2011-07-23 06:56:43 UTC
July 23, 2011
After great speculation that Norway had been hit by terrorist attacks on
Friday, police confirmed that the suspect they arrested is a 32-year-old
ethnic Norwegian. It remained unclear late Friday night whether he was
acting alone, or had ties to a terrorist organization. Speculation was
rising that he¹s linked to right-wing extremists, not Islamic terrorists.
Police suspect the same man is behind both the massacre at the Labour
Party's summer camp and the bombing that severely damaged many government
and commercial buildings in Oslo Friday afternoon. PHOTO: NRK/Views and News
Justice Minister Knut Storberget confirmed that police were holding a
suspect, charged with gunning down many members of the Labour Party¹s youth
organization AUF (Arbeidernes ungdomsfylking) who were attending their
annual youth summer camp on an island in the Tyri Fjord.
Neither Storberget nor police, however, would reveal more details about the
suspect. They would not identify him nor say whether he had a criminal
record, although the website for newspaper VG identified him as Anders
Behring Breivik, age 32, a self-described nationalist with no criminal
record who was opposed to Islam and to a multi-cultural society. VG and
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that police were raiding the suspect¹s
home in west Oslo Friday night.
Bombing and massacre suspect Anders Behring Breivik. PHOTO: Private
Police did say, though, that the suspect had been spotted in downtown Oslo
just before a massive bomb exploded at 3:26pm on Friday, and they have
linked him to that explosion as well as the massacre. They did not say how
he was spotted, but there are numerous surveillance cameras around the
government complex¹s area (called Regjeringskvartalet) where the bomb went
Sveinung Sponheim, acting chief of police Oslo, told reporters late Friday
night that police still had no motive for either the bombing or the
shootings at the summer camp on the island of Utøya. Sponheim said he was
not sure how the man got from downtown to the island nor do they have a
motive for the shootings. He said, however, that the suspect had indicated
he was willing to undergo questioning by the police.
Professor Tore Bjørgo of Oslo¹s police academy said the suspect could be
tied to right-wing extremists with a grudge against the left-wing Labour
Death toll due to rise
Police confirmed that 10 people were killed during the shooting. More than
600 AUF members were at the camp on Friday and many had assembled for an
information session on the bombing in Oslo. The suspect reportedly arrived
on the island dressed in a police uniform, and then started shooting.
Witnesses described a horrific situation of seeing fellow campers, many of
them teenagers, gunned down before their eyes along the waterfront. Others
ran for shelter and tried to hide behind rocks and trees. Still others made
a desperate attempt to flee by swimming in the fjord¹s chilly waters to the
mainland, but some of them were reportedly shot as they tried to swim away.
One witness has described seeing as many as 30 bodies in the water, but
police would not confirm the number. Sponheim said, however, that they had
reason to believe the death toll from Utøya would rise during the night. He
said investigators found explosives on the island that had not been
detonated, and indicated that more bodies were being discovered as well.