Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oslo - Pentagon rewrites Wall Street Journal

JULY 24, 2011, 2:26 P.M. ET.Norway Gunman Tells Lawyer Killings Were 'Necessary' .

OSLO—Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian man accused of carrying out one of the worst massacres in Europe since World War II, has taken responsibility for the rampage, telling his lawyer that the killings were "atrocious" but "necessary."

The Friday attacks, including the [IED (Improvised Explosive Device)] attack on a government building in Oslo and a shooting spree at a political youth camp on a nearby island, left at least 93 people dead in what authorities describe as a deranged attempt to declare war on the forces of multiculturalism and pluralism that have taken hold in this small Scandinavian country.

Norway's ruling center-left Labor Party, which has long championed the benefits of immigration and multiculturalism, appeared to be the primary target of the attack.

Norway, a rural country of 4.6 million roughly the size of New Mexico, has little recent history of political extremism, much less violence, and the attacks are fueling concern across Europe that swelling anti-immigrant sentiment that has swept the Continent in recent years could metastasize into violence, suddenly and unexpectedly.

Unlike other Scandinavian countries, including Sweden and Denmark, Norway doesn't have a mainstream far-right party. Mr. Breivik was once a member of Norway's conservative Progress Party, the country's second largest political party after the Labor Party. The Progress Party, which has sought to distance itself from Mr. Breivik, has taken a hard line on immigration in the past, but is less extreme than the populist anti-foreigner parties that have taken hold elsewhere in Scandinavia.

Mr. Breivik has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary," Geir Lippestad, Mr. Breivik's lawyer, told independent TV2 news.

A self-described anti-immigrant extremist, Mr. Breivik published a 1,500-page manifesto online on Friday in which he detailed his preparations for the attacks and his xenophobic motivations.

"Muslims must be considered as wild animals," he writes in the manifesto, the authenticity of which was confirmed by his lawyer. "Do not blame the wild animals but rather the multiculturalist category A and B traitors who allowed these animals to enter our lands, and continue to facilitate them," Mr. Breivik writes, adding that "category A and B traitors" include politicians and journalists.

Vigils and church services were held across Norway on Sunday as the shocked country tried to come to terms with the tragedy.

Norway's Prime Minister tours the site of a massacre where at least 85 people were gunned down after seven died in [an IED (Improvised Explosive Device)] blast in Oslo.

The mass shooting, which went on for more than an hour before a swat team arrived on the island, was among the deadliest yet by a lone gunman. Police were continuing to search for victims and said the death toll could rise to at least 98 when several people still missing on the island are accounted for.

Mr. Breivik, a 32-year-old Oslo resident and Norwegian citizen, was charged in the attacks on Saturday.

A police spokesman said Mr. Breivik likely traveled by car to Utoya after setting off a [Vehicle Borne-Improvised Explosive Device (VB-IED)] in central Oslo. He then used two weapons, a handgun and an automatic weapon, to shoot indiscriminately at people—most of them teens—for more than an hour before an Oslo SWAT team arrived at the scene.

The idyllic, woodsy lake island upon which Mr. Breivik descended has for decades been the site of a summer camp for the ruling Labor Party's next generation of leaders, a place that Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg described over the weekend as "the paradise of my youth."

In his online writings, Mr. Breivik saw the party youth movement and its campaigns to bring the country's immigrant youth into its fold as a manifestation of multiculturalism gone wrong and the "terrorizing of political conservatives."

With no bridges or ferries to aid the island campers' escape, Mr. Breivik had the time to wander the tiny island's woods and rocky shore to methodically hunt and shoot down his prey. As initial shots and screams were heard on one part of the island, eyewitnesses said many teens hid in the woods until a man wearing a policeman's uniform arrived, telling them it was okay to come out.

When they did, he mowed them down. Adrian Pracon, a 21-year-old former camper who had returned this summer to work in its information booth, recalls running through the woods and jumping in the water with dozens of others to escape to the mainland. But his clothes grew too heavy with water and forced him back to shore, where Mr. Breivik was.

"I begged him not to shoot me, and he didn't," Mr. Pracon said in a telephone interview from his bed in a nearby hospital. "He wanted to shoot the people still in the water first." By then, he said Mr. Breivik had switched to firing single rounds, presumably to save bullets. "He was so cold and concentrated," as he continued to walk and shoot the fleeing teens, Mr. Pracon said.

When the gunman returned an hour later to where he and nearly 20 others remained lying behind rocks along the shore, Mr. Pracon said he played dead while the shooter killed nearly everyone around him, turning the water red with blood. The shooter put a bullet in Mr. Pracon's shoulder to see if he was still alive, "but I didn't move," the 21-year-old said.

"It was just one 11-year-old boy he spared," he said. "The boy was crying because his father had already been killed and said, 'You've already done enough,' to the man. That's the only thing that stopped him."

Police said that when they found him on the island, Mr. Breivik surrendered immediately to authorities and was answering questions, adding that the interrogation was likely to continue for several days.

The initial alarm of an explosion in Oslo came in at 3:26 p.m. local time, while the shooting was first reported to Oslo police at 5:38 p.m. It took police 40 minutes to arrive at the mainland dock to the island and about another 50 minutes before the suspect was apprehended. The 90-minute response time has opened the police to accusations that their slow reaction cost more lives.

Emergency workers attended the scene as a building burned after an explosion in Oslo, Norway, Friday.

In a threat-assessment report in March, the Norwegian Police Security Service warned of increasing activity in right-wing extremist circles but concluded that right-wing fringe groups or individuals wouldn't constitute a major threat to Norwegian society.

Though police said Mr. Breivik had told them he acted alone, they continued to follow leads that others might have been involved in the attacks. On Sunday, a SWAT team raided a house in eastern Oslo and briefly detained several people before announcing they had found no link to the attacks.

In May, Mr. Breivik bought a large amount of fertilizer in southeastern Norway from a cooperative that provides agricultural equipment and police were investigating whether the fertilizer was used to make Friday's [IED (Improvised Explosive Device)].