Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Norway: Anders Behring Breivik claims 'two more cells'

BBC News

Norwegian police are investigating claims by Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted carrying out Friday's twin attacks in Norway, that he has "two more cells" working with him.

Mr Breivik made the claim at his first court hearing since the bombing in Oslo and massacre at an island youth camp.

Police have now revised down the island killings from 86 to 68 but increased the bomb death toll by one to eight.

At least 100,000 people have gathered in Oslo for a vigil for the victims.

Earlier on Monday, a minute's silence was held across the country.Closed doors

Mr Breivik was remanded in custody for eight weeks.

Oslo police asked for Mr Breivik to be held in full isolation for the first four weeks.
Continue reading the main story
image of Gavin Hewitt Gavin Hewitt BBC Europe editor

I was reminded of the Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, and America's paranoid strain, as I read through the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik.

For at least nine years he carried anger towards the changes occurring in Norwegian society. He did not accept the multicultural country that was emerging. It threatened his identity and he felt alienated from it. He was in contact with other extreme groups who increasingly saw Islam as a danger and the enemy.

Like McVeigh, Mr Breivik saw his country's political establishment as the real enemy. So the target that formed in his mind was not immigrant groups, but the government itself, and young people who were attached to the ruling left-leaning Labour Party.

Survivors I have spoken to speak of his calmness: a man locked in an internal world of hatred but maintained by a belief that what he was doing was justified.

Norway and the politics of hate

Judge Kim Heger agreed, saying Mr Breivik could not receive letters or have visitors except for his lawyer.

Judge Heger said police must be able to proceed with the investigation into Mr Breivik's claims without the accused being able to interfere.

Mr Breivik had earlier said he had acted alone.

Prosecutor Christian Hatlo said police could not rule out that someone else was involved and confirmed an investigation was underway into Mr Breivik's claims that he had worked in a cell, or group, and that there were two other cells.

Mr Breivik has been charged under the criminal law for acts of terrorism. The charges include the destabilisation of vital functions of society, including government, and causing serious fear in the population.

The judge said that Mr Breivik had admitted carrying out the attacks but had not pleaded guilty to the charges.

Mr Hatlo said the accused was very calm at the hearing, appeared "unaffected" by the events, and was willing to explain his motives. He said Mr Breivik was allowed to do this to a certain extent by the judge, but when he started reading from his manifesto he was stopped.

Mr Hatlo also said that Mr Breivik expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Norway's maximum prison sentence is 21 years, although those who continue to pose a danger to society can be detained longer.

The BBC's Jon Sopel has been granted the only British TV interview with Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg

Two psychiatrists have been assigned to assess Mr Breivik's mental health.

Judge Heger had earlier ruled that the hearing should be held behind closed doors amid security concerns and fears that Mr Breivik would use it to deliver a speech seeking to justify his actions.

Instead Judge Heger summarised Mr Breivik's words in his post-hearing statement.

The judge said Mr Breivik had argued that he was acting to save Norway and Europe from "Marxist and Muslim colonisation".

The gunman had said his operation was not aimed at killing as many people as possible but that he wanted to create the greatest loss possible to Norway's governing Labour Party, which he accused of failing the country on immigration.

The bomb in Oslo targeted buildings connected to the Labour Party government, and the youth camp on Utoeya island was also run by the party.

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