Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik insisted yesterday he would massacre 77 people all over again, calling his July rampage the most “spectacular” attack by a nationalist militant since World War II. Reading a statement in court, the anti-Muslim extremist lashed out at Norwegian and European governments for embracing immigration and multiculturalism. He claimed to be speaking as a commander of an anti-Islam militant group he called the Knights Templar — a group that prosecutors say does not exist.
Maintaining he acted out of “goodness, not evil” to prevent a wider civil war, Breivik vowed, “I would have done it again.” He compared his attacks to the US dropping atomic bombs on Japan during World War II. “They did it for something good, to prevent further war,” Breivik said.
Breivik has five days to explain why he set off a bomb in Oslo on July 22, killing eight people, and then gunned down 69 others, mostly teenagers, at a Labour Party youth camp outside the Norwegian capital. He denies criminal guilt, saying he was acting in self-defence, and claims the targets were part of a conspiracy to “deconstruct” Norway’s cultural identity.
“The attacks on July 22 were a preventive strike. I acted in self-defense on behalf of my people, my city, my country,” he said. “I therefore demand to be found innocent of the charges.” Norway doesn’t have the death penalty. If found mentally sane — the key issue to be decided in the trial — Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence or an alternate custody arrangement that would keep him locked up as long as he is considered a menace to society.
>> Breivik detonated a bomb in a van parked outside government offices in Oslo on July 22, killing eight people.
>> He then travelled to Utoeya where, dressed as a police officer, he shot dead a further 69 people who were attending a youth camp run by the governing Labour party
Breivik said he does not have formal education but that his studies between leaving school and 2010 amount to 15,000 hours. When the prosecutor asked, “Did you consider trying to get a diploma for all that study?” he quipped “Well I could have printed one out!” (He has admitted to running a business selling false diplomas).