Oslow, Norway: Insane? Mass Killer Revealed Nothing

27 Jul


Norway's twin terror attacks suspect Anders Behring Breivik, left, sits in an armored police vehicle after leaving the courthouse following a hearing in Oslo, Norway, Monday, July 25, 2011, where he pleaded not guilty to one of the deadliest modern mass killings in peacetime. (AP Photo/Aftenposten/Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen) NORWAY OUT

Norway’s twin terror attacks suspect Anders Behring Breivik, left, sits in an armored …


OSLO, Norway (AP) — The suspect in the bombing and mass shooting that killed 76 people in Norway sees himself as “some kind of savior” and is likely insane, his attorney says, though the lawyer said he did not know whether he would use an insanity defense.

Geir Lippestad told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that his client, Anders Behring Breivik, is unaware of the impact of the attacks and asked him how many people he had killed. Lippestad said he did not answer the question.

In an exclusive AP interview, Breivik’s former stepmother said she had never seen any violent or anti-Muslim behavior from him, even in recent months. Tove Oevermo told The Associated Press that Breivik often talked about a book he had quit working to write — without revealing that it was a 1,500-page anti-immigrant manifesto justifying Friday’s attacks.

Breivik, 32, has confessed to last week’s bombing at government headquarters in Oslo and a shooting rampage at an island youth camp, but has pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges he faces. Breivik, who made his first court appearance Monday, claims he acted to save Europe from what he says is Muslim colonization.

“His reason (for the attacks) is that he wants to start a war against democracy, against the Muslims in the world, and as he said he wants to liberate Europe and the Western world,” said Lippestad.

Asked how his client sees himself, he said: “As a savior. Some kind of savior.”

Lippestad said his client, who claims he is part of an organization with several cells in Western countries, appears unaware of the effects of his crime.

“He asked me if I was shocked and if I could explain to him what happened,” Lippestad said. “He didn’t know if he had succeeded with his plan.”

But Lippestad said in an earlier news conference that his client felt the “operation” was going ahead as planned and had assumed he would be taken down by police sooner than he was. About 90 minutes into his rampage, a SWAT team reached him and he surrendered.

Lippestad said Breivik took drugs “to be strong, to be efficient, to keep him awake” during the attack at the camp.

Two psychiatric experts will evaluate Breivik to determine whether he is mentally ill, said Lippestad, adding that it’s too early to say whether that will be his defense.

“This whole case has indicated that he’s insane,” he told reporters.

Oevermo, who kept in occasional touch with Breivik despite divorcing his father when Breivik was a teenager, said he was “just an ordinary Norwegian, a well-behaved boy.”

“You can’t put all of this together really. I saw no sign of him being a person like he must have been,” Oevermo said. “It’s really such a shock.”

Oevermo, a retired career diplomat, married Jens Breivik when Anders was 4. Anders Breivik lived with his mother but would often visit Oevermo and his father in France.

Oevermo said she last saw Breivik in March or April of this year, when he visited her at her home south of Oslo. She said he didn’t seem agitated during the visit and behaved normally.

He left saying, “‘See you again soon,’ or something like that, something very normal,” she said.

Breivik would often speak of a book he was writing, Oevermo said. He was proud of the book, but was evasive about its contents, she said.

“He just told me he was trying to publish a book. He didn’t say what about. He said, ‘You’ll see when it’s finished,'” she said. “He didn’t really want to get into it, but he was proud of it.”

In recent years, he was working on the book full-time and not working. Before that Oevermo said he worked odd jobs and tried to establish various companies.

Breivik released his manifesto shortly before the deadly attacks. In the sprawling document, he details his hatred for the “cultural Marxists” who have allowed Muslims to immigrate to Europe. He claims his attack is part of a coordinated effort by a group calling itself the Knights Templar to rid Europe of Muslims and left-wing politics. Police officials say they’re not sure whether such a group exists.

Oevermo said Breivik spoke to her about politics “like every normal person does, not more than that. He never touched Islam and this hatred he must have had for it.”

She said the Breivik she knew was “quite informed and well spoken.”

“People say, ‘I’m shocked.’ They don’t know what shock is all about, physically and psychologically. It was so unreal. I couldn’t believe it. I refused to believe it,” she said. “If I’d had some kind of suspicion — some kind of idea that something was not right with him, it would have been easier, I think.”

Eight people were killed in Friday’s bombing outside the building that houses the prime minister’s office. Later that day, 68 people were killed at an island retreat for the youth wing of the ruling Labor Party.

Though Breivik has been charged with acts of terrorism, Lippestad told the AP he could also be charged with crimes against humanity. He said his client would never be set free.

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.

Lippestad said he did not know why Breivik chose him to represent him. He once worked in the same building as Breivik and Norwegian media have reported that he has defended neo-Nazis.

“My first reaction was of course that this is too difficult, but when I sat down with my family and friends and colleagues, we talked it through and we said that today it’s time to think about democracy,” Lippestad said. “Someone has to do this job.”

Lippestad is a member of the Labor Party, which Breivik rails against in his manifesto, accusing liberals of being ashamed of their culture and betraying Norway in their pursuit of a multicultural society. The lawyer said he didn’t know whether his client is aware of his party affiliation.

Asked at a press conference if Breivik was giving him instructions for his defense, Lippestad said he wasn’t and that he wouldn’t take such instructions.


Associated Press writer Bjoern H. Amland contributed to this report.


A woman is seen in front of wall decorated with flowers in memory of the victims of Friday's bomb attack and shooting rampage in Oslo, Norway, Tuesday, July 26, 2011. The defense lawyer for Anders Behring Breivik said Tuesday his client's case suggests he is insane, adding that someone has to take the job of defending him but that he will not take instructions from his client. Geir Lippestad told reporters that the suspect in the bombing on the capital and the brutal attack on a youth camp that killed at least 76 people is not aware of the death toll or of the public's response to the massacre that has rocked the country. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A woman is seen in front of wall decorated with flowers in memory of the victims …

People hold up flowers during a vigil in memory of the eight people killed in Friday's blast in Oslo and the 68 who died in the shooting at the youth camp on Utoya, in Vik, near Sundvollen close to Utoya island, near Oslo, Norway, Tuesday, July 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop)

People hold up flowers during a vigil in memory of the eight people killed in Friday’s …

OSLO, Norway (AP) — A dreadlocked teenage musician who made it onto a television talent show. A secretary who might have survived if her bicycle hadn’t been in the shop. A gentle young man whose last phone conversation with his father broke off with the words, “Dad, someone is shooting.”

All were among the 76 victims of Friday’s bombing in downtown Oslo and the island summer-camp shooting spree that followed. Police officially released the first four names Tuesday, and Norwegian media published the names and photos of some of the other victims. At least some were immigrants or their descendants — the people whose presence in Norway fueled the hatred of the ethnic Norwegian accused in the attacks.

Tens of thousands of Norwegians have rejected the suspect’s rhetoric, laying thousands of flowers around the capital in mourning. Entire streets were awash in flowers, and Oslo’s florists ran out of roses.

Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere attended a packed memorial Tuesday in the World Islamic Mission mosque in Oslo. After the ceremony, Pakistani-born Imam Najeeb ur Rehman Naz said the massacre had brought Norwegian residents of all backgrounds closer together.

“Everyone realizes that terrorism and this kind of activity doesn’t have anything to do with any religion,” he told the AP. “They are individuals who can be found in any community who don’t represent the majority at all.”

Many of those killed were involved in the ruling Labor Party, which suspect Anders Behring Breivik rails against in his manifesto for allowing Muslims to immigrate to Norway.

One of the 68 victims on the island of Utoya was Gunnar Linaker, a regional secretary of the party’s youth wing, which organized the camp there.

His father, Roald, called the 23-year-old from the northern village of Bardu “a calm, big teddy bear with lots of humor and lots of love.”

A lover of the outdoors and a devoted Labor Party member, Gunnar Linaker had been to the annual Utoya camp several times and had taken leave from his political-science studies at the university in the northern city of Tromsoe to work full time in politics, his father said.

His voice weak and trembling, Roald Linaker said he was on the phone with his son when the shooting started: “He said to me: ‘Dad, dad, someone is shooting,’ and then he hung up.”

That was the last he heard from his son. Gunnar Linaker was wounded and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died on Saturday. His 17-year-old sister also was at the camp but survived, Roald Linaker said. He declined to speak any further.

Police identified Gunnar Linaker and three victims of the bombing: Tove Aashill Knutsen, 56, Hanna M. Orvik Endresen, 61, and Kai Hauge, 33. Police, whose response to the attacks has been criticized, say they’re being cautious in releasing the names and are making sure families are notified and approve.

Knutsen, a secretary with the electricians and information technology workers’ union, had left the office and was on her way to a subway station when the bomb exploded in Oslo’s government office quarter, union head Hans Felix said.

Normally Knutsen would go to and from work on her bicycle, but earlier that day she had left it at a repair shop.

“It wasn’t finished, so this day she had to take the subway home. Tove never got home,” Felix said. “Tove was a happy girl who was well liked by us all, and it feels unreal that she is no longer with us.”

Hauge owned a downtown Oslo bar and restaurant that was dark Tuesday. A flower arrangement outside the bar included notes from friends and a photo of him. A note beside the locked front door, handwritten in black marker, read: “Closed due to death.”

The national newspaper Dagbladet posted the names and photos of 30 people it said were killed in the attacks or missing. The information, apparently received from friends or relatives, showed three victims who did not appear to be ethnic Norwegians, including Ismail Haji Ahmed, who the newspaper said had recently appeared on the “Norway’s Talents” television show. Another, reported as missing, was a 20-year-old native of Iraq, Jamil Rafal Yasin.

Breivik has confessed to the attacks, according to police and his lawyer, but he has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer said Breivik sees himself as a warrior and savior of the Western world, and is likely insane.

Norwegian news agency NTB said police detonated explosives at Breivik’s farm about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Oslo on Tuesday. Breivik said in his manifesto that he rented the farm and created a fake business there as cover for ordering six metric tons of fertilizer — an integral component of the Oslo bomb.


Nordstrom reported from Stockholm. Bjoern H. Amland, Ian MacDougall and Sarah DiLorenzo contributed to this report.


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