Anders Behring Breivik, the suspect in the Oslo, Norway shootings and bombing, has told investigators that he does not expect to be released from jail and that two cells in his terror network remain at large. As AP reported:
The self-described perpetrator of one of the worst modern mass murders in peacetime told Norwegian authorities that that he expects to spend the rest of his life in prison but two other cells of his terror network remain free, officials said Monday.
Anders Behring Breivik has admitted bombing Norway’s capital and opening fire on a political youth group retreat, but he entered a plea of not guilty, saying he wanted to save Europe from Muslim immigration.
Prosecutor Christian Hatlo told reporters that Breivik was very calm and “seemed unaffected by what has happened.” He said Breivik told investigators during his interrogation that he never expected to be released.
Police announced, meanwhile, that they had dramatically overcounted the number of people slain in a shooting spree at a political youth group’s island retreat and were lowering the confirmed death toll from 86 to 68.
The overall toll in the attack now stands at 76 instead of 93. Police spokesman Oystein Maeland said that higher, erroneous figure emerged as police and rescuers were focusing on helping survivors and securing the area, but he did not immediately explain more about how the overcounting occurred.
Police also raised the toll from a bombing outside the government’s headquarters in Oslo before the shooting spree, from seven to eight.
Breivik admitted to police Saturday that he carried out the attacks, but insisted he was not criminally responsible. As Will Englund and Michael Birnbaum reported:
The suspect in Norway’s recent bombing and shooting attacks has acknowledged to police that he carried them out, but he insists he is not criminally responsible, his lawyer said late Saturday night.
The incidents took place after years of planning, according to a 1,500-page manifesto that the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, had posted on the Web. Though the manifesto is in English, and there had been some doubts about its authenticity, Breivik admitted that it was his doing, his lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told the state broadcasting company.
Breivik argued that he was forced to act to help save Europe from multiculturalism. His targets at the shooting site were teenage members of the social democratic Labor Party.
At a memorial service for the victims Sunday, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said: “Every one of those gone is a tragedy. Together it counts as a national disaster.”
He spoke of friends who were killed at Utoya, appearing to be on the edge of tears himself as sobs rang out in the church. “In the middle of all the tragedy, I am proud to live in a country which has managed to stand tall in a critical time,” he said. “Our response is more democracy, more openness and more humanity, but never naivete.”
Part of the manifesto Breivik posted was a meticulous diary account of the planning for the attacks, which included references to his desire to be a modern Knight Templar. Elizabeth Flock profiled the group:
In a detailed diary kept by Anders Behring Breivik — the Norwegian man charged with killing at least 94 people in a bombing in Oslo and shooting on a nearby island Friday — the suspect details months of preparations that led up to the attacks.
Breivik also exhaustively references the Knights Templar, which he calls an “international Christian military order,” that “fights” against “Islamic suppression.” Who are they?
The Knights Templar’s earliest function in around 1119 was to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. The armed group soon became known as the most skilled in the battles to reclaim Jerusalem from the Arabs and racked up several successive victories over Muslim forces.
But by 1303, the knights had been forced out of the Holy Land and returned to western Europe. They fled to France, where they were seen as an armed threat by King Philip the Fair, who had many of them tortured and executed. The king had the support of Pope Clement V, who issued a papal bull that made sure the group was disbanded by 1312.
Since then, rumors of the surviving knights have come and gone, including one rumor that the knights could destroy the Catholic church with a single secret they held.
Breivik says the Christian military order was refounded in 2002 in London under the name PCCTS as an armed “anti-Jihad crusader-organization.”
Breivik gave himself the ranking of the Justiciar Knight, and said there were up to 80 such “knights” around western Europe, all “completely unknown to our enemies.”
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