• Norway edition
 

'I am a very likeable person': Breivik

Published: 20 Apr 2012 10:15 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Apr 2012 13:57 GMT+02:00

Anders Behring Breivik acknowledged that his twin attacks last July were "gruesome, barbaric actions" and said he had to work on his psyche for many years because "you can't send an unprepared person into war".

Breivik in his rampage on July 22nd first bombed an Oslo government building, killing eight people, and then shot dead 69 people, mostly teenagers, at a Labour Party youth camp on a nearby island.

The 33-year-old has said he was motivated by the belief Norway is being overrun by a "Muslim invasion" and claimed he is part of a militant ultra-nationalist network named after the Knights Templar Christian order.

The self-confessed killer insisted he was not "a psychiatric case," telling the court he was a "caring person" who spent years meditating to "de-emotionalize" himself.

"I am a very likeable person under normal conditions," he said on the fifth day of his trial, which was expected to be the most difficult yet for survivors and victims' relatives in the courtroom.

"I was rather normal until 2006 when I started my training," he said, adding that he cut back his social life to focus on his goal.

"You have to choose tactics and strategies to dehumanize... the enemy ... those who I see as legitimate targets," he said. "If I hadn't done that... I wouldn't have managed to do it."

On the island, where he was disguised as a police officer, he spent more than an hour methodically shooting at hundreds of people, many of whom tried to flee by jumping into the icy waters.

Many victims had multiple gunshot wounds to the head and back, in what was the deadliest shooting rampage committed by a lone gunman.

Breivik, often speaking coldly of his massacre under questioning from his defence team, said his "technical" wording was necessary to "distance himself" and to hold up throughout his testimony.

"If I were to use more normal language, I don't think I would be able to explain everything," he said.

The gunman has explained to the court that he sees himself as a militant nationalist "knight" heroically fighting to defend "ethnic Norwegians" from being wiped out by a "Muslim invasion".

He reiterated on Friday that he especially blames Norwegian and European media for making his attacks "necessary," since they "systematically censor" ultra nationalists like himself.

He said he would not have carried out his attacks if he felt that Norwegian media had provided fair coverage of the immigration-skeptical Progress Party ahead of 2009 parliamentary elections.

Breivik, charged with "acts of terror", has entered a plea of not guilty, saying his actions were "cruel but necessary".

He told the court on Thursday he had initially thought of placing three bombs across Oslo before carrying out a shooting spree, in what was planned to be a suicide mission.

But it was too difficult to acquire bomb-making materials without raising warning flags so he decided to make just one.

His goal had been to kill everybody in the government building, including the entire Norwegian government and Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

He had also intended to kill all 569 people on Utøya, including former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland -- an icon of the Labour Party who had been on the island earlier in the day -- by beheading her and posting a video of her execution on the internet.

Many of the survivors and families of the victims sobbed quietly and shook their heads as he recounted the details of his plans.

On Friday he was expected to testify in detail about how he killed each of the 69 Utøya victims, the youngest just 14 years old.

His lawyer Geir Lippestad warned that Friday "would probably be the hardest day" for the families, and chief judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen reminded them they were free to leave the courtroom at any time.

Two psychiatric evaluations have drawn contradictory conclusions on Breivik's sanity, and ultimately it will be up to the judges to rule on them when they hand down the verdict sometime in mid-July.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Solberg to visit flood devastation in Norway
A house in Flåm destroyed by the heavy floods. Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

Solberg to visit flood devastation in Norway

Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, will visit Aurland in West Norway - weather permitting - to see the extent of this week's flood damage for herself, it was announced on Thursday. READ  

Rise of the Norwegian wolverine
An adult wolverine. Photo: Shutterstock

Rise of the Norwegian wolverine

The number of wolverines across Norway has risen 15 percent this year, highlighting a boom in the endangered species, says a top animal protection group. READ  

Turkey: Norway embassy sent suspect packages
The Norwegian embassy in located in Ankara, Turkey. Photo: Shutterstock

Turkey: Norway embassy sent suspect packages

The Norwegian embassy in Ankara and the Turkish foreign ministry on Thursday received suspicious packages, officials said, the latest in a string of such incidents in the country. READ  

Avalanche update: Mount Mannen more stable
A recent shot of Mount Mannen. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Avalanche update: Mount Mannen more stable

The movements of rock masses that threaten to create an avalanche on Mount Mannen in south-western Norway have slowed down significantly due to the weather, said geologists on Thursday. READ  

Norway to send troops to Iraq and Afghanistan
Erna Solberg is backing the US-led coalition in Iraq and NATO's objectives in Afghanistan. Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT / NTB scanpix

Norway to send troops to Iraq and Afghanistan

The government is set to send Norwegian soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan, it was confirmed on Thursday. READ  

Russian fighter planes skirt Norwegian airspace
Norwegian F-16 fighter jets shadow the Russian planes which flew near the Nordic state's restricted airspace. Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix

Russian fighter planes skirt Norwegian airspace

Norway's air force was on high alert on Wednesday after eight Russian military airplanes were spotted over the sea, near to Norwegian restricted airspace. READ  

Norway's Statoil suffers shock profit loss
Statoil headquarters in Stavanger, south-west Norway. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Norway's Statoil suffers shock profit loss

Norwegian oil giant Statoil posted on Wednesday an unexpected third-quarter loss owing to weak oil prices and a charge for depreciated assets. READ  

Severe flooding hits western Norway
A house on the River Opo, Odda, during the recent floods. Photo: Marit Hommedal/NTB scanpix

Severe flooding hits western Norway

Homes have been evacuated and people left stranded or homeless after major floods hit the west of Norway on Tuesday. READ  

Badminton ace heads to Norway for drug test
Lee Chong Wei, badminton star and world number one. Photo: Shutterstock

Badminton ace heads to Norway for drug test

The world's number one men's badminton champion, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, must travel to Norway to complete a compulsory drug test that could see him banned from the sport after he failed initial testing in his home country. READ  

Mouse delays Norwegian plane five hours

Mouse delays Norwegian plane five hours

One small mouse caused a lengthy five hour delay for airline passengers travelling from Norway to the US on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Health
Norwegian Ebola victim free of virus
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
Society
Norwegian 'child bride' to marry in Oslo
Society
The fickle five: Meet the Nobel commitee
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
International
Norway best country for older people
Society
Queen Sonja of Norway's nephew jailed
National
Ex-Norway PM set to become head of Nobel
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
Society
Norway's Princess of the Paranormal under fire
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
National
Photo: Baby cliff edge shocker in Norway
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
Culture
Britney to visit Norway for lingerie launch
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
Features
Meet Norway's raining kings of fashion
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

379
jobs available