Online postings from Anders Behring Breivik, detained by Norwegian police for killing 93 people in a shooting rampage and bombing, offer a portrait of a man obsessed with what he views as the threat of multiculturalism and Islam.
In a 1,500-page English manifesto posted hours before the killings, Breivik, 32, describes nine years of planning the attacks and his vision for revolution in Europe led by the Knights Templar. Breivik has a picture posted of himself in a Freemason outfit on the Facebook page bearing his name.
In the document entitled “2083 - A European Declaration of Independence,” which Breivik began writing while he was still a member of Norway’s opposition Progress Party, he describes how the attacks would form part of a crusade against “cultural Marxism” and the rising “Islamization” of Europe. He writes that the massacre would serve as a tool to market the manifesto.
While Breivik has confessed to the killings in what was the Nordic nation’s deadliest incident since World War II, he has not pleaded guilty, Sveinung Sponheim, Oslo’s acting police chief, said at a press conference today. “He said he believed his actions were atrocious, but in his head they were necessary,” Breivik’s lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norway’s TV2.
Police declined to speculate on a motive for the July 22 attacks that left at 86 people dead at a youth camp being held by Norway’s ruling Labor party on Utoeya island 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Oslo and seven dead in a car bomb blast that occurred in the government district of the capital. About 97 people were injured in the attacks, of whom 67 were from the island shootings, Sponheim said today. The death toll may rise as search operations for the victims continue in the waters of Utoeya and in the government buildings.
Breivik will appear in court tomorrow to be officially charged in the killings and will be allowed to speak, the police said. Breivik intends to explain himself at the hearing, Lippestad told national broadcaster NRK. He could receive 21 years in prison, Norway’s toughest punishment, Deputy Oslo Police Chief Roger Andresen said yesterday. The suspect has no previous record of criminal offenses, Andresen said.
In a Feb. 17, 2010, posting on Norwegian website Document.no, Breivik wrote that “the problem is that it often doesn’t help that 80 percent of Muslims are so-called ‘moderates,’ i.e. that they ignore the Koran. It takes very few people to crash a plane.” He added that “for me it would be hypocritical to treat Muslims, Nazis and Marxists differently.”
Breivik became a member of the anti-immigrant Progress Party, Norway’s second biggest, in 1999 and paid his membership fees until 2004, party spokesman Mazyar Keshvari said in an e- mail yesterday. Breivik was also a member of the party’s youth movement from 1997 to 2007, acting as deputy chairman for one of the local Oslo chapters.
Breivik on his Facebook page lists John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty,” George Orwell’s “1984” and Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” among his favorite books. “World of Warcraft” and “Modern Warfare” were his preferred video games. Most of his postings, the last of which was on July 18, relate to music videos.
“One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests,” said the single posting on a Twitter account bearing Breivik’s name, made on July 17, paraphrasing Mill, an English philosopher and economist.
Breivik has said he acted alone and there are currently no other suspects in the case, police said. Authorities said they were still working to determine whether that’s true.
Hundreds overflowed onto the streets outside Oslo Cathedral today, as the country’s leaders and royal family arrived in motorcades and placed flowers outside before entering a packed memorial service. Police cordoned off onlookers and well- wishers, as others not able to get a glimpse of the proceedings watched televised feeds through shop windows. Sitting on the front row of the service, Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja wiped tears from their eyes.
“Today we are mourning,” an emotional Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told the congregation. “Each and every one of those who’ve left us is a tragedy. Together, it’s a national tragedy. You should know that we are crying with you, we feel for you.”
Standing outside the cathedral before a sea of flowers and candles, people hugged each other and cried.
“I feel like they are my kids,” Solange Jonassen, 41, said standing outside the cathedral, just before leaving a bouquet of flowers. “They need all the support possible, and that’s why I’m here.”
Breivik posted a four-part video summarizing his manifesto on YouTube. The chapters are titled “The Rise of Cultural Marxism,” “Islamic Colonization,” “Hope,” and “New Beginning.” 2083 refers to the year a new European identity will emerge. The video, which featured pictures of Breivik in military uniform and pointing an assault rifle in a wet suit, has since been removed.
“You cannot defeat Islamization or halt/reverse the Islamic colonization of Western Europe without first removing the political doctrines manifested through multiculturalism/cultural Marxism,” Breivik writes in his manifesto. “Multiculturalism equals the unilateral destruction of Western culture.”
The attacks on the country that hosts the Nobel Peace Prize were the deadliest in Europe since about 350 people were massacred at a school in Beslan, Russia, in 2004. Breivik’s rampage on the island lasted 90 minutes, during which he called on the youth to come to him for police protection, before shooting them point-blank.
The suspect, who was using a pistol and an automatic machinegun, surrendered without any resistance when he was finally approached by special police forces, Sponheim said. The suspect, who was wearing a fake police uniform when arrested on the island, was not a police officer, authorities said.
“We have in Europe our problems with migration and people may try, because they are unhappy and unsuccessful themselves, to make this the cause of their own failures,” Bo Huldt, a professor in security policy at the Stockholm-based National Defense College, said by telephone today.
“He would say this is an evil world and somebody has to straighten it out and I am one of those,” Huldt said.
On his Facebook page, Breivik identified himself as single. He attended Oslo Handelsgym, a business high school on Oslo’s westside and said in a posting on Document.no, which publishes political analysis articles, that he studied economics and earned his first million kroner ($185,000) as an entrepreneur at the age of 24.
The suspect owns a farm in the small eastern town of Rena, which is listed as Breivik Geofarm on his Facebook page. Breivik bought 6 tons of fertilizer in May, Jan Kollsgaard, a director at agricultural supply company Felleskjoepet, said yesterday.
Breivik’s father, who lives in the south of France and had not been in contact with his son since 1995, sent an e-mail to the newspaper Verdens Gang expressing his “deep sorrow and horror over what has happened” and asking media to leave him in peace with his “despair and sorrow,” the paper reported today.
“Warmth is being sent to us from all corners of the world,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said at a separate remembrance service held for the families of the Utoeya victims today. “You are not alone. We’re the foundation on which you can lean on. Friday’s events will take an entire future to understand.”
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