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Norway massacre: Breivik 'did it to save Europe from Islam'

Island horror attack: As the man behind the shocking massacre brags of his mission to 'save' Europe, 100,000 people pay tribute to his victims

By Jerome Taylor

Police are investigating claims that Anders Behring Breivik had worked alongside "two more" terror cells.

Anders Behring Breivik's astonishing claim came as a Norwegian court ruled that the self-confessed mass murderer should be held in prison for the next eight weeks, four of which will be in total isolation, without visits and letters or access to the internet and newspapers. Only his lawyer will be allowed to visit him.

Amid growing anger within Norway that the 32-year-old man responsible for so many deaths would try to use his court appearance as a propaganda coup, a strategy outlined in the 1,500-page manifesto that Breivik published just hours before the slaughter began, Judge Kim Heger also conducted the hearing behind closed doors. The court cited fears of a security risk posed by a public hearing.

Oslo's police force is investigating whether the perpetrator of Norway's worst violence since the Second World War had help from ideological or practical accomplices. Police last night said Breivik's testimony to them had been inconsistent - telling investigators that he acted alone and also that he had help from "two more cells".

"We cannot completely, and I stress completely, rule out that others were involved in what happened," police attorney Christian Hatlo told a news conference when asked about the other cells.

Mr Hatlo added that Breivik "seemed unaffected by what had happened" but was prepared to spend the rest of his life in prison. He admitted carrying out the attacks but refused to plead guilty.

It also emerged last night that the PST, Norway's equivalent of the MI5, had Breivik's name on an April watch list of 60 people who had purchased chemicals from a retailer in Poland. But it was considered a legitimate transaction and too small an amount to warrant further investigation. It is now thought some of the chemicals bought from Poland were used to make his car bomb.

Police last night reduced the final death toll from the Utoya shootings from 86 to 68, citing the difficult conditions and confusion following the killings for the higher figure earlier in the week. The total number of victims killed in both attacks is now 76 after an eighth person died from the Oslo bomb blast.

More than 90 have been injured, many critically with gunshot wounds from dum-dum bullets that shattered on impact. Tens of thousands of people across Norway turned out for a vigil last night in memory of those who died.

The gatherings were the culmination of a dramatic day which started when angry crowds gathered outside Oslo District Court as Breivik was driven in through an underground side entrance.

Dressed in a red jumper, he smiled to waiting spectators as he was driven away after a 35-minute hearing. Some of those watching were heard to shout: "You are a traitor to your country."

To the horror of many Norwegians, Breivik had already told his defence lawyer that he was going to use his first appearance in Court 828 to explain why he carried out Friday's attacks and wanted to wear a uniform as he did so. The request was refused and he was halted by court officials from reading extracts of his manifesto.

Instead it was left to Judge Heger to convey Breivik's raison d'etre after he ordered media out of the court, citing the ongoing police investigation and security concerns. Breivik's motivation, the judge said, was to "save" Europe from Islam and punish Norway's current Labour coalition government for its welcoming approach to refugees.

"The operation was not to kill as many people as possible," the judge said. "[It was] to give a strong signal that could not be misunderstood that as long as the Labour Party keeps driving its ideological lie and keeps deconstructing Norwegian culture and mass-importing Muslims, then they must assume responsibility for this treason."

The maximum custodial sentence for a crime in Norway is 21 years, a figure that is testament to the country's sincere belief in rehabilitative punishment.

However, if prison authorities believe someone still poses a threat to society they can extend the prison sentence every five years. Two psychiatrists have now been commissioned to assess Breivik's mental health. If he is declared insane he can be held indefinitely.

Belfast Telegraph


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