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ANDERS BEHRING BREIVIK

Breivik ‘sought bomb shack’ in rural Sweden

Norwegian confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik attempted to rent a Swedish country house a year before his dual terrorist attacks, with police believing he wished to find a secluded site for his bomb-making activities.

Breivik sent emails to several real estate agents and municipalities in July 2010, requesting a farmhouse in Värmland, western Sweden, according to Sveriges Television's investigative journalism programme "Uppdrag Granskning".

Värmland's proximity to Oslo has led Norwegian police to suspect the house was to be used as a secret base for terrorist operations, including the manufacture of explosives.

In the emails, Breivik specifically requested an "abandoned farmhouse" which was "isolated or desolate", explaining that he planned to spend a year or two writing a book about the stock market.

But Breivik's country house plans never came to fruition, despite him receiving one response from Christina Öster, an estate agent who said she had found a house that met with Breivik's specifications.

Öster said she had endeavoured to help despite being baffled as to why a writer would ask for a house "without electricity or running water". She eventually offered him a house near Koppom, but is now shocked at her brush with Breivik, who killed 77 people in his attacks on July 22nd 2011.

"What if he had made bombs here in Koppom, what damage they could have done," Öster told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Breivik eventually chose a farmhouse in Åsta, in Hedmark, Norway, some 25 kilometres from the Swedish border.

Police suspect it was there he made the explosives that claimed eight lives in a car bomb attack in Norway's capital in July. Breivik then gunned down a further 69 mostly young people at a political summer camp on the island of Utøya.

His trial begins in Oslo on April 16th.

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TERRORISM

Kongsberg attacker killed victims with ‘sharp object’

Norwegian police said Monday that the five victims of last week's attack were killed by a "sharp object" used by the suspect, not a bow and arrows.

The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

“At some point he discarded or lost his bow and arrows,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters.

He said that during the attack on Wednesday the suspect killed “five people with a sharp object both in private addresses and in public spaces”.

Police, who had previously said that the suspect Espen Andersen Brathen was armed with a bow and arrows and two other weapons, did not specify the nature of the sharp weapons, adding that they were still interviewing witnesses.

“Everything points to the victims being selected at random,” Omholt said.

According to the police, more than 10 people were also shot at with arrows at the start of the attack, but none were killed with this weapon.

READ MORE: Norway police query Kongsberg attacker’s Muslim faith

During police questioning, Brathen has confessed to the killings and to wounding three others.

The 37-year-old Danish citizen has announced publicly that he is a convert to Islam and initially police reported that there had been fears of radicalisation.

He is however being kept in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Brathen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

“As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” Omholt added.

On Saturday, police announced the identities of the five victims, four women and one man: Andrea Meyer, 52, Hanne Merethe Englund, 56, Liv Berit Borge, 75, Gunnar Erling Sauve, 75 and Gun Marith Madsen, 78.

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