26 Jul 2011

Norway gunman ‘took drugs before attack’

The lawyer for Anders Behring Breivik says his client took drugs before killing 76 people in a massacre in Norway. He also says he believes his client is insane.

Geir Lippestad, the lawyer for Anders Behring Breivik, told reporters in Oslo that his client took drugs before carrying out his horrific attacks in Norway on Friday.

He said Breivik took drugs to “be strong, to be efficient, to keep him awake”.

Mr Lippestad said his client, who has admitted he is responsible for the attacks, believes he is “in a war” and is calm and cold. But the lawyer said that his assessment so far was that his client was insane.

He said: “The case so far would indicate that he is insane… he has a view on reality that is very, very difficult to explain.”

‘He looks upon himself as a warrior’

But Mr Lippestad said it was too early to say if Breivik would plead insanity at trial. The lawyer, who said he spent hours trying to decide whether to take Breivik’s case, said he would quit if Breivik did not agree to psychological tests.

Explaining Breivik’s mindset, Mr Lippestad said: “He says he is sorry he had to do this but it is necessary.”

Mr Lippestad, a member of the Labour party whose youth wing was targeted in the shooting rampage on Utoya island on Friday, said it was difficult to describe his client.

He added: “He hates all the Western ideas and the values of democracy … he expects that this is the start of a war that will last 60 years. He looks upon himself as a warrior. He starts this war and takes some kind of pride in that.”

Mr Lippestad said Breivik had also reiterated his claims that there were two more anti-Islamic cells in Norway, and other terrorist cells elsewhere, that would continue his crusade.

“He talks about two cells in Norway, but several cells abroad,” Mr Lippestad said. The police and Norwegian researchers have cast doubt on this claim from Breivik but Mr Lippestad said his client has talked about the links.

He said Breivik has also mentioned connections to the “Knights Templar” group referred to in his violent anti-Islamic manifesto, published online just hours before he began his killing spree.

Norway mourns acts of 'insane' gunman (Reuters)