Breivik says he planned to behead former PM

Fri, Apr 20, 2012, 01:00

ON THE fourth day of his trial on terror and murder charges, Anders Behring Breivik (33) described in minute detail how he prepared for the bomb and gun attacks that killed 77 people, mostly teenagers, in Norway on July 22nd last year.

The day had begun with a focus on Breivik’s financial situation,social life, membership of the Freemasons and an organisation he calls the Knights Templar, which the prosecution maintains does not exist.

When Breivik was pressed to elaborate on the subject of the Knights Templar, he suggested instead that the prosecution “stick to relevant issues” such as his “radicalisation” and political ideology.

Breivik later spoke animatedly about the elaborate military preparations for his “gruesome but necessary” terror attacks.

He said he had practised shooting by playing the computer games Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and World of Warcraft. He said they were good tactical tools, especially for “target acquisitions”.

In 2006 he moved in with his mother to save money and rarely interrupted his game of World of Warcraft, even though his mother became anxious. “During that year I played perhaps 16 hours a day. It was a lot. Only playing for an entire year – playing and sleeping, playing and sleeping . . . It was a dream I had, and I wanted to do this.”

When pressed further about the computer games, he said he was aware that the prosecution would focus on them and the fact that he had taken a year’s “sabbatical” to devote himself to playing them.

“I know what you are getting at,” he said, adding that the prosecution were “trying to ridicule” him by saying he spent too much time in his room playing computer games. “These games are social, very social, and I am not a loner, I have many friends.”

Breivik said he “deserved” his sabbatical because he had worked an average of 12 to 14 hours every day between 2002 and 2006 on various entrepreneurial projects.

He denied playing the game and moving back in with his mother because his business ventures, including a firm selling fake diplomas, had failed.

He also denied that the games had anything to do with the shootings on the lake island of Utoeya. “It was a hobby only, just as others have hobbies like sailing and golf.”

In later questioning, he revealed his master plan “was not to kill 69 on Utoeya, but to kill all 600 who had been on the island that day”. Far from regretting what he had done, he was sorry he “did not do more”.

One of his primary “category A” targets was former Norwegian Labour prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, who he had hoped to behead. He had planned on filming and later posting the beheading on YouTube. This, he said, was to be a lesson and a warning that the Islamisation of Norway and Europe could no longer be tolerated.

As it was, his plans were foiled as he was delayed getting to the island and, when he did, Ms Brundtland had already left.

“It is not desirable to have targets under the age of 18,” he said, but added: “There was no political target on that day that was better.”

Breivik described a “holographic aiming device” which he used to practise his shot, and said it was a “helpful tool” for the subsequent shootings on Utoeya.

He added: “If you are familiar with a holographic sight, it’s built up in such a way that you could have given it to your grandmother and she would have been a super marksman. It’s designed to be used by anyone. In reality it requires very little training to use it in an optimal way. But of course it does help if you’ve practised using a simulator.”

At this stage the prosecution interrupted and asked if he would consider the feelings of the bereaved sitting in court who were understandably upset with the subject matter. “I can understand that this is a natural way to react, with disgust and horror,” he replied.

Breivik told the court he had investigated and done “some primary reconnaissance” work on other “ideal” targets. These included the Norwegian parliament, the offices of Aftenposten and Dagsavisen newspapers and national broadcaster NRK. An annual conference of Norwegian journalists was another.

He had sketched plans to bomb Oslo’s May 1st parade with a hijacked propane tanker, estimating that he could have killed “several thousand people”. He said he had also planned on storming the Blitzhuset, or Blitz House, a community of communists and anarchists, to “execute all Blitz members”.

He picked his final targets based on what he thought was achievable.

He criticised the media for supporting a corrupt system where freedom of speech “was not a reality and where any criticism of the political elite was silenced”. In his vision, he and his followers had no option but to choose “violent revolution” as “peaceful” dialogue did not work.

Breivik said the “alternative terror targets” had one thing in common: they shared a liberal political agenda which facilitated the mass immigration of Muslims.

He said he did not, however, “really blame the Muslims” but those who “invited them in”.

Mette Yvonne Larsen, co-ordinator lawyer for the aggrieved parties, said at a press conference later that many of her clients were disturbed at events yesterday.

“Many said that they thought he [Breivik] was evil and dangerous,” she said.

The trail continues today, when evidence from Utoeya is expected to be presented.

– (Additional reporting: Reuters, Guardian service)