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Breivik stands by militia claim

Confessed Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is sticking to his claim of belonging to a militant order of Knights Templar, even though police have found no evidence it exists, his lawyer said.

The 32-year-old, arrested after a car bombing and shooting massacre that killed 77 people on July 22, claims he was the youngest member of the anti-Muslim militia at its supposed creation in London in 2002, defence lawyer Geir Lippestad said in an interview.

Breivik has told police that many of the other members are war-hardened former fighters from Serbia, the lawyer said.

"Both the police and I are using a lot of resources," to investigate the claims, he said.

Police say they believe Breivik acted alone when he set off the car bomb that killed eight people in Oslo's government district and then opened fire at a Labour Party youth camp on Utoya island, killing 69.

However, his claim of a mysterious crusader network puzzles investigators because Breivik appears to have been truthful when explaining other aspects of the attacks.

Breivik has said he carried out the attacks alone. But police prosecutor Christian Hatlo said the main priority of the investigation remains to find out if Breivik had any accomplices and if there are other cells.

"It does not appear very likely, but it is too early to draw conclusions," Mr Hatlo said.

Breivik, who surrendered to police after the massacre at Utoya, has confessed to the attacks but denies terrorism charges, saying he is in a state of war.

In a rambling manifesto distributed online, Breivik said the Knights Templar will overthrow European governments and expel Muslim immigrants in a civil war culminating in 2083.


From Belfast Telegraph