatter from individuals claiming they belonged to the Knights Templar group that Breivik refers to in the manifesto. They said they were still investigating claims that Breivik, and other far-right individuals, attended a London meeting of the group in 2002. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the investigation.
The officials would also not immediately confirm that they had been aware of Breivik as a potential threat.
As authorities pursued the suspect's motives, Oslo mourned the victims. Norway's King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg crowded into Oslo Cathedral, where the pews were packed, and people spilled into the plaza outside the building. The area was strewn with flowers and candles, and people who could not fit in the grand church huddled under umbrellas in a drizzle.
The king and queen both wiped tears from their eyes during the service for "sorrow and hope."
Reporter Terri Schultz called the service "very emotional."
"The ceremony was called the mass of sadness and hope and people were trying to speak of hope ... but the scene was mostly one of sadness today," she told NPR's Wertheimer.
After the service, people sobbed and hugged one another in the streets, as many lingered over the memorial of flowers and candles.
More was coming to light Sunday about the man who police say confessed to a car bomb at government headquarters in Oslo and then, hours later, opening fire on young people at an island political retreat. Both targets were linked to Norway's left-leaning Labor Party, and authorities have said Breivik held anti-Muslim views and posted on Christian fundamentalist websites.
"He wanted a change in society and, from his perspective, he needed to force through a revolution," Lippestad, the lawyer, told public broadcaster NRK. "He wished to attack society and the structure of society."
Lippestad said Breivik spent years writing the 1,500-page manifesto entitled, "2083 — A European Declaration of Independence." It was signed "Andrew Berwick." The date was referred to later in the document as the year that coups d'etat would engulf Europe and overthrow the elite he maligns.
Sponheim, the police chief, said there was no indication whether Breivik had selected his targets or fired randomly on the island. The manifesto vowed revenge on those it accused of betraying Europe.
"We, the free indigenous peoples of Europe, hereby declare a pre-emptive war on all cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites of Western Europe. ... We know who you are, where you live and we are coming for you," the document said. "We are in the process of flagging every single multculturalist traitor in Western Europe. You will be punished for your treasonous acts against Europe and Europeans."
The use of an anglicized pseudonym could be explained by a passage in the manifesto describing the founding, in April 2002 in London, of a group he calls a new Knights Templar. The Knights Templar was a medieval order created to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land after the First Crusade.
A 12-minute video clip posted on YouTube with the same title as the manifesto featured symbolic imagery of the Knights Templar and crusader kings as well as slides suggesting Europe is being overrun by Muslims. Police could not confirm that Breivik had posted the video, which also featured photographs of him dressed in a formal military uniform and in a wet suit pointing an assault rifle.
The video was a series of slides that accused the left in Europe of allowing Muslims to overrun the continent: One image showed the BBC's logo with the "C" changed into an Islamic crescent. Another referenced the former Soviet Union, declaring that the end result of the left's actions would be an "EUSSR."
Police spokesman John Fredriksen confirmed that the manifesto was posted the day of the attacks. In it, Breivik signaled an attack was imminent: "In order to successfully penetrate the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist media censorship, we are forced to employ significantly more brutal and breathtaking operations, which will result in casualties."
In London, the leader of Ramadhan Foundation, one of Britain's largest Muslim groups, said mosques are being extra vigilant in the wake of the attacks. Mohammed Shafiq told The Associated Press he was talking to other European Muslim leaders and British police about the need to increase security.
The last 100 pages apparently lay out details of Breivik's social and personal life, including his steroid use and an intention to solicit prostitutes in the days before the attack.
Also Sunday, police conducted raids in an Oslo neighborhood. Some people were briefly pulled out of buildings to allow for the search of explosives, but were later released. Police spokesman Henning Holtaas said no explosives were found.
Witnesses at the island youth retreat described the way Breivik lured them close by saying he was a police officer before raising his weapons. People hid and fled into the water to escape the rampage; some played dead.
While some on the island reported that there was a second assailant and police said they were looking into that, Lippestad, the lawyer, said his client claims to have acted alone.
Police took 90 minutes from the first shot to reach the island delayed because they did not have quick access to a helicopter and struggled to find a boat once they reached the lake. Breivik surrendered when they reached him.
Divers continued to comb the lake waters around the island where some 600 young people were attending a Labor Party summer retreat when it came under attack, amid fears people may have drowned while trying to swim to safety.
Police said the bomb used in the Oslo blast was a mixture of fertilizer and fuel used to blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. A farm supply store said Saturday they had alerted police that Breivik bought six metric tons of fertilizer, which can be used in homemade bombs.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report