The Norwegian man who killed 76 people in a bombing and youth camp massacre is a sociopath who acted without accomplices or a network of like-minded right-wing extremists, and kept his plans to himself for more than a decade, a top security official said on Thursday.
“It’s a unique case. It’s unique person. He is total evil,” Janne Kristiansen, the director of the Norwegian Police Security Service told The Associated Press.
Anders Behring Breivik claims he carried out the July 22 attacks as part of a network of modern-day crusaders plotting a revolution against a multicultural Europe, and that there are other cells ready to strike.
But investigators have found no signs, before or after the attacks, of a larger conspiracy, though it’s too early to rule it out completely, Ms. Kristiansen said.
“On the information we have so far, and I emphasize so far, we have no indication that he was part of a network or had any accomplices, or that there are other cells,” Ms. Kristiansen told AP.
She said Breivik doesn’t appear to have shared his plot with anyone, and lived an outwardly lawful and moderate life before carrying out the attacks with “total precision.”
Breivik has admitted that he set off a car bomb in the government district of Oslo, killing at least eight people, then drove several miles (kilometres) northwest of the Norwegian capital to an island where the youth wing of the ruling Labour Party was holding its annual summer camp. He arrived at Utoya island posing as a police officer, then opened fire on scores of unsuspecting youth, executing them one after the other as they tried to flee into the water. Sixty-eight people died, many of them teenagers.
Ms. Kristiansen said that Breivik’s case presents a new challenge for security services, different from a “solo terrorist” who receives training and instructions from a terror network and is then left to pick out a target and attack it on his own. Breivik appears to be a true lone actor, who conceived and executed his plot without help or coordination from anyone.
“This is a totally different challenge,” Ms. Kristiansen said. “This is all in his mind.”
Judging by a manifesto he released just before the attacks, he started “preparing himself to do something big, shocking and spectacular” some 10-12 years ago, she said. The 1,500-document calls for a revolution that will culminate by 2083 in the expulsion of Muslims from Europe and the elimination of the “cultural Marxist/multiculturalist” politics that Breivik complains facilitated the immigration of Muslims to European countries.
At his arraignment on Monday, he took responsibility for both attacks but pleaded not guilty because he thinks he’s in state of war, his defence lawyer Geir Lippestad said.
Invstigators will interview Anders Behring Breivik again on Friday and will focus on whether there is “any more danger,” police attorney Paal-Fredrick Hjort Kraby told reporters.