24 Jul 2011

Norwegian gunman tells police he acted alone

As the man who killed at least 93 people in Norway tells police he acted alone, a disturbing manifesto written by Anders Behring Breivik has emerged on the internet.

Anders Behring Breivik tells police in Norway he acted alone but denies breaking the law. (Reuters)

Several people are still missing following the shooting on Utoya island and the number of dead is expected to rise.

Speaking at a news conference police chiefs gave a little more detail about Anders Behring Breivik, the man responsible for both the bomb blast in Oslo, which killed seven, and the shootings on Utoya Island.

“He has admitted to the facts of both the bombing and the shooting, although he’s not admitting criminal guilt,” acting police chief Sveinung Sponheim said.

“He says that he was alone but the police must verify everything that he said. Some of the witness statements from the island (shootings) have made us unsure of whether there was one or more shooters.”

Sponheim said police had no other suspects for the worst massacre committed in Norway since World War Two, in which 97 people were also wounded. Several people also remain missing, which could raise the death toll.

Earlier Breivik’s lawyer said that the 32-year old expressed willingness to explain himself in court at a hearing likely to be held on Monday.

“He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary,” lawyer Geir Lippestad told independent TV2 news, adding that his client admitted to both the shootings and the bombing.

A murderer’s manifesto

Norwegian police confirmed that a 1,500-page violent anti-Islamic manifesto was published by Anders Behring Breivik on Friday just hours before he killed at least 92 people.

The online book describes the planning, explosives making and violent philosophy that lead to the bombing in downtown Oslo and shootings at a Labour youth camp nearby.

Read more: The manifesto of Norway's mass murderer

“This manifesto was published on the day of the events,” Oslo’s acting police chief Sveinung Sponheim told a news conference. “We have confirmation of that.”

The killings would draw attention to the manifesto, called “2083-A European Declaration of Independence”, Breivik wrote.

“Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike,” he wrote.

He also attacked “the Islamic colonisation and Islamisation of Western Europe” and “rise of cultural Marxism/multiculturalism”.

‘Terrorism never acceptable’

As police investigated the suspect’s background, details emerged of his possible affiliations with extremists in the UK.

Stop Islamification of Europe told Channel 4 News it has “never heard of” Breivik and “utterly condemned” his actions.

The right-wing English Defence League, with whom he was said to have been involved, denied that Breivik, 32, had any links with them and said they “vehemently” opposed his actions.

In a statement on its website the group wrote: “Terrorism and extremism of any kind is never acceptable and we pride ourselves on opposing these…

“We strongly oppose extremism and always reject any suggestion of us being either extremists or far-right, due to our great past record of dealing with anyone who holds such extremist views.”