Norway massacre trial begins: the worst terrorist atrocity in peacetime Europe


Oct 8, 2009
Norway shooting: timeline of the worst terrorist atrocity in peacetime Europe - Telegraph

On July 22, 2011, lone gunman Anders Behring Breivik emerged from a western Norwegian suburb to commit one of the worst terrorist atrocities in Europe since World War II.

The massacre started with an explosion in Oslo and finished with the slaughter of dozens of teenagers at a youth camp on the isolated island of Utoya. The final death toll was 77.

There were 68 people shot dead in Utoya and eight killed in the blast in Oslo.

Oslo bomb

Just after 3.20pm in downtown Oslo a huge explosion rocked government buildings and the offices of Norway's biggest tabloid newspaper, VG.

Hundreds were feared dead in the blast and dozens of injured people lined the streets covered in blood, as thick black smoke billowed overhead.

There were reports of workers trapped inside buildings.

The Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg was moved to a secret location and told the nation that the situation was "very serious".

Seven people were later confirmed to have died in the explosion.

The tangled wreckage of a vehicle outside one of the government buildings indicated that it may have been a car bomb – the suspicion was confirmed by Norwegian police nearly two hours later. Early suggestions that it could have been a gas explosion were dismissed after it emerged that there was no gas network in central Oslo.

Extremist group Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami (Helpers of Global Jihad) was quick to claim responsibility for the bombing, calling it "revenge" for Norway's occupation of Afghanistan and insults to the Prophet Mohammed.

This was a far cry from the actual perpetrator, named as Norwegian national Anders Behring Breivik who later claimed in a 1518-page manifesto that he had carried out the twin attacks as part of a crusade against multiculturalism and Islam.

Utoya shootings

As Norwegians feared secondary blasts in the aftermath of the Oslo bombing, teenagers at a Labour Party youth camp were being indiscriminately gunned down on the isolated island of Utoya, a short car ride from the Norwegian capital.

Dressed as a policeman, Breivik beckoned teenagers towards him with cries of "you're safe" before mowing them down in a shower of bullets. To others he laughed as he said "you all must die".

In his killing manifesto, which he says took him three years to write, Breivik said he would be listening to the song Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell on his iPod while carrying out the killing spree. He said the song would help him suppress his fear.

Teenagers who survived the initial attack threw themselves into the sub-zero waters of the lake in an attempt to flee. Others hid under corpses and barricaded themselves inside their rooms. One 15-year-old girl managed to survive by crouching under the same rock the killer was standing on. Others played dead. A local man used his boat to save teenagers from the lake but had to decide who to save and who to leave as there were just too many people swimming in the water.

Breivik, who may have been on drugs at the time of the shooting, only stopped his horrific killing rampage when he ran out of ammunition, police claimed. A SWAT team landed on the island and Breivik surrendered without firing a single shot. He was later said to have given himself up with his hands above his head.

The full extent of the massacre was only revealed several hours later. Torsos were found hanging out of windows, corpses floating in the water and bodies lining the rocky shore of the island.

The death toll of the Utoya massacre and Oslo bomb was initially said to be more than 85 but this was revised to 76 after police said some bodies had been counted twice.

The stepbrother of the Norwegian Crown princess Mette-Marit was among the victims. Former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, who had visited Utoya before the shooting, was said to be one of his intended victims but escaped after Breivik became delayed.

Once in police custody, Anders Breivik told police that the point of the massacre was to stop future recruitment of the Labour Party and send a sharp signal to the people. The nation's response was to fight harder for democracy.

Breivik was held in solitary confinement prior to his trial. He was appointed Geir Lippestad as his lawyer, who had in the past defended a neo-Nazi.

A cache of explosives was found on Breivik's farm after his arrest and was detonated in a controlled explosion.

After the attacks, Breivik's manifesto - 2083 A European Declaration of Independence - proved an important tool for police where Breivik claimed links to the far-right English Defence League and a mentor called Richard from an offshoot of the Knights Templar.

A chauhan

"अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l"
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Oct 10, 2009
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Norway killer Breivik not insane: Defence lawyers
Jun 22, 2012 at 03:35pm IST

Oslo: On the last day of his trial, Anders Behring Breivik's defence lawyers tried to cast the confessed mass killer as a political militant motivated by an extreme right-wing ideology rather than a delusional madman who killed 77 people for the sake of killing.

Since Breivik has admitted to the bomb-and-gun attacks on July 22, the self-styled anti-Muslim militant's mental state has been the key focus of the 10-week trial.

In his closing arguments in Oslo district court Friday, defence lawyer Geir Lippestad reiterated that Breivik accepts that he set off a bomb outside a government high-rise and then gunned down dozens of teenagers at a Labor Party youth camp in the way that the attacks were described in court.

"That little, safe Norway would be hit by such a terror attack is almost impossible to understand," Lippestad said. And that helps explain why psychiatric experts reached different conclusions about Breivik's mental state, he added

Lippestad used his closing arguments to try to prove to the court that Breivik's claims of being a resistance fighter in a struggle to protect Norway and Europe from being colonized by Muslims are not delusional, but part of a political view shared by other right-wing extremists.

He also refuted assertions by one team of psychiatrists that the driving force behind Breivik's attacks was a psychotic impulse to kill, rather than a political ideology.

"July 22 was an inferno of violence," Lippestad said. "But we must also look at how he carried out the attacks to see whether it was violence in itself or radical politics that was the cause."

"He realized that it is wrong to kill but he chose to kill. That's what terrorists do," Lippestad said. "The ends justify the means. You don't understand this if you don't understand the culture of right-wing extremists."

When Breivik talks about a civil war he's not fantasizing about tanks and soldiers in the forest, but referring to a low-intensity struggle he believes will last for 60 years, Lippestad said.

"None of us know what Europe will look like in 60 years," Lippestad said. "Who would have thought 10 years ago that a right-wing extremist party in Greece would get 10 percent in the election now?"

Two teams of psychiatrists reached opposite conclusions about Breivik's mental health. The first team diagnosed him with "paranoid schizophrenia," a serious mental illness. The second team found him legally sane, saying he suffers from a dissocial and narcissistic personality disorder, but is not psychotic.

Prosecutors on Thursday called for an insanity ruling, saying there was enough doubt about Breivik's mental state to preclude a prison sentence.

The five-judge panel is expected to make a ruling in July or August. If deemed mentally competent, Breivik would likely be given Norway's maximum prison term of 21 years. A sentence can be extended beyond that if a prisoner is considered a menace to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to a mental institution for as long as he's considered sick and dangerous to others. Prosecutors suggested Thursday that could mean he would be held for the rest of his life. Norway killer Breivik not insane: Defence lawyers - World News - IBNLive

He deserves strict punishment!

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