27 Jul 2011

Norway intelligence chief: Breivik worked alone

Norway’s domestic intelligence chief says she has seen no proof that self-confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik worked with right-wing extremists in the UK.


The head of the Norwegian police security service, Jane Kristiansen, said she believed Breivik – who admits killing at least 76 people in Norway on Friday – acted completely on his own.

Breivik said on Monday there were two more terror cells in existence.

“I can tell you, at this moment in time we don’t have evidence or we don’t have indications that he has been part of a broader movement or that he has been in connection with other cells or that there are other cells,” said Ms Kristiansen

Channel 4 News online has reported that that Breivik made internet contact with the English Defence League as long ago as 2009.

In his 1,500-page anti-Muslim manifesto, posted online, he also claimed he had discussed strategies with EDL members, and said he had over 600 EDL friends on facebook.

Breivik’s introductory message to the EDL’s online forum reads: “Hello to you all good English men and women, just wanted to say that you’re a blessing to all in Europe, in these dark times all of Europe are looking to you in surch (sic) of inspiration, courage and even hope that we might turn this evil trend with islamisation all across our continent. Well, just wanted to say keep up the good work it’s good to see others that care about their country and heritage.”

The EDL denies any links to Breivik.

Read more: Breivik online activity suggests EDL contact

Ms Kristiansen went on to say she did not think Mr Breivik was insane, as his own lawyer has suggested. Instead, she described him as calculating and evil, and someone who sought the limelight.

The lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said it was too early to say if his client would plead insanity at his trial, even though “this whole case indicated that he is insane”.

“He believes that he’s in a war and he believes that when you’re in a war you can do things like that without pleading guilty,” Mr Lippestad told reporters.

Meanwhile, Norwegian police have defended the fact that it took armed units an hour and a half to reach Utoya after the shooting began.

“I don’t think we think we could have done this faster,” Police Chief of Staff Johan Fredriksen said in Oslo.

Breivik appeared in court on Monday to face charges of destabilising vital functions of society, including government, and causing serious fear in the population.

He accepted responsibility for the attacks but denied the terrorism charges, and was remanded in custody for eight weeks, the first four in full isolation and on suicide watch.