Norway gunman told lawyer he expected to be killed before he reached Utøya island
Mark Townsend in Oslo and Helen Pidd
The Guardian, Wednesday 27 July 2011
The man behind Norway's terror attacks has told his lawyer he was surprised he was not stopped straight after he bombed Oslo city centre, and that he expected to be killed before he reached the island where he shot dead 68 people.
Anders Behring Breivik was a "very cold" man who had taken drugs to keep himself awake during the shootings, the lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told a press conference yesterday.
Breivik, who has confessed to killing 76 people in the atrocities in Oslo and on Utøya island, told Lippestad he was at war with the world, and that killing was justified in a war. "He was a little surprised he succeeded – in his mind succeeded," Lippestad said. "He was expecting to be stopped earlier by the police or someone else during the actual day. He was surprised that he reached the island.
"He thought he would be killed after the bombing, after the action in the island, and he also thought he would be killed at the trial. He believes someone will kill him."
Breivik also claimed that he was part of an anti-Islam network that has two cells in Norway and "several" more abroad.
Asked to explain Breivik's mindset, Lippestad said: "He says he is sorry he had to do this but it is necessary. He looks upon himself as a warrior. And he started this war, and takes some kind of pride in that.
"He believes this is the start of a war that will go on for 60 years," Lippestad said. "He believes the other cells will continue the war."
Lippestad said that after several meetings with his client, he believed Breivik was mentally ill. "This whole case indicated that he is insane," he said of the 32-year-old, who denies he is a criminal.
The lawyer, a member of Norway's Labour party whose youth wing was targeted by Breivik, said he did not know why the killer had chosen him to represent him. He added that if his client were to refuse to take psychological tests he would quit from his defence. Two psychiatric experts will now evaluate Breivik's mental state.
According to Lippestad, Breivik remains unaware of the revulsion his attacks have sparked and does not know the number of people he killed last Friday.
In isolation, a request by the suspect for a copy of the WikiLeaks files was reportedly rejected by the authorities last night.
It also emerged the Utøya Island massacre was, partly, drug-fuelled. Lippestad said the gunman had taken unspecified drugs in order "to be strong, to be efficient, to keep him awake" during the shootings.
Focus continues to intensify on links between British far-right groups and Breivik, with London the city where the suspect claimed to have launched his so-called organisation to "save Europe from Muslim takeover".
Johan Fredrikson, the chief of Oslo police, said that despite an international investigation, including involvement by British police, they still had no evidence that there was an accomplice or network behind the attacks.
Breivik's claims that he was surprised not to have been stopped earlier will add to pressure on police, who have been criticised for taking more than an hour to reach Utøya island.
It emerged on Tuesday that the nearest police helicopter available was not able to intervene because its pilots were on holiday.
Teenagers trapped on the island during the shootings last Friday claimed that they were told to stay off the line because authorities were dealing with the earlier Oslo bombing, according to relatives and local reports.
Broader questions have since emerged concerning the failure of Norwegian intelligence over the attacks. Breivik was allegedly placed on a watchlist after buying fertiliser in Poland that may have been used to build the Oslo bomb. It is thought that no further action was taken.
On Tuesday night, Norwegian police detonated a cache of explosives found at a farm leased by Breivik. "Explosives were found at the farm," police prosecutor Trine Dyngeland told Reuters. "The police carried out a controlled detonation of the explosives." She said no one was hurt in the controlled blast, at Rena, about 100 miles (160km) north of Oslo.
Officials confirmed they have opened an investigation into a Polish chemist after he admitted supplying chemicals to Breivik.
The internal security agency in Warsaw said that a Polish man faces up to eight years in prison for selling to Breivik via the internet "substances that could be potentially dangerous to the life and health of many people".
The device that exploded on Friday had a devastating ferocity. Since the blast, the justice minister, Knut Storberget, has revealed that employees from his department still remain missing in the ruins of the destroyed government building.