Computer experts decoding Norwegian mass killer’s plot
A group of computer security experts are working to decode what they believe could be hidden messages in the Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik's manifesto.
Brievik emailed the 1,500-page document to hundreds of online contacts less than 90 minutes before he detonated a bomb in Oslo city centre last month and shot dozens of young people at a summer camp.
It contained links to newpaper articles, blogs and other material that the killer used to make claims about the threat he perceived from multiculturalism.
But analysis of the document by Rolf Frøysa, the chief technology officer of a Norwegian broadband firm, revealed a series of links that did not lead to any website.
”I was on vacation in Turkey when I heard about Breivik’s bombing,” he told The Telegraph.
Large parts of the document were plagiarized from the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, an American mail bomber who raged against “Industrial Society and Its Future” in his own manifesto in 1995. When he was eventually captured, authorities found reams of notes Kaczynski had written in a code that was not cracked for 10 years.
“I was horrified and read about how Breivik may have taken inspiration from the Unabomber,” said Mr Frøysa.
”I started to wonder whether Breivik’s manifesto could also contain similar codes.”
Mr Frøysa wrote a computer programme to test the links within the document, and found the 46 apparently broken links. All efforts to make them work, such as trying them out on so-called ”darknets”, which are private and typically anonymoyus filesharing networks with different protocols to the public internet, were unsuccessful.
But further study of the numbers within them revealed a worrying pattern.
”I suddenly saw that some of the work I had been doing suggested they could be GPS coordinates,” said Mr Frøysa.
The first ”coordinates” he tried out on Google Maps pointed directly at a train station in central Liverpool. The rest of the numbers also appeared to correspond to major sites across Europe.
Given Breivik’s claims to Norwegian authorities that he was part of a larger network of right wing extremists, Mr Frøysa and some friends who were by now working with him became concerned and reported their findings to police. They also opened up the project to a wider online community of around 300 people, including experts on encryption and mathematics.
”It could just be a hoax or part of his [Breivik’s] PR strategy,” said Mr Frøysa. ”but we need to investigate this document.”
The idea that the numbers represent GPS coordinates is currently the group’s leading theory, but Mr Frøysa said he they were keeping an open mind and invited others to join in the analysis.
”The Norwegian police are busy dealing with their biggest case since World War Two. When we’re finished this document should be seen as total rubbish,” he said.