• 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
Russia's Lavrov to visit Norway for war event
King Harald speaks at the Bjørnevatn tunnel in Finnmark. Photo: Knut Falch / NTB scanpix

Russia's Lavrov to visit Norway for war event

Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, will join Norwegians this weekend in commemorating the Russian army's liberation of Norway from Nazi rule. READ  

Norwegian teens caught in fake web sex scam
Norwegian police exposed the teen's online sex scam. Photo: Shutterstock

Norwegian teens caught in fake web sex scam

Two teenage boys from Norway swindled many thousands of kroner after they posted fake sex ads on an online website, it was revealed on Wednesday. READ  

Norway to save millions in child benefit cuts
Finance Minister Siv Jensen wants cuts for parents of disabled children in Norway. Foto: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Norway to save millions in child benefit cuts

The Norwegian government is set to save 590 million kroner ($90 million) if it goes ahead with its proposed budget cuts on child support for disability benefit claimants, Norway's finance minister revealed in a letter. READ  

Russia tensions prompt Norway to hold back jets
A Norwegian owned F-16. Photo: Lars Magne Hovtun / Forsvaret / Scanpix

Russia tensions prompt Norway to hold back jets

Increased Russian military activity is one of several reasons to why Norway did not send its fighter jet planes to Iraq and the war against Isis, according to Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday. READ  

Boxing fights for legal status in Norway
Boxers like Cecilia Brækhus could soon be fighting in venues across Norway. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Boxing fights for legal status in Norway

Norway could lift its ban on professional boxing as early as the turn of the New Year, the government announced on Tuesday. READ  

Presented by CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
CurrencyFair co-founder Brett Meyers

CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers

Tired of losing money when you send cash back home? Join other expats in Norway who avoid bank fees and hidden charges by sending money internationally with CurrencyFair, an online marketplace where secure transactions are faster and cheaper. READ  

Bed bugs in Norway make comeback
Photo: Bedbug Shutterstock

Bed bugs in Norway make comeback

Bed bugs that once nearly died out altogether in Norway are back more prevalent than ever, pest experts have warned. READ  

Komplett set to downsize in Norway over VAT hike
Ole Vinje, CEO of Komplett.no (left) debates government policy with MPs Olav Nils Sunde and Trygve Slagsvold Vedum. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Komplett set to downsize in Norway over VAT hike

Internet retailer Komplett.no is set to move most of their business operations from Norway to Sweden if the Norwegian government's proposal of raising the VAT limit on ecommerce transactions goes ahead. READ  

Norwegian Ebola victim free of virus
Silje Lehne Michalsen was cured of Ebola virus in Norway. Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix

Norwegian Ebola victim free of virus

A Norwegian woman who contracted the Ebola virus while working for Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leoneis now free of the virus and was released from an isolation unit on Monday. READ  

Norway minister charged with violence to family

Norway minister charged with violence to family

A minister whose crimes include pulling his son by his ears and threatening his wife with a knife, has been charged with family violence in Norway, on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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
Sport
Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
National
Solberg 'most chatty' leader on Twitter
Culture
British Airways takes 'Slow TV' to the skies
International
Top Norway lawyers back Snowden Nobel
Society
Buy your own Viking warship for just €160,000
Politics
Norway PM beats Candy Crush level 300
Culture
Norway sticks with fårikål as national dish
International
Cold bathing craze leads to teen death
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

383
jobs available