September 1, 2015


World

Suspect says collaborator 'cells' remain

Put into solitary confinement

OSLO, Norway -- The self-described perpetrator of Norway's deadly bombing and shooting rampage was ordered held in solitary confinement Monday after calmly telling a court 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 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 demeanour 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."

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 honour 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.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2011 A8

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