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Lawyer: Norway Suspect Wanted A Revolution

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
July 24, 2011

The man blamed for attacks on Norway’s government headquarters and a youth retreat said he was motivated by a desire to bring about a revolution in Norwegian society, his lawyer said Sunday.

Though he told his lawyer that he acted alone, police said Sunday they were conducting an operation in a residential neighborhood of Oslo. Police spokesman Anders Fridenberg would give no other details about the action. Survivors of the massacre have said there were two assailants, and police have said they were looking into those accounts and had not ruled out a second suspect.

A manifesto published online, which police are poring over and said was posted the day of the attack, ranted that the European elite, “multiculturalists” and “enablers of Islamization” would be punished for their “treasonous acts.” Police have not confirmed that their suspect, 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, wrote the document, but his lawyer referred to it and said Breivik had been working on it for years.

“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.”

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. He has been charged with terrorism and will be arraigned on Monday.

In all, 92 people were killed and 97 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 Chief Sveinung Sponheim said a forensics expert from Interpol would join the investigation on Sunday. Other offers of international assistance have been turned down.

Norway’s King Harald V and his wife, Queen Sonja, and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg joined mourners on Sunday at Oslo Cathedral, where the pews were packed, and the crowd 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.

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,” Geir Lippestad, his 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 that police were examining. It was signed “Andrew Berwick.”

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 founded to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land after the First Crusade.

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 who had betrayed 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.”

Police spokesman John Fredriksen confirmed that the essay was posted the day of the attacks. The document 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 breath-taking operations, which will result in casualties.”

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, but before 85 people died. Another seven were killed in the bombing.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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