Oslow, Online Purchase Of Chemicals ‘In Bulk’ Had Alerted Norwegian Intelligence To Mass Killer

26 Jul

NEWS UPDATE:

Click image to see more photos of Norway attacker Anders Behring Breivik. (AP Photo/Aftenposten/Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen) Click image to see more photos of Norway attacker Anders Behring Breivik. (AP Photo/Aftenposten/Jon-Are Berg-J …
OSLO, Norway (AP) — The self-described perpetrator of Norway’s deadly bombing and shooting rampage was ordered held in solitary confinement after calmly telling a court that two other cells of collaborators stood ready to join his murderous campaign.

Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted bombing the capital and opening fire on a youth group retreat on an island resort, told authorities he expects to spend the rest of his life in prison. Declaring he wanted to save Europe from “Muslim domination,” he entered a plea of not guilty on Monday that will guarantee him future court hearings and opportunities to address the public, even indirectly.

Norway has been stunned by the attacks and riveted by Breivik’s paranoid and disturbing writings. Hundreds thronged the courthouse, hoping to get their first glimpse of the man blamed for the deaths of 76 people — lowered Monday from 93. At one point, a car drove through the crowd and onlookers beat it with their fists, thinking Breivik might be inside.

Still tens of thousands of Norwegians also defied his rhetoric of hate to gather in central Oslo to mourn the victims and lay thousands of flowers around the city.

Police believe Breivik, 32, acted alone, despite his grand claims in a 1,500-page manifesto that he belonged to a modern group of crusaders. But they have not completely ruled out that he had accomplices.

Judge Kim Heger ordered Breivik held for eight weeks, including four in isolation, noting his reference to “two more cells within our organization.”

In an interview published Monday, Breivik’s estranged father said he wished his son had killed himself instead of unleashing his rage on innocent people.

The outpouring of emotion stood in stark contrast to what prosecutor Christian Hatlo described as Breivik’s calm demeanor at the hearing, which was closed to the public over security concerns and to prevent a public airing of his extremist views. Hatlo said he “seemed unaffected by what has happened.”

Meanwhile, police revealed they had dramatically overcounted the number of people slain in the shooting spree on Utoya island, lowering the death toll there from 86 to 68. Police spokesman Oystein Maeland said police and rescuers were focused on helping survivors and securing the area, and may have counted some bodies twice, though he did not immediately explain how the errors occurred.

Police also raised the toll from a bombing outside the government’s headquarters in Oslo from seven to eight.

The sharp reduction in the death toll adds to a list of police missteps: They took 90 minutes to arrive at the island retreat after the first shot and survivors who called emergency services reported being told to stay off the lines unless they were calling about the Oslo bombings.

On Monday, the force revealed its entire Oslo helicopter crew had been sent on vacation and thus couldn’t be mobilized to the scene.

By contrast, Breivik, who donned a police uniform as part of a ruse to draw campers to him, appeared in total control during the island rampage, police official Odd Reidar Humlegaard said.

“He’s been merciless,” Humlegaard said.

Authorities say Breivik used two weapons during the island attack — both bought legally, according to his manifesto. A doctor treating victims told The Associated Press the gunman used illegal “dum-dum”-style bullets designed to disintegrate inside the body and cause maximum internal damage.

Breivik faces 21 years in prison for the terrorism charges, but he has told authorities he never expects to be released. While 21 years is the stiffest sentence a Norwegian judge can hand down, a special sentence can be given to prisoners deemed a danger to society who are locked up for 20-year sentences that can be renewed indefinitely.

Oslo began to get back to normal Monday, with shops opening and the tram running.

The entire country paused for a minute of silence in honor of the victims, then later in the day, 150,000 people filled the city’s streets to mourn the dead with a rose vigil that ended in the heart of the city. Afterward, entire streets were awash in flowers; roses also decorated the fences that blocked off Friday’s bomb site.

Crown Prince Haakon spoke “of a street being filled with love,” bringing his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, to tears. “We have the power to meet hate with togetherness. We have chosen what we stand for,” he said.

Breivik has pilloried Norway’s openness and embrace of immigrants, saying his attacks were intended to start a revolution to inspire Norwegians to retake their country from Muslims. He blames liberals for championing multiculturalism over Norway’s “indigenous” culture.

“The operation was not to kill as many people as possible but to give a strong signal that could not be misunderstood that as long as the Labor Party keeps driving its ideological lie and keeps deconstructing Norwegian culture and mass importing Muslims, then they must assume responsibility for this treason,” according to the English translation of Judge Heger’s ruling.

Breivik has claimed the killings were meant to wake people up to these problems and to serve as “marketing” for his manifesto.

Heger, however, denied Breivik the public stage he wanted to air his extremist views by closing Monday’s court hearing and ordering him cut off from the world for eight weeks, without access to visitors, mail or media. For four of those, he will be in complete isolation. Typically, the accused is brought to court every four weeks while prosecutors prepare their case, so a judge can approve his continued detention. Longer periods are not unusual in serious cases.

In the court appearance, Breivik alluded to two other “cells” of his network — which he refers to in his manifesto as a new “Knights Templar,” the medieval cabal of crusaders who protected Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land.

In the treatise, he describes being invited to join the group, which he says is dedicated to “anti-jihad,” and claims members held meetings in London and the Baltics. Afterward, he says, they vowed not to contact one another and to instead plan their “resistance” on their own.

But they were also to space out their attacks, he wrote. “We should avoid any immediate follow-up attacks as it would negate the shock effect of the subsequent attacks. A large successful attack every 5-12 years was optimal,” he wrote.

At one point, his manifesto briefly referred to an intention to contact two other cells, but no details were given.

European security officials said they were aware of increased Internet chatter from individuals claiming they belonged to the Knights Templar and were investigating claims that Breivik, and other far-right individuals, attended a London meeting of the group in 2002.

In his manifesto, Breivik describes how he bought armor, guns, tons of fertilizer and other bomb components, stashed caches of weapons and wiped clean his computer hard drive — all while evading police suspicion.

One of those purchases apparently was flagged by Norway’s police security service. The service said it was alerted in March to a suspicious purchase by Breivik from a Polish chemical firm.

Agency chief Janne Kristiansen told national broadcaster NRK the 120 kroner ($22) purchase of an undisclosed product set off an alert as part of a broader look at the company. But the transaction was legal and the security service would have needed additional information to investigate further.

In his manifesto, Breivik describes a purchase of sodium nitrite from Poland, saying he “was concerned about customs seizing the package.” It was not clear if that was the purchase flagged.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Swedish tabloid Expressen, the suspect’s father said he was ashamed and disgusted by his son’s acts and wished he had committed suicide.

“I don’t feel like his father,” said Jens David Breivik, a former Norwegian diplomat, from his secluded home in southern France. “How could he just stand there and kill so many innocent people and just seem to think that what he did was OK? He should have taken his own life too. That’s what he should have done.”

The elder Breivik said he first learned the news of his son’s attacks from media websites. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was totally paralyzing and I couldn’t really understand it.”

“I will have to live with this shame for the rest of my life. People will always link me with him,” he said.

The elder Breivik said he severed all contact with his son in 1995, when the son was 16.

Police surrounded the suspect’s father’s house in the south of France on Monday, initially saying they were searching the premises. Later, they said they were there to ensure public order.

___

DiLorenzo reported from Stockholm. Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris, Louise Nordstrom and Karl Ritter in Stockholm and Ian MacDougall, Shawn Pogatchnik and Derl McCrudden in Oslo, Norway, contributed to this report.

————

The man accused of killing at least 76 people in a shooting massacre and car bombing in Norway had been on an intelligence watch list since March, according to reports.

The Norwegian newspaper VG Nett claims Anders Behring Breivik had been put on the list after illegally buying large amount of chemicals online from a Polish retailer.

Sky’s Ian Woods said the Norwegian intelligence service had not acted on the information about because they did not believe it was “relevant”.

In his first court appearance since the horrific attacks on Friday, Breivik admitted he was responsible but pleaded not guilty.

He also revealed that there are “two further cells” in his terror organisation which the judge said will be investigated.

He had previously said he was acting alone and police currently have no other suspects.

But in a press conference officers said they “cannot completely rule out that someone else was involved”.

In a statement he said he had carried out the attacks because he wanted to “save Norway and Western Europe from a Muslim takeover“.

He accused the Labour party of “mass imports of Muslims” and said the objective behind the terror plot was to give a “sharp signal to the people”.

The 32-year-old said his bombing of government buildings in Oslo and shooting spree at a summer camp on Utoya island for Labour’s youth wing was aimed at deterring future recruitment to the Labour party.

Friday’s tragedy started when Breivik set off a car bomb near government headquarters in Oslo.

Police have said the number of people killed in the blast has increased to eight, with a further 30 injured.

Ninety minutes later Breivik opened fire on hundreds of teenagers assembled for the youth camp on Utoya. The death toll for that massacre has now been revised down to 68.

The overall total for both attacks had previously been given as at least 93.

It is hoped that identification of the victims will be completed by Thursday.

Several others are said to still be missing and 50 officers are searching for evidence on Utoya.

Sniffer dogs are also being used to search wreckage from the bomb in Oslo.

Breivik has been charged with terrorism offences and will be remanded in custody for eight weeks, including spending the first four weeks in solitary confinement with no visitors, letters or access to media.

Judge Heger said it was important Breivik could not communicate with other people.

He also refused his request to wear a uniform in court. Breivik was dressed as a policeman when he carried out the shootings on Utoya, 20 miles (35km) from Oslo.

The prosecution said Breivik had behaved calmly and did not seem to be affected by events. They said he understood that he would spend the rest of his life behind bars.

His father has been reported as saying his son should have killed himself instead of surrendering to police.

The self-styled crusader had asked for an open hearing so he could explain his actions to the public.

But the judge ruled the court would be closed after police and prosecutors voiced concerns he might try to send coded messages to fellow extremists.

In a statement the court said: “It is clear that there is concrete information that a public hearing with the suspect present could quickly lead to an extraordinary and very difficult situation in terms of the investigation and security.”

More than 60,000 had signed up to a Facebook page called “Shut the doors on Monday”, calling on the court to deny Breivik the publicity he craves.

A huge crowd of media and angry members of the public gathered outside Oslo Court House in anticipation of the Norwegian’s appearance.

None of his victims has been named except for one – 51-year-old Trond Berntsen, the stepbrother of crown princess Mette-Marit.

A policeman, he was apparently on the island of Utoya as a private guard for the gathering.

Meanwhile, gendarmes were called to the home of Breivik’s father in Cournanel in southern France – the pair have apparently not been in touch for several years.

Earlier, hundreds of people gathered in Oslo for a minute’s silence and to lay flowers or light candles for the victims.

Calling himself a crusader against a tide of Islam, Breivik produced a 1,500-page “terrorist manifesto” datelined London to explain his thinking and proposed actions.

According to the Daily Telegraph, he claimed in the manifesto his mentor was an Englishman called Richard.

He also boasted that he was one of up to 80 “solo martyr cells” recruited across Western Europe to topple governments tolerant of Islam.

British police experts have been drafted in to help probe any links Breivik may have with European far-right organisations.

And David Cameron has chaired a National Security Council meeting with the Government’s top security advisers to discuss Britain’s vulnerability to a Norway-style terrorist attack.

Political correspondent Sophy Ridge said there is pressure on the Prime Minister to place more resources on tackling far-right groups in Britain.

Breivik’s lawyer Geir Lippestad said: “He has been politically active and found out himself that he did not succeed with usual political tools and so resorted to violence.”

He went on: “I await a medical assessment of him.

“He explains himself fairly calmly but every now and then expresses emotion. He buries his head in his hands.

“He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious but that in his head they were necessary.”

The attacks have left Norway, a small and wealthy country unused to political violence, in a state of shock.

There has been growing anger among the far right on a number of issues including immigration.

Immigration has happened quickly in Norway and it has changed the demographic. The far right argue that they have no mainstream political representation.

NEWS UPDATE:

Britain is taking “extremely seriously” claims by the man believed responsible for killing more than 70 people in Norway that he had links with far-right groups in England, Prime Minister David Cameron says.

Mr Cameron said that Britain shared “the sorrow and the anger” felt in Norway over the killings and would offer any support that Oslo needs in the wake of the massacre.

Norwegian authorities on Monday revised down from 93 to 76 the total number of fatalities from Friday’s bomb-blast in Oslo city centre and shootings at Utoya Island, though it remains one of the worst mass murders of modern times.

Police said that the death toll at the Labour Party youth camp on Utoya was being reduced from 86 to 68 after overcounting caused by the fact that police and rescuers were focusing on helping survivors. Meanwhile, the number killed by the bomb blast outside government headquarters in Oslo rose from seven to eight.

The man accused of the killings, Anders Behring Breivik, has confessed carrying out the attacks, but denied criminal responsibility. He today entered a not guilty plea at a closed hearing in an Oslo court.

Judge Kim Heger later said that Breivik had told him that he wanted to save Europe from a Muslim takeover and claimed that two further cells existed in his organisation. He said his bombing and shooting rampage was intended to send a “strong signal to the people” and deter future recruitment to the Labour Party, which he blamed for allowing “mass imports of Muslims”, said the judge.

Breivik was remanded in solitary confinement for eight weeks.

Prosecutor Christian Hatlo said that the 32-year-old told investigators during his interrogation that he never expected to be released from jail.

In a rambling 1,500-page manifesto posted online shortly before the attacks, Breivik said that he was acting alone but had been recruited to the radical cause by two English right-wing extremists at a meeting in the UK in 2002.

The Prime Minister later visited the Norwegian Embassy in south west London, where he signed the book of condolence. He wrote: “Everyone in Britain stands with the people of Norway at this time of great sadness and mourning. We remember those who lost their lives in Oslo and Utoeya on 22nd July in an act of appalling barbarism. We know that the courage, the decency and the resilience of the Norwegian people will overcome this evil. David Cameron.”

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