Norway’s Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed he carried out Friday’s bombing and murder spree at a youth camp – and published a 1,500-page “manifesto” on the internet before launching the bloodbath – faces a maximum prison sentence of 21 years.
The death toll stood at 93 Sunday for the explosion in downtown Oslo and the shootings at a summer camp on Utoya Island.
Norway has no death penalty. The most that any convicted criminal can be incarcerated is 21 years, Norweigan police confirmed. However, Monday there was speculation that a new law which has not yet taken effect could be used to keep him in prison for 30 years. Also at the end of whatever term he receives, officials said a loophole in Norweigan law could be used to declare him a danger to society — and keep him incarcerated for another full term.
“He has been charged in both the explosion in the center of the government area and also the shooting,” Roger Andresen, deputy Oslo police chief, told the San Francisco Chronicle. The two counts of “dangerous crimes to society” mean he could receive Norway’s toughest punishment, he said.
The blast in central Oslo afternoon shattered windows at the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and other government buildings. Massive damage was reported at the Ministry of Petroleum.
Hundreds were attending the camp organized by the youth wing of Stoltenberg’s Labor Party about 25 miles from Oslo when the shooting rampage took place. The suspect was arrested on the island.
Little is known about the suspect. “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests,” is the only post on a Twitter account under his name. The tweet was inspired by a quote by the British philosopher John Stuart Mill.
According to the BBC, Breivik claimed to be a follower of the Knights Templar in an online document he is believed to have written.
A photograph of the suspect in a tuxedo and Masonic Lodge apron was broadcast by Norwegian television. A Facebook page in his name was taken down on Friday in which he listed his favorite books as Franz Kafka’s The Trial and George Orwell’s 1984. His favorite television show was “Dexter,” which features a vigilante policeman serial-killer as its main character.
The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that he reportedly played the World of Warcraft computer game and previously served in the Norwegian army. He was described by Der Spiegel as having “repeatedly made anti-Islamic statements on Internet forums.”
The Atlantic magazine reported that he also owned an organic farm, Breivik Geofarm, in eastern Norway where he created and stored fertilizers that could be used in explosives.
OnlineSocialMedia.net reported that on his Facebook page he listed his interests as body building, hunting, freemasonry, stock analysis and the Modern Warfare 2 video game. Breivik said he had completed “3,000 hours of study in micro and macro finance, religion,” and described himself as being both Christian and conservative.
The Norweigan-language website VGNett reported that in online debates on a number of political websites, Breivik comes across “as well read, and one with strong opinions about Norwegian politics. He expresses himself strongly opposed to multiculturalism – that cultural differences can live together in a community.”
Breivik posted frequently on the site Document.no, an Islam-critical site that publishes news and commentary, according to VGNett: “In one of the posts he states that politics today no longer revolve around socialism against capitalism, but that the fight is between nationalism and internationalism. He expressed clear support for the nationalist mindset.” Additionally, he “has also commented on Swedish news articles, where he makes it clear that he believes the media have failed by not being Islam-critical.”
Breivik posted a 1,500-page “manifesto” just before the bombings and murder spree at the youth camp. A few excerpts:
“As we all know, the root of Europe’s problems is the lack of cultural self-confidence (nationalism). Most people are still terrified of nationalistic political doctrines thinking that if we ever embrace these principles again, new “Hitler’s” will suddenly pop up and initiate global Armageddon … This irrational fear of nationalistic doctrines is preventing us from stopping our own national/cultural suicide as the Islamic colonization is increasing annually … You cannot defeat Islamization or halt/reverse the Islamic colonization of Western Europe without first removing the political doctrines manifested through multiculturalism/cultural Marxism.”
“I don’t hate Muslims at all. I acknowledge that there are magnificent Muslim individuals in Europe. In fact, I have had several Muslim friends over the years, some of which I still respect. This does not mean however that I will accept an Islamic presence in Europe. Muslim individuals who do not assimilate 100% within 2020 will be deported as soon as we manage to seize power.”
“Although I do admit that I am disgusted by the current development, I would rather say I’m driven by my love for Europe, European culture and all Europeans. This does not mean that I oppose diversity. But appreciating diversity does not mean that you support genocide of your own culture and people.”
Why has the media jumped on reports that Breivik is a “Christian”? Apparently the only indicator is that he chose “Christian” on his Facebook profile.
Larry Keffer of the Biblical Research Center noted that just because Breivik clicked “Christian” on Facebook doesn’t mean he is one. “When I was out in Norway,” Keffer told the Christian Post, “the people there thought they were Christian because they were Norwegian.”
However, Norweigan police continue to refer to the suspect as a “Christian” although in his Internet posts, he has expressed his disgust at the modern Church. Apparently he was baptized into an unspecified Protestant church in Norway by “his own free will,” but grew disenchanted with the group and said Protestants should be forced to return to the Catholic Chuch.
The Christian Post says he blogged:
“Today’s Protestant church is a joke. Priests in jeans who march for Palestine and churches that look like minimalist shopping centers. I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic.”
“A true Christian would not go and … shoot people in a camp or blow up buildings,” Keffer said. “That’s not what a Christian does. So just because a man claims to be a Christian, or even believes that he is a Christian, does not necessarily make him so. The Bible says that ‘you know them by their fruit.’ Christians’ ministry is to reconcile people to God and give life, not to blow them up.”
“Norway’s strong Christian history has created a long history of peace within her borders and has been a significant contributor to Norway’s very positive impact on global peace efforts,” said Gordon Showell-Rogers of the World Evangelical Alliance. “The WEA is saddened to read reports that the suspect claims a ‘Christian’ faith.
“Evangelical Christians globally condemn religious violence in the strongest possible terms, and are sickened when such violence is carried out in the name of Christ. With the people of Norway we are reminded again to the world’s brokenness, of which no part of this world is exempted. With more urgency we pray that God’s glory will be revealed to the nations.”