Norway gunman says he acted alone (Second Lead)

July 24th, 2011 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Oslo, July 24 (IANS) The gunman who peppered a youth camp in Norway with bullets and is linked to a massive bombing in the capital that claimed 92 lives, says he acted alone.

He has, however, not pleaded guilty, authorities said Sunday.

The gunman told investigators he acted alone and that there was no accomplice, acting National Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim has said, reported CNN.

The suspect, identified as Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old Norwegian, went on a killing spree Friday evening at a youth camp on Utoya Island leaving at least 85 people dead. The massacre took place shortly after a bombing in Oslo left seven people dead.

Geir Lippestad, who claimed to represent Breivik, said late Saturday that his client “is ready to explain himself” Monday at a court appearance.

“He (Breivik) thought it was gruesome having to commit these acts, but in his head they were necessary,” Breivik’s lawyer Geir Lippestad told the Norwegian media.

Lippestad said the attack had been planned “for some while”, reported BBC.

Charged with terrorism, Breivik is due to appear in court Monday.

Memorial services were held across the country, including at the main Lutheran cathedral here.

Norway’s King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja attended the cathedral, along with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, reported BBC.

The media report said that the police have not speculated on the motive. The bomb in Oslo targeted buildings connected to Norway’s governing Labour Party while the youth camp on Utoeya island was also run by the party.

A 1,500-page manifesto, purportedly written by Breivik, shows his right-wing extremist views.

In it, he vows that a “European civil war” will lead to the execution of “cultural Marxists” and the banishing of Muslims, reported CNN.

The document gives details of Breivik’s background and his plans to commit Friday’s attacks.

“If you are concerned about the future of Western Europe you will definitely find the information both interesting and highly relevant,” he wrote.

The document is titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence”. It is a date which Breivik believes that an European civil war will end with the execution of cultural Marxists and the deportation of Muslims.

This “civil war” would come in three phases, he claims.

Breivik states that he was moved to action citing his “government’s involvement” in NATO’s 1999 strikes during the Kosovo campaign.

The carnage left Norway stunned.

At least four people have not been accounted following the shooting on Utoya island and a search is on for victims who may have drowned trying to escape the shooter.

At least 97 people were wounded in the attacks — 30 in the blast and 67 in the mass shooting, Sponheim said.

Sponheim confirmed that the maximum time Mr Breivik could face in prison under Norwegian law is 21 years.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has described the the attacks “incomprehensible”.

“Soon, names and photographs will be released. The enormity of the evilness will surface in all its horror, and that will be a new test for us all,” Stoltenberg said.

“In the middle of all the tragedy, I am proud to live in a country that has managed to stand tall.”

Those who survived the vicious attack recalled the horrifying moments.

Breivik attacked the youth camp yelled that “he was going to kill us all and that we all must die”, recalled a survivor.

Adrian Pracon told Sky News that after learning about the explosion in Oslo, an emergency meeting had been held at the summer camp.

“Suddenly I heard shots but I didn’t realise at first that they were shots. Then I saw people running and falling when they got shot - just right in front of me,” he said while recalling the horrifying moments.

He fled through the woods and into the freezing water.

After swimming a few hundred metres, he turned back to shore.

“I felt that I had to turn back because I was facing certain death if I swam any further.

“While I was swimming back, he came onto the shore, on that cliff, and started shooting at people that were trying to swim. He was shooting with a sort of machine gun.

“He was yelling out that he was going to kill us all and that we all must die.”

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