Terror suspect wrote manifesto
Published 24/07/2011 | 12:32
The suspect in Norway's bomb attack and mass shooting wanted to change the country's society, his lawyer said today amid reports of the attacker's links to the British far right.
Anders Breivik has been charged with terrorism following the blast in downtown Oslo and shooting spree at a summer youth camp that left at least 92 people dead and injured 97.
His lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norwegian broadcaster NRK his client spent years writing a manifesto about his views and had "confessed to the factual circumstances" of the atrocities.
"He wanted a change in society and, from his perspective, he needed to force through a revolution," he said.
"He wished to attack society and the structure of society."
Breivik is reported to hold Christian fundamentalist views and is understood to have criticised multi-culturalism and Muslim immigration in his manifesto.
As police investigated the suspect's background, details emerged of his possible affiliations with extremists in the UK.
The right-wing English Defence League, with whom he was said to have been involved, denied that Breivik, 32, had any links with them and said they "vehemently" opposed his actions.
In a statement on its website the group wrote: "Terrorism and extremism of any kind is never acceptable and we pride ourselves on opposing these...
"We strongly oppose extremism and always reject any suggestion of us being either extremists or far-right, due to our great past record of dealing with anyone who holds such extremist views."
The Nordic Defence League also distanced itself from the killings, posting a message on its Facebook page saying: "We condemn this act of terror no matter who or where this came from! Our duty is to react rational only in democratic ways."
Meanwhile a memorial service was held at Oslo Cathedral this morning as the nation mourned its dead and braced itself for the number of victims to rise still further.
King Harald, his wife Queen Sonja and the prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, visited grieving relatives of the young people gunned down, while buildings around the capital lowered their flags to half-mast and people streamed to the cathedral to light candles and lay flowers.
Flowers and candles were also placed outside the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London, which remained open today to provide support to anyone who needed it, its flag flying at half mast.
A spokesman said: "People have come to the embassy to express their sympathies. I read some of the notes they left and some were in Norwegian but most were in English."
British police stood ready to help detectives in Norway investigating the massacre, with Home Secretary Theresa May offering Norwegian justice minister Knut Storberget any assistance needed.
She joined a series of senior political figures and the Queen in expressing sympathy in the wake of the attacks.
David Cameron said yesterday it was important for Britain to learn any lessons it could from the outburst of violence.
He said: "The loss of life in Norway has been absolutely horrific; it's on a scale, frankly, that is hard to comprehend.
"The Norwegians are old friends and allies and neighbours of Britain, and I know that everyone in Britain will want to stand with the Norwegian people in the days of sorrow that lie ahead.
"Also, we will want to make sure that we learn, like others, any lessons there are to learn about how to be more secure against horrific outrages like this."
The attacks began on Friday when a bomb exploded at a high-rise building in Oslo that houses the offices of the prime minister, who was not there at the time.
A gunman dressed as a policeman then opened fire on young Labour supporters at a summer camp on the island of Utoya.
The death toll from both attacks is at least 92, but there are still at least four or five people missing from the shooting incident.
Agricultural supplier Felleskjopet said the suspect bought six tonnes of fertiliser in the weeks before the attack. The material can be used in home-made bombs.
Police are investigating witness accounts that there may have been a second gunman on the holiday island.