Friday 23 February 2018

Norway massacre: Police detonate explosives at gunman’s farm

Tom Lawrence

Norwegian police have safely detonated a cache of explosives discovered at a farm rented by the man accused of the Norwegian terror atrocities.

Detectives believe Anders Behring Breivik made the bomb which killed eight people in Oslo on Friday using fertiliser he purchased under the guise of being a farmer.

The controlled blast came after police named four of the 76 people murdered by the 32-year-old, including three caught up in the city centre bombing and a 23-year-old shot dead in the Utoya Island gun rampage.

Police would not reveal the quantity of explosives found at the leased farmstead in Rena, about 100 miles north of the capital, but said the detonation was carried out safely.

Meanwhile, Breivik's lawyer revealed the killer was surprised he had made it onto the island youth camp without being stopped by police - who took 90 minutes to arrive.

Geir Lippestad described Breivik as a "very cold" person who appeared to have no idea of the worldwide revulsion at his acts.

He also said the case indicated his client was insane, took drugs to be "strong, efficient and awake" before the attacks, was part of an anti-Islam network and saw himself as a warrior and saviour of the Western world.

In a 1,500-page manifesto published online before the attack, Breivik said he planned to surrender to police so he could publicise his extreme nationalist and anti-Muslim views in court and inspire copycat attacks.

It has been revealed that just months before the attack, Breivik hailed the far-right English Defence League as "a blessing", writing online of how he had visited the UK and wished to attend the organisation's rallies.

Anti-fascist group Searchlight said Breivik was in touch with the EDL's Norweigian counterpart, the NDL, and used the pseudonym Sigurd Jorsalfare, after the 12th century King of Norway who led one of the Crusades.

The group said he made postings on various EDL forums showing admiration for the group.

In one post on an EDL internet forum, dated March 9 2011, he wrote: "Hello. To you all good English men and women, just wanted to say that you're a blessing to all in Europe, in these dark times all of Europe are looking to you in surch of inspiration, courage and even hope that we might turn this evil trend with islamisation all across our continent.

"Well, just wanted to say keep up the good work it's good to see others that care about their country and heritage. All the best to you all Sigurd."

Nick Lowles, Searchlight Editor, said: "There is now clear evidence of direct links between Breivik and members and officials of the English Defence League.

"The Home Office must now formally classify the EDL as an extremist organisation and allow the police to deploy the same manpower and resources to monitoring their activity as they would other extremist groups."

It was also reported Breivik may have attended an EDL rally in Newcastle last year.

The EDL has insisted that it has never had "any official contact" with Breivik and that there is no evidence that he registered as a supporter on the EDL Facebook page.

Breivik has admitted he was behind the bombing in Oslo which killed eight people and the gun rampage at Utoya Island that left 68 people dead.

However, he denies criminal responsibility and has pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces.

As Norway continued mourning yesterday police officially named Gunnar Linaker, 23, as one of the victims of the youth camp shooting.

He was a regional secretary of the Labour Party's youth wing, which organised the camp on the island.

Three victims of the Oslo bombing were also named as Tove Aashill Knutsen, 56, Hanna M. Orvik Endresen, 61, and Kai Hauge, 33.

The Norwegian media has published the names and photos of around 30 other victims.

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