Suspect In Norway Attacks Wants Open Hearing

Jul 25, 2011

The man who confessed to the twin attacks that killed 93 people in Norway will be arraigned in court for the first time Monday and has requested an open hearing so he can explain the massacre to the public.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has confessed he was behind the bombing in downtown Oslo and shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital, but denies criminal responsibility. His lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that Breivik has requested to appear in a uniform during the hearing, but didn't know what kind.

The search for victims continues and police have not released their names. But Norway's royal court said Monday that those killed at the island retreat included Crown Princess Mette-Marit's stepbrother, an off-duty police officer, who was working there as a security guard.

Court spokeswoman Marianne Hagen told The Associated Press that his name was Trond Berntsen, the son of Mette-Marit's stepfather, who died in 2008.

Breivik laid out his extreme nationalist philosophy as well as his attack methods in a 1,500-page manifesto. It also describes how he bought armor, guns, tons of fertilizer and other bomb components and stashed caches of weapons — all while evading police suspicion and being nice to his neighbors.

In the 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 document, which they said was posted the day of the attack. It rants against Muslim immigration to Europe and vows revenge on "indigenous Europeans," whom Breivik accused of betraying their heritage. It adds 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."

Breivik's lawyer said Sunday that his client wrote the document alone. The treatise details plans to acquire firearms and explosives, and even appears 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.

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.

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 Teri 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.

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.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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