Anti-Islamic fanatic Anders Breivik planned to capture and decapitate former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during his massacre of 77 people last July.
Anders Behring Breivik told the Oslo court he wanted to film the beheading to post online, but the ex-leader had left the Labor Party’s youth camp on Utoya island when Breivik arrived on 22 July.
There were 600 people on the island at the time, and Breivik said his goal was to “kill them all”. He shot 69 people on the island following the deaths of eight others in a car bombing in the Norwegian capital.
Prosecutors in the trial of the Norwegian gunman had earlier turned their attention to the five years leading up to the events of 2011, asking Breivik to explain what he did and why.
Breivik, 33, told prosecutors he had decided in 2006 to carry out what he expected to be a “suicide” operation. To prepare, he played the computer game Modern Warfare for 16 months to learn how to use rifle sights.
“I don’t really like those games but it is good if you want to simulate for training purposes,” Breivik said.
Breivik abandoned his customary clench-fist, far-right salute as he entered the Oslo court to testify on the fourth day of the trial. He also discussed the events that led up to the car bombing and shootings at a Labour Party youth camp.
In 2006, he moved in with his mother to save money and rarely interrupted his game playing, even though his mother became anxious. The games focused on situations where he would be flanked by two commando teams.
He took a “sabbatical year” to fully devote himself to play computer game World of Warcraft 16 hours a day, calling the game “pure entertainment”.
Breivik said he believed he had only a slim chance of escaping Oslo alive after setting off a bomb in the government district on 22 July 2011, but no-one stopped him as he drove to Utoya island in a homemade uniform, carrying a shotgun and a rifle.
He killed 69 people in a shooting massacre at the Labour Party youth camp on the island. A total of 77 people were killed in the twin attacks.
Breivik has admitted the killings but pleaded not guilty, saying his victims were traitors who supported immigration and multiculturalism, threatening Norwegian ethnic purity. The key issue for prosecutors is to establish whether he is criminally insane.
One court-appointed team of psychiatrists concluded he was psychotic, while a second team found him to be of sound mind.
Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence or could be locked up as long as he is considered a menace to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to psychiatric care.
On Wednesday Breivik said he should either be executed or acquitted, calling the prospect of a prison sentence “pathetic”. He has insisted he is a commander in a resistance movement but has acknowledged some of his claims were an exaggeration.
The trial is expected to last 10 weeks.