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Norway attacker

July 23, 2011

With the motive still unknown, Norway police have described the suspect in Friday's deadly attacks in Oslo as an "ethnic Norwegian" and "Christian fundamentalist," dismissing reports of links to rightwing extremists.

Anders Behring Breivik
Police said Breivik had no links to terrorist groupsImage: picture alliance/dpa

The 32-year-old man charged with the deadly Oslo twin bomb and shooting attacks is a blonde-haired and blue-eyed "ethnic Norwegian" with no apparent links to rightwing extremists or terrorist groups, police said Saturday in the wake of the country's worst tragedy since World War II.

"Anders Behring Breivik came from nowhere," police spokesman Roger Andersen said, dismissing claims that the man belonged to any of the known rightwing organizations in Norway.

"We would have otherwise had him on our radar if he had been active in any neo-Nazi group," adding, however, that it was possible that the man was influenced by extremist ideology.

From information gleaned from social networking sites, Breivik appears to be a conservative Christian nationalist. Before his Facebook profile was deactivated late on Friday, it featured a picture of a man with wavy blonde hair looking away from the camera. He was listed as "conservative, Christian, and single," but no warnings of any coming attacks could be found.

However, six days prior to the attacks Breivik sent an ambiguous, yet foreboding message on the microblogging website, Twitter, quoting British philosopher John Stuart Mill.

"One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests."

Victims receive treatment in the center of Oslo
It remains unclear why the suspect targeted Oslo's government district with the bomb attackImage: dapd

Individual ideology

One of Breivik's friends told the Norwegian daily Verdan's Gang (VG) that his former schoolmate had been introverted and had harbored nationalist views.

He had belonged to Norway's conservative Progress Party, the Fremskrittspartiet, which fights for much tougher restriction on immigration, but had left the party. Progress leaders described him as a member who "stayed behind the scenes and was not very active."

Articles written by Breivik that have been published on the internet show that he harbored anti-Muslim views and that the strongly disagreed with the current government's stance on immigration, which he said was leading to multiculturalism in Norway.

"When did multiculturalism cease to be an ideology designed to deconstruct European culture, traditions, identity and nation-states?" said one entry, posted last year, pointed out by Norwegian daily Aftenposten on the rightwing website "document.no."

Access to guns, fertilizer

VG reported that Breivik lived on his own with his mother in a four-storey apartment building in Oslo and that, other than completing obligatory service in the Norwegian army, he was connected in no other way to any military organization.

However, Breivik was a member of a gun club that gave him access to a Glock pistol and an automatic machine gun. Eyewitness reports said the shooter was using an M16 when he opened fire on the youth camp residents on the Utoeya island.

Details arose Saturday that Breivik had bought six tons of fertilizer in May from the Felleskjoepet Agri supply firm. Fertilizer can be used in homemade bombs.

Without naming the exact type, the supplier said Breivik ordered the fertilizer through his own company, an agriculture producer located hundreds of kilometers north of Oslo.

"It was six tons of fertilizer," the spokesperson at Felleskyoepet Agri said, "which is a small, normal order for a standard agricultural producer."

Author: Gabriel Borrud
Editor: Andreas Illmer