2011 Norway attacks
|2011 Norway attacks|
|Location||Oslo and Utøya, Norway|
|Date||22 July 2011 |
|Target||Labour Party members|
|Car bomb, mass shooting, terrorism|
|Deaths||77 (8 by bombing, 67 by gunfire, 2 indirectly)|
|Injured||319+ (209+ by bombing, 32 by gunfire, 78+ indirectly)|
|Perpetrator||Anders Behring Breivik|
The 2011 Norway attacks, referred to in Norway as 22 July (Norwegian: 22. juli) or as 22/7, were two sequential domestic terrorist attacks by Anders Behring Breivik against the government, the civilian population, and a Workers' Youth League (AUF) summer camp, in which 77 people were killed.
The first attack was a car bomb explosion in Oslo within Regjeringskvartalet, the executive government quarter of Norway, at 15:25:22 (CEST). The bomb was placed inside a van next to the tower block housing the office of the then Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. The explosion killed eight people and injured at least 209 people, twelve severely.
The second attack occurred less than two hours later at a summer camp on the island of Utøya in Tyrifjorden, Viken. The camp was organized by the AUF, the youth division of the ruling Norwegian Labour Party (AP). Breivik, dressed in a homemade police uniform and showing false identification, took a ferry to the island and opened fire at the participants, killing 69 and injuring at least 110, 55 seriously. Among the dead were Stoltenberg's friends, and the stepbrother of Norway's crown princess Mette-Marit.
The attack was the deadliest in Norway since World War II. A survey found that one in four Norwegians knew someone affected. The European Union, NATO and several countries expressed their support for Norway and condemned the attacks. The 2012 Gjørv Report concluded that Norway's police could have prevented the bombing and caught Breivik faster at Utøya, and that measures to prevent further attacks and "mitigate adverse effects" should have been implemented.
The Norwegian Police arrested Breivik, a 32-year-old Norwegian right-wing extremist, on Utøya island and charged him with both attacks. His trial took place between 16 April and 22 June 2012 in Oslo District Court, where Breivik admitted carrying out the attacks, but denied criminal guilt and claimed the defense of necessity (jus necessitatis). On 24 August, Breivik was convicted as charged and sentenced to 21 years of preventive detention in prison, the maximum sentence allowed in Norway. The sentence can be extended indefinitely as long as the prisoner is deemed a threat to society.
Preparation for the attacks
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Breivik claims to have begun the planning of the terrorist acts in 2002, at the age of 23. He had participated for years in debates on Internet forums and spoken against Islam and immigration.[failed verification] He was preparing for the attacks from at least as early as 2009, though he concealed his violent intentions.
Failed attempt to buy weapons in Prague
Breivik spent six days in Prague in late August and early September 2010. Following his Internet inquiry, Breivik noted that "Prague is known for maybe being the most important transit site point for illicit drugs and weapons in Europe". Despite the fact that Prague has one of the lowest crime rates among European capitals, Breivik expressed reservations about his personal safety, writing that (before his trip there) he believed Prague to be a dangerous place with "many brutal and cynical criminals".
He hollowed out the rear seats of his Hyundai Atos in order to have enough space for the firearms he hoped to buy. After two days, he got a prospectus for a mineral extraction business printed, which was supposed to give him an alibi in case someone suspected him of preparing a terrorist attack. He wanted to buy an AK-47-type rifle (this firearm is not common in the country, unlike the Vz. 58,), a Glock pistol, hand-grenades and a rocket-propelled grenade, stating that getting the latter two would be a "bonus".
Breivik had several fake police badges printed to wear with a police uniform, which he had acquired illegally on the Internet, and which he later wore during the attack. Contrary to his expectations, he was unable to get any firearms in the Czech Republic, commenting that it was the "first major setback in [his] operation". In the end, he concluded that Prague was "far from an ideal city to buy guns", nothing like "what the BBC reported", and that he had felt "safer in Prague than in Oslo".
Arming in Norway and through the Internet
Originally, Breivik intended to try to obtain weapons in Germany or Serbia if his mission in Prague failed. The Czech disappointment led him to procure his weapons through legal channels. He decided to obtain a semi-automatic rifle and a Glock pistol legally in Norway, noting that he had a "clean criminal record, hunting license, and two guns (a Benelli Nova 12 gauge pump-action shotgun and a .308 bolt-action rifle) already for seven years", and that obtaining the guns legally should therefore not be a problem.
Upon returning to Norway, Breivik obtained a legal permit for a .223-caliber Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic carbine, ostensibly for the purpose of hunting deer. He bought it in late 2010 for €1,400. He wanted to purchase a 7.62×39mm Ruger Mini-30 semi-automatic carbine, but decided for unknown reasons to buy the Mini-14.
Getting a permit for the pistol proved more difficult, as he had to demonstrate regular attendance at a sport shooting club. He also bought ten 30-round magazines for the rifle from a United States supplier, and six magazines for the pistol (including four 30-round magazines) in Norway. From November 2010 to January 2011 he went through 15 training sessions at the Oslo Pistol Club, and by mid-January his application to purchase a Glock pistol was approved.
Breivik claimed in his manifesto that he bought 300 g of sodium nitrate from a Polish shop for €10. The Polish ABW interviewed the company owner on 24 July 2011. Breivik's Polish purchases initially led to his being placed on the watch list of the Norwegian intelligence, which did not act because they did not believe his actions were relevant to their terror concerns.
On 18 May 2009, Breivik created a sole proprietorship called Breivik Geofarm, a company established under the fictitious purpose of cultivating vegetables, melons, roots and tubers. The real purpose was to gain access to chemicals and materials, especially fertiliser that could be used for the production of explosives without arousing suspicion.
The place of business was given as Åmot in Hedmark. On 4 May 2011, Breivik purchased 6 tonnes (13,000 lb) of fertilizer through Geofarm at Felleskjøpet, 3 tonnes (6,600 lb) of ammonium nitrate and 3 tonnes (6,600 lb) of calcium ammonium nitrate. According to neighbours, all the fertiliser was stored in his barn. After conducting a reconstruction of the bomb with equivalent amount of fertilizer on the farm in Åmot, police and bomb experts concluded that the bomb had been 950 kg (2,090 lb), about the same size as the one used in the 2002 Bali bombings. Afterwards there was significant debate in Norway about how an amateur could acquire such substantial amounts of fertiliser and manufacture and place such a lethal weapon in the middle of Regjeringskvartalet all by himself. The conclusion by Felleskjøpet was that there is no legislation to keep agricultural businesses from buying as much fertiliser as they like, and that there was nothing suspicious about Breivik's purchase. This was confirmed by the director of the Norwegian Police Security Service, Janne Kristiansen, who stated "not even the Stasi could have prevented this attack".
The company listed at least two Swedish employees on the social networking site Facebook, but it is uncertain whether these people existed.
In April 2011, he reported moving from Oslo to Vålstua farm in the municipality of Åmot, about 9 kilometres (6 mi) south of the community centre Rena, on the east side of Glomma. His agricultural company was run from the farm, and gave him access to ingredients for explosives.
His 950-kilogram (2,090 lb) car bomb exploded in central Oslo on 22 July 2011, where it killed eight people. He had between 1,000 and 1,500 kilograms (2,200 and 3,300 lb) of additional material that was left on the farm and could be used for construction of a second bomb.
Beside visiting firing ranges and countries with relaxed gun laws to sharpen his skill, Breivik's manifesto says that he made use of the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as a training aid while using World of Warcraft as a cover for his extended period of isolation. He also said that he honed his shooting skills using an in-game holographic sight similar to the one he used during the attacks.
On 22 July 2011, at 15:25:22 (CEST) a bomb detonated in Regjeringskvartalet, central Oslo. The bomb was placed in a white Volkswagen Crafter and parked in front of the H block, housing the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Justice and the Police, and several other governmental buildings, such as the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (R4), Ministry of Finance (G block), Ministry of Education and Research (Y block) and the Supreme Court of Norway (behind the G block).
The Crafter was registered by surveillance cameras as entering Grubbegata from Grensen at 15:13:23. The van stopped at 15:13:43, 200 metres (660 ft) before the H block. It stood still with the hazard warning lamps on for 1 minute and 54 seconds. The driver then drove the last 200 metres and parked the van in front of the main entrance of the main government building. The van was parked at 15:16:30. The front door of the van opened 16 seconds later and after another 16 seconds the driver stepped out of the van. He stood outside the van for 7 seconds before quickly walking away towards Hammersborg torg, where he had another car parked.
The driver was dressed like a police officer and had a gun in his hand. A police helmet with a face shield was covering his face. Breivik was not positively identified.
The explosion started fires in the H block (H-blokka) and R4, and the shock wave blew out the windows on all floors as well as in the VG house and other buildings on the other side of the square. The streets in the area were filled with glass and debris. A cloud of white smoke was reported as a fire continued to burn at the Department of Oil and Energy. The blast was heard at least 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) away.
At 15:26 the police received the first message about the explosion, and at 15:28 the first police patrol reported arriving at the scene. At the same time, news agency NTB was told that the Prime Minister was unhurt and safe.
A witness called police at 15:34 to report a person in a police uniform holding a pistol in his hand, entering an unmarked vehicle, a Fiat Doblò. Information—including the vehicle's license plate number and description of the suspect—was written on a yellow note, and hand delivered to the police operations central where it lay for twenty minutes before the witness was phoned back. The license plate number was not transmitted on the police radio until two hours later.
The blast was caught on many security cameras.
Impact on transportation
Immediately after the explosion, the area surrounding the damaged buildings was cordoned off and evacuated. People were asked to remain calm and leave the city centre if possible, but there was no general evacuation. The Oslo Metro remained operational, and most of the Oslo tram network was also running, although sporadically, except for the line through Grensen (the street between Prof. Aschehoug's plass and Stortorvet). Buses also continued to run, although at least one articulated bus on the No.37 line, which stops outside the Ministry of Finance, was commandeered to evacuate the walking wounded.
The Gardermoen Line between Lillestrøm and Oslo Airport was shut down after a suspicious package was found close to the tracks. The same happened at the offices of TV 2 which were evacuated after a suspicious package was found outside the building.
Approximately one and a half hours after the Oslo explosion, Breivik, dressed in a police uniform and presenting himself as "Martin Nilsen" from the Oslo Police Department, boarded the ferry MS Thorbjørn at Utøykaia in Tyrifjorden, a lake some 32 kilometres (20 mi) northwest of Oslo, to the island of Utøya, the location of the Norwegian Labour Party's AUF youth camp. The camp is held there every summer and was attended by approximately 600 teenagers.
When Breivik arrived on the island, he presented himself as a police officer who had come over for a routine check following the bombing in Oslo. He was met by Monica Bøsei, the camp leader and island hostess. Bøsei probably became suspicious and contacted Trond Berntsen, the security officer on the island, before Breivik killed them both. He then signalled and asked people to gather around him before pulling weapons and ammunition from a bag and firing indiscriminately, killing and wounding numerous people. He first shot people on the island and later started shooting at people who were trying to escape by swimming across the lake. Survivors on the island described a scene of terror. Survivor Dana Barzingi, then 21, described how several victims wounded by Breivik pretended to be dead, but he came back and shot them again. He spared an 11-year-old boy who had lost his father (Trond Berntsen) during the shooting and stood up against him and said he was too young to die, as well as a 22-year-old man who begged for his life.
Some witnesses hid in undergrowth and lavatories, communicating by text message to avoid revealing their positions. The mass shooting lasted for around an hour and a half, ending when a police special task force arrived and Breivik surrendered, despite having ammunition left, at 18:35. The shooter used hollow-point or frangible bullets which increase tissue damage. Breivik repeatedly shouted "You are going to die today, Marxists!"
Bøsei's husband and one of her daughters, who were also present, survived. The youngest victim, New Zealand-born Sharidyn Svebakk-Bøhn of Drammen, was 14 years old. 16-year-old Andrine Bakkene Espeland of Sarpsborg was the last victim, nearly one hour after the shooting began.
Residents in a flotilla of motorboats and fishing dinghies sailed out to rescue the survivors, who were pulled out shivering and bleeding from the water and picked up from hiding places in the bushes and behind rocks around the island's shoreline. Some survived by pretending to be dead. Several campers, especially those who knew the island well, swam to the island's rocky west side and hid in the caves which are only accessible from the water. Others were able to hide away on the secluded Kjærlighetsstien ("love path"). Forty-seven of the campers sought refuge in Skolestua ("the School House") together with personnel from the Norwegian People's Aid. Although Breivik fired two bullets through the door, he did not get through the locked door, and the people inside this building survived.
The teenagers said that they had decided that it was too difficult to stop the gunman. They discovered a cave-like opening in a rock where they hid 23 children from Breivik. Dzhamayev, who kept guard outside, also dragged three youngsters from the lake who were close to drowning.
Former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, whom Breivik said he hated and, in a pun on the (more or less ironic) epithet Landsmoderen ("mother of the nation"), referred to in his writings as landsmorderen ("murderer of the nation"), had been on the island earlier in the day to give a speech to the camp. After the attack, Breivik stated that he originally wanted to target her specifically; but because of delays related to the renovation of Oslo Central railway station, he arrived after she had already left.
Rescue and emergency response
The first shot was fired at 17:22. The emergency medical services were informed about the shooting two minutes later. One minute after that, the police in Oslo were informed. They immediately tried to reach Utøya as quickly as possible, but did not have a helicopter that could take them straight to the island. By 17:30, Delta, the police tactical unit in Oslo, were on the way to Utøya by automobile.
One of the first to arrive on the scene was Marcel Gleffe, a German resident of Ski staying at Utvika Camping on the mainland. Recognizing gunshots, he piloted his boat to the island and began throwing life-jackets to young people in the water, rescuing as many as he could in four or five trips, after which the police asked him to stop. The Daily Telegraph credited him with saving up to 30 lives. Another forty were saved by Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen, a married couple on vacation in the area. Dalen was helping from land while Hansen and a neighbour camper made several trips to rescue people in the water. Several dozen more were rescued by Kasper Ilaug, who made three trips to the island. Ilaug, a local resident, received a telephone call that "something terrible" was happening on Utøya and requesting help. He initially thought the call was a prank, but acted anyway. Altogether, some 150 who swam away from the island were pulled out of the lake by campers on the opposite shore.
Delta reached the meeting point at 18:09, but had to wait a few minutes for a boat to take them across. They reached Utøya at 18:25. When confronted by the heavily armed police on the island, the gunman initially hesitated for a few seconds. When an officer yelled "surrender or be shot" he laid down his weapons.
Breivik called the 112 emergency phone number at least twice to surrender, at 18:01 and 18:26, and continued killing people in between. The police say Breivik hung up both times; they tried to call him back but did not succeed.
When the police arrived at the scene, they were met by survivors begging the officers to throw away their weapons, as they were afraid that the men in uniforms would again open fire on them.
Shortage of transport capacity
The Norwegian police do not have helicopters suitable for transporting groups of police for an airdrop. The one they have is useful only for surveillance and the helicopter crew were on leave.
When the local police arrived at Utøykaia, less than 30 minutes after the first shot was fired, they could not find a suitable boat to reach the island. They were then ordered to observe and report.
AUF's own ferry, the 50 passenger MS Thorbjørn, was used by Breivik to go to Utøya. Shortly after the first shot was fired, nine people were leaving the island on the ferry, among them the AUF leader Eskil Pedersen. They feared there might be more terrorists in the area and navigated the ferry 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi) to the north. Hence the ferry was not available to the police when they arrived at Utøykaia, the normal ferry landing on the mainland.
The police therefore had to use their own rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB). The day of the event, this boat was located in Hønefoss, and had to be transported to the lake and launched before it could be used. When Delta boarded the RHIB it took on some water and after a few hundred meters, the engine stopped, probably due to water in the fuel. Two minutes later they took over a civilian boat that was sent to assist them. The episode was captured on video. A minute or two after the video ends, a faster civilian boat arrived to help. Four Delta officers boarded the boat. Not wanting to waste any more time, the civilian couple took the police to Utøya.
Some have criticised the police for not using a helicopter, for not immediately getting into small boats, and for endangering the couple who drove the civilian boat.
Arrest of innocent survivor
On arriving in Utøya, the police arrested, in addition to Breivik, Anzor Djoukaev, an innocent 17-year-old survivor who represented the Akershus branch of AUF. The youth was reportedly stripped naked and locked up in a jail cell, located only meters away from the cell housing the self-confessed killer. The victim, who as a child had witnessed mass murders in Chechnya, was suspected of being an accomplice because his haircut was different from that shown on his identity document, and because he did not react to the carnage with the same tears and hysteria as most of the other survivors. He was kept in custody for seventeen hours. Lawyer Harald Stabell criticized the police for failing to contact the youth's family, who feared he was killed, and for interrogating the victim without a lawyer present.
The attacks were the deadliest in Norway since World War II, and a survey found that one in four Norwegians knew "someone affected by the attacks". It is also the fifth deadliest terrestrial terrorist attack in Western Europe behind the Bologna bombing in 1980, the Nice attack in 2016, the Paris attacks in November 2015, and the Madrid train bombings in 2004.
Eight people were killed in the explosion; the blast, shock wave and debris immediately killed six people, while two others died quickly afterwards from their wounds. Of the 325 people estimated to have been in the government buildings, around them and in the surrounding area, at least 209 people received physical injuries from the blast and debris. While most were relatively minor and could be treated at the local casualty clinic, 12 people received more serious injuries. Ten were sent to Ullevål University Hospital (OUS, Ullevål), four with moderate to serious and six with critical injuries, and two to Aker University Hospital (OUS, Aker). A doctor at one of the Oslo University Hospitals (OUS) said the hospital staff were treating head, chest and abdominal wounds.
|Oslo, ages of|
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was at his official residence near the Royal Palace, preparing the speech he was scheduled to give at Utøya the next day. Norway's finance minister, Sigbjørn Johnsen, was on vacation in Denmark at the time.
Fewer people than usual were in the area because the bombing took place during July, the usual holiday month for Norwegians, and since it was Friday afternoon, most government employees had gone home for the weekend.
The scope of what happened at the island was initially very confusing, and the first official figures given was that at least 10 people had been killed. As the evening progressed several eyewitness reports put this number in doubt, and at approximately 03:50 (CEST) on 23 July, NRK1 and TV2, the two primary Norwegian television networks, broadcast a live press conference from the "Sentrum politistasjon" in Oslo where Norway's National Police Commissioner Øystein Mæland stated the number of fatalities at Utøya to have reached "at least 80" with the count expected to increase.
On 25 July, a police spokesperson revealed that the death toll of the victims on Utøya had been revised downwards to 68 after the casualties had been counted on their return to the mainland. They added that the number of people missing was still high and that the number of casualties could be as high as 86. On 29 July police announced that one of the severely wounded victims from Utøya had died in hospital, bringing the death toll from the island massacre to 69.
On 26 July, the Norwegian police began releasing the names and dates of birth of the victims on their website. By 29 July, the names of all 77 victims (8 from the bomb attack, 69 from Utøya) had been published, the last, a shooting victim, having been found on the 28th.
|Utøya, age of|
|Average age: 20|
Of the 69 people who died at the attack on the island, 57 were killed by one or more shots through the head. In total, 67 people were killed by gunshots, 1 died falling from a cliff trying to escape, and 1 drowned trying to swim away from the island. In total, Breivik fired at least 186 shots, and still had a "considerable amount of ammunition" left.
In the aftermath, of the 564 people on the island at the time, 69 people died and at least 110 people had received various physical injuries. An estimated 50 people were treated at the locally set up casualty clinic, and were treated for relatively minor injuries such as cuts, bruises and hypothermia after fleeing and swimming from the island. It was cloudy and rainy on Utøya that day, air temperature was varying between 14–15 °C (57–59 °F), water temperature around the island was 14–15 °C (57–59 °F) and the shortest distance to the mainland was around 600 meters. Sixty people were transported to surrounding hospitals, 55 with serious to critical injuries. The chief surgeon who treated the wounds at one of the hospitals said he had never seen similar wounds during his 23 years of practice, and explained that the bullets were extremely fragmented in their path through the body. Thirty-three people had been directly hit by one or more bullets and survived, but one person who was shot died two days later in hospital from the bullet wounds to the head and back.
The 564 people on the island at the time were from all over Norway as well as some visitors from foreign countries. The people who died were from 18 of Norway's 19 counties, and also a woman from Georgia. Wounded people were from the entire country, including Svalbard, and together with the casualties from Oslo, an average of a quarter of Norway's population knew a victim affected by the attacks, according to a survey done. Several of the dead and wounded, or their parents, were personal friends of high-ranking government ministers. Trond Berntsen, an off-duty, unarmed police officer and step-brother of Norway's crown princess Mette-Marit, was the first to be shot dead.
Public broadcaster NRK and several other Norwegian media outlets identified the suspected attacker as Anders Behring Breivik. He was arrested on Utøya for the shootings and also linked to the Oslo bombing. He was charged with terrorism for both attacks. According to his attorney, Breivik acknowledged that he was responsible for both the bomb and the shooting during interrogation but denied culpability, as he asserted that his actions were "atrocious but necessary". At his initial arraignment on 25 July, Breivik was remanded into custody for eight weeks, the first half to be in solitary confinement. Breivik wanted to have an open hearing, and attend it wearing a uniform of his own design, but both requests were denied by the presiding judge.
Following his arrest, Breivik underwent examination by court-appointed forensic psychiatrists, who diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia and concluded he had been psychotic at the time of the attacks and was criminally insane. Although criticised in newspaper debates, the submitted report was approved with no remarks by the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine after an extended panel of experts had reviewed it.
According to his defense attorney, Breivik initially expressed surprise and felt insulted by the conclusions in the report. He later stated that "this provides new opportunities". Following the criticism of the psychiatric report, the court in January 2012 approved the conduct of a second psychiatric examination. The report from this examination declared Breivik to be sane in April 2012. Ultimately, the verdict and ruling of the district court's five-judge panel agreed that Breivik was sane.
Political and religious views
Breivik is linked to a 1,518-page compendium entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence bearing the name "Andrew Berwick". The file was e-mailed to 1,003 addresses about 90 minutes before the bomb blast in Oslo. Analysts described him as having Islamophobic views and a hatred of Islam, and as someone who considered himself as a knight dedicated to stemming the tide of Muslim immigration into Europe.
The introductory chapter of the manifesto defining "cultural Marxism" is a copy of Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology by the Free Congress Foundation. Major parts of the compendium are attributed to the pseudonymous Norwegian blogger Fjordman. The text also copies sections of the Unabomber manifesto, without giving credit, while substituting the words "cultural Marxists" for "leftists" and "Muslims" for "black people". The New York Times described American influences in the writings, noting that the compendium mentions the anti-Islamist American Robert Spencer 64 times and cites Spencer's works at great length. The work of Bat Ye'or is cited dozens of times. Far-right and anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller, Neo-pagan writer Koenraad Elst and Daniel Pipes are also mentioned as sources of inspiration. The manifesto further contains quotes from Middle East expert Bernard Lewis, Edmund Burke, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell, as well as from Jeremy Clarkson's Sunday Times column and Melanie Phillips' Daily Mail column. The publication speaks in admiration of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bruce Bawer, Srđa Trifković, and Henryk M. Broder. The compendium advocates a restoration of patriarchy, which it claims would save European culture.
The compendium contains his militant far-right ideology and xenophobic worldview, which espouses an array of political concepts; including support for varying degrees of cultural conservatism, right-wing populism, ultranationalism, Islamophobia, far-right Zionism, and Serbian paramilitarism. It regards Islam and "cultural Marxism" as the enemy and argues for the annihilation of "Eurabia" and multiculturalism, to preserve a Christian Europe. He further urged Europeans to restore the historic crusades against Islam as in the Middle Ages. A video Breivik released on YouTube 6 hours before the attack has been described as promoting violence towards leftists and Islamists who reside in Western Europe.
Among other things, in the manifesto he identified the Beneš Decrees, which facilitated the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War, as an example for committing that act on European Muslims. In his manifesto he also urges the Hindus to drive Muslims out of India. He demands the gradual deportation of all Muslims from Europe from 2011 to 2083 through repatriation. He blames feminism for allowing the erosion of the fabric of European society.
Breivik's writings mention the English Defence League, claiming that he had contact with senior members of the EDL, and that a Norwegian version of the group was 'in the process of gaining strength'. He wrote that the EDL were 'naïve fools' because in his words the EDL 'harshly condemns any and all revolutionary conservative movements that employ terror as a tool'. EDL leader Tommy Robinson denounced Breivik and the attack on 26 July 2011 and denied any links with the Norwegian.
After being apprehended, Breivik was characterized by police officials as being a right-wing extremist. Breivik is described by the newspaper Verdens Gang as considering himself a conservative nationalist. According to The Australian, Breivik was highly critical of Muslim immigration into Christian societies, is pro-Israel and an admirer of the Tea Party movement in the United States. Deputy police chief Roger Andresen initially told reporters that "We have no more information than ... what has been found on [his] own websites, which is that it goes towards the right and that it is, so to speak, Christian fundamentalist." Subsequently, others have disputed Andresen's characterization of Breivik as a Christian fundamentalist. Furthermore, Breivik stated that "myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God." According to the International Business Times, in his manifesto, he "did not see himself as religious", but he did identify as a cultural Christian and wrote about the differences between cultural and religious Christians, but stressed that both were Christians, and shared the same identity and goals. After his imprisonment, Breivik stated he had never personally identified as a Christian, and called his religion Odinism, stating that he would "pray and sacrifice" to Odin. He also identified himself as a fascist and a national socialist, stating that he previously exploited counterjihadist rhetoric in order to protect "ethno-nationalists".
He has written many posts on the far-right website document.no. He attended meetings of "Documents venner" (Friends of Document), affiliated with the Document.no website. He is a former member of the Progress Party (FrP) and its youth wing FpU. According to the current FpU leader Ove Vanebo, Breivik was active early in the 2000s, but he left the party as his viewpoints became more extreme.
In his online YouTube video, he expressed admiration of past European leaders who waged war against Islam and Muslims, naming Charles Martel, Richard the Lionheart, El Cid, Vlad the Impaler, Jacques de Molay, Tsar Nicholas, and John III Sobieski. A recently created social media website bearing Breivik's name and picture but of unknown authorship refers to him as an admirer of Winston Churchill and Max Manus, and also of controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders, whose political party, the Party for Freedom, he describes as "the only true party of conservatives". The music that is played in the video comes off the soundtrack to the video game Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.
Unsubstantiated claims of Breivik being assisted
There was suspicion at the time of the attack that there were accomplices, and the police initially prepared to meet two to five shooters on Utøya. Several youths at Utøya reported to be convinced that there was more than one shooter, with some reports of shots fired from the mainland. A second shooter at Utøya was described by several youths as having thick dark hair, about 1.80 meters tall who did not wear a police uniform, while carrying a pistol and a rifle. During judicial examination, at least two witnesses independently of each other both described two different shooters at Utøya, while a third witness was reported to have swum from the island beside a previously unknown dark-haired man. After his arrest Breivik claimed he acted with accomplices, but later changed his statements to his acting alone, giving several demands for him to tell about accomplices. On 24 July 2011, six people were arrested in Oslo suspected of having connections with the attacks; all were released. The police later issued a statement that there was only found evidence of one shooter at Utøya, amid "widespread conspiracy theories" of there having been more than one shooter.
At a press conference the morning after the attacks, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Justice Minister Knut Storberget addressed the country. Stoltenberg called the attack a "national tragedy" and the worst atrocity in Norway since World War II. Stoltenberg further vowed that the attack would not hurt Norwegian democracy, and said the proper answer to the violence was "more democracy, more openness, but not naivety". In his speech at the memorial service on 24 July 2011, he opined what would be a proper reaction: "No one has said it better than the AUF girl who was interviewed by CNN: 'If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together.'"
On 1 August 2011, Norway's parliament, nominally in recess for the summer, reconvened for an extraordinary session to honour the victims of the attack. In a departure from parliamentary procedure, both King Harald V and Crown Prince Haakon were present. The president of Norway's Parliament, Dag Terje Andersen, read out loud the names of all 77 victims. The session was open to the public, but due to limited seating, priority was given to relatives of the deceased. August 21 in Norway was declared a day of national mourning to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attack.
The seven political parties in the parliament agreed to postpone the electoral campaign for local elections, held in September, until mid-August. School debates were cancelled, though the school elections were not.
Initially, Magnus Ranstorp and other terror experts suspected that foreigners were behind the attacks. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, there were wide reports in mainstream media of non-ethnic Norwegians, especially Muslim Norwegians, being subjected to harassment and violence. A report about these racist attacks was published on behalf of the 22. July Commission in 2012.
On 13 August 2012, Norway's prime minister received the Gjørv Report, which concludes that Breivik could have been stopped from carrying out the Utøya massacre. (The report had been ordered by parliament, in August 2011.)
The United Nations, the European Union, NATO, and governments around the world expressed their condemnation of the attacks, condolences, and solidarity with Norway. However, there have also been reports of Western European right-wing populist politicians giving support to the killings or excusing them as a result of multi-culturalism. Interviewed on a popular radio show, the Italian MEP Francesco Speroni, a leading member of the Lega Nord, the junior partner in Berlusconi's conservative coalition, said: "Breivik's ideas are in defence of western civilisation." Similar views were voiced by Italian MEP Mario Borghezio. Werner Koenigshofer, a member of the National Council of Austria, was expelled from the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria after equating the massacre with the death of millions of fetuses through abortion.
On 25 July 2011, at noon (CEST), each of the Nordic countries held a minute of silence to dignify the victims of the two attacks. Norway's minute of silence stretched to five minutes. In Oslo, a city of approximately 600,000 inhabitants, an estimated 200,000 people attended a "flower march".
The Norwegian media reported criticism against Fox News and its commentator Glenn Beck for their coverage of the attacks. Beck's comparison of the AUF to the Hitler Youth led Frank Aarebrot, a Norwegian professor with political sympathies to the Norwegian Labour Party, to call Beck a "fascist" and "swine".
A number of memorial ceremonies took place following the attacks. On 25 July 2011, around 200,000 people took part in a "rose march" at Rådhusplassen in Oslo. The NRK memorial concert, titled "Mitt lille land" ("My Little Country") and named for the song "Mitt lille land" which "came to symbolize the sorrow many people went through", took place in Oslo Cathedral on 30 July 2011. A national memorial ceremony took place on 21 August 2011. In September 2011, the Norwegian People's Aid and Sony Music released the memorial album Mitt lille land.
Ongoing construction in Hole, Viken
Construction is ongoing (as of 2021); media said that the memorial will not be completed by July.
Previously (August 2020) work started on a national memorial at Utøya-kaia (on the shores of Tyrifjorden) in Hole, Viken. As of 7 December 2020 work is in progress; in January next year a court case is scheduled to continue; the lawsuit's aim is to block further construction.
Previously, in September an injunction from Ringerike District Court blocked further construction on the memorial; in November, a higher court removed the injunction; on 30 November a trial that was scheduled for two weeks, started in Ringerike District Court and has been discontinued until January; Sixteen neighbors of the construction site are suing to have the work stopped; the litigants are claiming that the memorial will be a [constant] reminder about the terror [of the attack], and they expect that the influx of visitors also will be an added source of strain [on the health of litigants]. In December, one neighbor testified in court, that he rescued persons [who had been wounded by the terrorist], and added: "We are again and again reminded about what happened. I will not have the strength to look at the columns [a design element of the memorial]. I will only be able to see the face of the dead"; the witness testified about the continuous gunfire, and the dead and wounded youths, and the repeated shuttling of youths in his boat - from open water to the lakeshore at Utøya-kaia, and the sight of the perpetrator at Lovers' Lane, and youths being shot and killed in front of his eyes, and having to leave a critically wounded boy in the lake when bullets were whizzing past his ears. The witness is still haunted by the image of the boy, and by the mangled bodies mauled by the bullets of the terrorist, and by his last trip around the island when only the dead were left and the noise had died down except for the sound and lights from unanswered mobile phones [left in the terrain by the victims of the attack]. Another person to testify in court was the current secretary general of AUF, himself a survivor of the attack; he testified that he does not understand the neighbors' angst in regard to the memorial.
Later that month, in a newspaper article, a licensed psychologist (retired) said that 250 or 300 victims have been estimated to have been helped [, during the attack and immediately after,] by people belonging to the local community, and incomprehensibly many young people were killed, but without the help of these action-oriented and caring people [inhabitants of the local community] then the number would have been higher; who wants this memorial at Utøya-kaia? [...] or the rest of us who [merely] were informed thru media [reports]? When the saviors don't want the memorial so close to [their community or] themselves, then it's shows an extreme lack of empathy and valuation of the rescue work, in my opinion, when one [... trumphs thru the construction of] the memorial; there are already enough memorials [for this attack] at other locations; furthermore if there must be a memorial in the area, then move it up to the main road, so that the local community [at Utøya-kaia] does not get destroyed by an influx of tourists and cars; up there [in the area of the main road] it's not that easy too make it into a place of worship of the massmurderer.
The cost for a national memorial [in Hole municipality] has increased ten-fold, previously from 40.5 million Norwegian kroner—to 500 million. The artistic project has been rejected, and the project has been handed over to architects, as of October 2020.
Other memorials and symbols
- At Utøya, the place of memorial is called ["the clearing"] "Lysninga"; a part of it is ["the ring"] "Ringen" – a "ring of steel [that] hangs between trees and here the names and age of the majority of those 69 killed are engraved"; "it lies at the highest point of the island"; It was unveiled during summer 2015.
- Hegnhuset was inaugurated in 2016.
- ["the iron roses"] Jernrosene is located at Domkirke-parken in Oslo. The memorial has around 900 [metal] roses; they were donated by persons in various countries; one rose was created by a survivor, and some by others who were bereaved.
- A newspaper display case that was collaterally damaged has been left unrepaired with its glass fractured but not dislocated by the shockwave of the bomb. In 2020 the display case was moved back to where it was located in 2011—outside [the building at] Akersgata 55, the headquarters of Verdens Gang. [The installation] is referred to by the governmental organisation KORO, as «Relocating the past: ruins for the future». Artist Ahmad Ghossein took the initiative to create a memorial from the shattered display. The newspaper edition from the day of the bombing, is still on display.
- One monolith stands in each municipality. There are memorials created by the artist Nico Widerberg in the 53 affected municipalities in Norway who welcomed the same sculpture, funded by a private donation, .
- A minnestein ("memorial stone") to commemorate the attacks at Utøya is located at a roadside rest area with a view of Utøya that is located on E16 at Nes in Hole (municipality).
A monument at Stensparken in Oslo has been proposed, including metal roses. It has not been authorized, as its planned dimensions of 34 metres (112 ft) by 20 metres (66 ft), with a height of 3 metres (9.8 ft), were judged to be too overwhelming.
The cancelled national memorial at Sørbråten
This section may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience.(June 2019)
As of September 2016[update], Hole Municipality has stopped case work regarding the request for permission to build a national monument at Sørbråten; media said that the case work could be arrested for around two and a half years or longer. The government is scheduled to be a defendant in court during a three-week trial, starting 25 April 2017; the underlying lawsuit aims to deny construction at the planned location.
Previously, in March 2016 the location for a planned national place of memorial was moved from Utøya to Sørbråten – located on the mainland 350 m (1,150 ft) from Utvika and 900 m (3,000 ft) from Utøya; in September 2014 the Hole municipal council had refused a memorial at Sørbråten. The names of several of the victims are reportedly being denied (as of 2016[update], by next of kin) as inscriptions on the planned monument.
A committee, Kunstutvalget for minnestaden for 22. juli, chose a design by Jonas Dahlberg for the monument, and Karin Moe has called the planned monument at Sørbråten — "Breivik's Memorial Place". Later, in a Klassekampen article Moe said that "Many of the [local] inhabitants have described [..] the design as a violation, even a rape of nature [that is in place] at Sørbråten. Such is the intensity of how the memorial is being felt, that physical pain is felt merely by imagining having to face the memorial every day. The traumatised neighbors re-live the acts of terror through the brutal cut into the mountain slope [...] a reminder of who acted: Anders Behring Breivik. Here his misdeed is carved in stone. No wonder that fear lies in the reactions. [...] The baffling thing for the locals is this: [...], but we were supposed to be honored – not re-traumatised. Why must this incurable memorial-wound be inflicted on us, so close to [our bodies or our] life". Furthermore, she said that "Long time was needed before the September 11 memorial place on Manhattan was in place. Now an encompassing – in regard to ethics and aesthetics – pause for thinking is needed – both for the placement and the final design of the memorial". A later article suggested that "we create the monument as envisioned, but fill the scar with rock and beautify the surface", inspired by kintsugi. A later article said that "What many of us don't understand is why these plans, apparently not well-considered, now are pushed through. (...) Is it [because of] prestige or out of consideration to the artist"?
On 14 April 2016 media said that a "report has indicated that the place of memorial will create great mental strains on the persons living in its close proximity"; The report, Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress a/s, was completed in April 2015. A later newspaper article asked "And why should the little island [sic], [Sørbråten be punished with the jötunn cut – what wrong has the island done?" On 16 April 2016 media quoted board member Anne-Gry Ruud of neighborhood association, Utstranda Velforening: "I don't think that the work of art honors all who were killed, but symbolizes only pain and open wounds. (...) If this work of art gives any associations, then they are to terror, death, pain and the inadequacy of society. (...) This is not just a small cut on a point – it is an area of 1.2 decare [that will become surrounded by water] (...). I don't think that the [local] inhabitants have a responsibility to provide a location for a memorial at Sørbråten. Especially in the summer we experience a steady flow of tourists on a pilgrimage to Sørbråten. Some take selfies with Utøya in the background. Others stop the inhabitants and ask what they did that day and how we contributed. (...) We have two schoolbuses that drive back and forth every day on the road just above, others pass on their way to the store, leisure activities, work or municipal centre (...) 260 inhabitants".
The national convention of the Progress Party decided to say "no" to placing the memorial at Sørbråten.
On 25 April 2016 Hole Municipal Council decided to fund Norwegian kroner 25,000 to Utstranda Velforening, for a proposed lawsuit against the government.
In a 14 May 2016 Aftenposten article Stig Andersen [no], a film director and -producer, said that the monument of the original contest was supposed to have a price limited to Norwegian kroner 20 million; now that the government has estimated the price to 70 million including relevant extra expenses, the contestants that operated within the original price limits have been deceived.
In May 2016 the government wrote that the ongoing lawsuit about [placing] the monument [at Sørbråten], will not change the government's plans; the letter was signed by Minister of Local Government and Modernisation and Minister of Culture.
An 18 June 2016 Dagbladet article quoted (writings of) one mother (Gunn Rusten) who lost her daughter: "My daughter's name will NOT be displayed on any memorial at Sørbråten, but it is displayed at Utøya". She added that "Why should all the phenomenal persons living there, and who put their lives on the line that day – to save as many as possible of those on Utøya [who were later rescued from the lake] — have this as a lifelong, daily reminder of the fateful Friday when police and those in charge let a crazy man walk around for around an hour and a half – and kill at will – without intervening". Furthermore, another mother (Mai Britt Rogne) who lost her daughter said that: "We already have the grave, [and] Utøya, and one monolith in every municipality. How many places of memorial do we need"?
On 24 June 2016 the government was sued (in Ringerike District Court) with a claim that "The government is being denied construction of the memorial Memory Wound, including a parking lot, a footpath, and auxiliary developments at Sørbråten and Bergli [both] in Hole".
Swedish psychiatrist Per-Olof Michel said "I have been thinking why the government was in such a hurry. In Sweden one will be unveiling the Tsunami Monument next year – 13 years after the fact. Regarding something that affects so many people, one should let time pass and go thru things again".
Regarding "Memory Wound" possibly being plagiarism of one of 300 candidate proposals for the pre-qualification in the contest for monument design, art historian Tommy Sørbø [no] said that "My first impression was that this is closest [to] plagiarism"; "But when the idea is so similar, I think one should examine the case further"; [the final written work for the master's degree,] masteroppgaven, of architect students Kristin Ulrikke Rønnestad og Hildegunn Slotnæs had already been published on NTNU's website, and had been exhibited in Trondheim, and had been mailed to around 200 persons and offices. So far the case has led to: government agency KORO [no] informing Dahlberg and the Department of Culture of potential allegations of plagiarism; Dahlberg denied any knowledge of masteroppgaven; student Rønnestad met with the director of KORO in April 2014. The lawyer (from the architects' trade union) that accompanied Rønnestad there, said that KORO showed "a quite condescending attitude towards her". Other views regarding the case includes the view of Arve Rød, art critic of Dagbladet, saying about the sketches "The likeness is peculiar, and impossible to overlook. It is difficult not to conclude that these are two completely alike ideas, but I can not from that claim that Dahlberg has plagiarized the work of the two students"; he thinks that it is quite remarkable that [two] ideas, so alike, were found in the same contest and situation, in the same place and at the same time.
In November 2016 news broke that case work regarding the request for permission to build the monument at Sørbråten, had been arrested in September; Hole municipality's justification, cited in part the upcoming court case. In June 2017 the government cancelled the project.
Attempts at art creation
A 2016 Norwegian news article said that "Most of those that work in the field of art, probably were aware of the support group's ["the national support group after the 22 July incidents", or Nasjonal støttegruppe etter 22. juli-hendelsene [no] ] marked attempts at stopping the Danish playwright Christian Lollike when he wanted to stage a drama based on the terrorist's manuscript. Artists are in fact not as daring, as many like to think". 
The police initially kept the choice of counsel secret after request from the attorney. Attorney Geir Lippestad elected to act on behalf of Breivik's defense; Breivik had specifically requested that Lippestad become his attorney.
On 25 July 2011, Breivik was arraigned in Oslo District Court. The police feared that Breivik would use the hearing as an opportunity to communicate with possible accomplices. Because of this, the arraignment was held completely closed to the media and all other spectators. Instead, judge Kim Heger held a press conference shortly afterwards where he read the court's decision. The practice of completely closed court hearings is extremely rare in the Norwegian justice system.
The debate over which criminal charges to file was fierce. Many police attorneys wanted high treason or crimes against humanity. The prosecution ended up indicting Breivik on terrorism charges. Breivik admitted to being the gunman at Utøya and the perpetrator behind the Oslo bomb, also admitting all the other actual events. Nonetheless he pleaded not guilty, stating "I do not recognise this justice system". District Attorney Christian Hatlo asked that Breivik be detained for eight weeks without mail or visitation. The judge ruled in favor of the prosecution, stating "the accused is an imminent danger to society and must be confined for the safety of himself and others. It is highly probable that he is guilty of the alleged crimes and imprisonment is necessary to prevent destruction of evidence". In accordance with the prosecution's wishes, Breivik was remanded to eight weeks detention without mail or visitation, four of those in complete isolation, to be renewed no later than 19 September 2011. He was immediately transferred to Ila Landsfengsel, a maximum security prison.
On 13 August 2011 Breivik was taken to Utøya by police to recreate his actions on the day of the massacre. Neither the media nor the public was alerted to the operation. The police explained that the surprise walk-through was necessary because Breivik will be charged and tried for all 77 murders individually. The police deemed it less offensive to the survivors to do it now rather than during the trial. Despite the many police boats and helicopters, none of the civilians who had come to lay down flowers on the shore this day perceived what was happening just a few hundred metres across the lake from them for a total of eight hours. On the evening of 14 August the police held a press conference about the reconstruction. It was reported that Breivik was not unmoved by his return to Utøya, but that he showed no remorse. Inspector Pål Fredrik Hjort Kraby described Breivik's behavior and indifference on the island as "unreal", as he had over the course of eight hours willingly showed the police exactly how he had carried out all of the 69 murders.
The trial began on 16 April 2012 and lasted until 19 June 2012. 170 media organisations were accredited to cover the proceedings. Breivik acknowledged that he had committed the offences but pleaded not guilty as he believed the killing was needed. The main issue for Breivik was that he was not to be deemed "insane" or "psychotic", because that would lose the meaning of his message.
On 24 August, Breivik was found to be sane by the panel of five judges. He was sentenced to preventative detention (forvaring), a sentence of 21 years in prison which can be repeatedly extended by 5 years as long as he is considered a threat to society. This is the maximum sentence allowed by Norwegian law, and it is the only way to allow for life imprisonment.
Coop Norway, a chain of retail stores in Norway, removed several games from its shelves as a result of the attack. Some of the titles includes games like Homefront, Call of Duty series, Sniper: Ghost Warrior, Counter-Strike Source and World of Warcraft. Some games were also temporarily removed from the Norwegian WiiWare catalog, including an on-rails shooter game.
In the days following the attacks, Norway's largest represented political parties noted a significant increase in interest for membership from young people. Both the Norwegian Young Conservatives and the Progress Party's Youth, as well as the Workers' Youth League (AUF) had signed up a significant number of new members after a few days. The mother parties also reported an unusual increase in new member applications, with the Conservative Party and the Progress Party having signed up almost 1,000 new members each by early August, while the Labour Party reported over 6,000 new members at the end of the month.
Far-right groups such as Stop the Islamisation of Norway (SIAN) and the Norwegian Defence League (NDL), as well as the Democrats, had reportedly witnessed a boom in their memberships and interest by mid-August, with the Democrats party having signed up around one hundred new members, and the NDL around three hundred.
In the September local elections almost two months after the attacks, gains were made by the Conservative Party (up 9% to 28%), and to a lesser extent the Labour Party (up 2% to 32%). On the other hand, setbacks were witnessed by the Progress Party, the party Breivik had been a member of, (down 6% to 11%) and the Socialist Left Party (down 2% to 4%).
In the Gjørv Report, received by the prime minister in advance of a press conference on 13 August 2012, it was concluded that more actions could have been taken by authorities, to stop Breivik, to track him, or to interrupt his attacks. It also criticised the police action, in stark contrast to an internal report issued by the police earlier. A few days later, national police chief Øystein Mæland submitted his resignation, citing a lack of clear support for his position from his superiors and saying: "If the [justice] ministry and other political authorities do not clarify this matter unequivocally, it will become impossible for me to continue." His resignation was accepted and announced by Justice Minister Grete Faremo.
Vegard Grøslie Wennesland, a survivor of the incident, ran for parliament on a Labour Party ticket in the 2013 Norwegian parliamentary election A further 33 Labour Party candidates in the election were Utøya survivors and of those, Åsmund Aukrust, Stine Renate Håheim and Fredric Holen Bjørdal were also elected. However, the result brought a coalition government of the Conservative party and the right-wing Progress Party, of which Breivik had been a member from 1999 until 2004, to power.
In 2013 former AUF local leader and Labour Party cabinet advisor Ivar Fjeld released the pamphlet Den rødgrønne terrorøya ("The Red-Green Terror Island"), which documented how Utøya over several years had been used to build up support for anti-Israel politics and Palestinian terrorists. In the book he documents among other things that AUF had allowed far-left Red Youth to arrange camps on Utøya, who collected money for and welcomed representatives from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on the island. Fjeld claimed that his purpose with the book was to warn the Labour Party about the activities of its increasingly radicalised and Islamised youth organisation.
On 10 August 2012, the Rapid Reaction Unit (URNA) of the Czech Police, backed up by a local SWAT unit and over 100 other policemen, arrested a 29-year-old admirer of Breivik, Vojtěch Mlýnek, in Ostrava, the Czech Republic's third largest city. The police suspected that Mlýnek was preparing a copycat attack inspired by the 2011 Norway attacks. He was stockpiling weapons (including a fully automatic assault rifle and armor-piercing bullets) and had converted an aerial bomb in order to be able to remotely detonate it. Mlýnek had the remote control with him while arrested. He had also obtained uniforms of the Czech police and of the Czech prison service and a police ID.
Mlýnek, who was using the pseudonym Anders Behring Breivik in electronic communication, has had a history of four prior criminal convictions, including a six-month-long suspended sentence for setting off an explosive which demolished an empty wooden cottage.
Mlýnek was initially charged with endangering public and with illegal arming, which carried a penalty from three to eight years in prison. He was first held in a remand prison, but was transferred to an isolation unit of prison hospital in Brno following a psychiatric evaluation. On 3 April 2013, a court in Ostrava found Mlýnek criminally insane. At the same time he was found dangerous to the public and ordered psychiatric detention. The reasons for detention will be reviewed by the court periodically every two years. Police determined that Mlýnek, despite being a Breivik sympathizer, was not preparing an actual terrorist attack; however, he suffered from paranoia and was stockpiling the weapons and bombs with the aim of self-defense.
Breivik and McVeigh made mistakes. I will be better.
On 20 November 2012 the Polish authorities announced the arrest of a 45-year-old lecturer in chemical engineering at the Agricultural University of Cracow under suspicion of preparing a similar attack. According to the authorities, Brunon Kwiecień [pl] was an admirer of Breivik and was further inspired by the Oklahoma City bombing.
Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW) first found out about Kwiecień after it launched investigation into Breivik's Polish contacts when it became known that Breivik had ordered some of the chemicals for his bomb from Poland via internet. According to ABW, Kwiecień was preparing an attack against the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament. He wanted to detonate 4 tonnes (3.9 long tons; 4.4 short tons) of explosives in a car bomb parked at the building during deliberation of the next year's budget, as it is the time when all the members of parliament, the Prime Minister as well as the President are all present in the building.
Kwiecień tried to arm himself already in 1997, however the authorities refused his application for a firearm permit. He later started arming himself illegally, mostly with weapons bought in Belgium. He bought firearms, ammunition, bulletproof vests with ceramic plates and kevlar helmets. He had visited the Sejm and tested whether it is possible to use radio remote controls in the buildings for the purposes of planned detonation of the car bomb. Being a graduate of Warsaw University of Technology program on explosive manufacturing, Kwiecień was conducting illegal trials of explosives from at least 2000. In some cases, he detonated small explosives on Warsaw bridges, making small dents and holes in their construction. Apart from targeting the parliament, Kwiecień was also preparing murders of Monika Olejnik, an influential journalist, and Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the mayor of Warsaw.
Kwiecień intensified his preparations after Breivik's conviction. He conducted an experimental explosion of a 250-kilogram (550 lb) bomb in the Polish countryside in the municipality of Przeginia, which he also filmed. He had recruited four other people for his cause, however at least two of them were actually ABW's secret agents. He was convicted and sentenced to nine years of imprisonment on 19 April 2017. Brunon Kwiecień died in prison on 6 August 2019 from what is believed to have been a suicide.
Embezzlement from terror attack victims fund
In 2016, one person was sentenced to 120 days in prison for embezzling 300,000 Norwegian kroner from Støttegruppen etter 22. juli, a Norwegian NGO; the money was supposed to have gone to victims of the terror attack. The perpetrator was a steward of the NGO.
Semi-automatic weapon ban for hunting and Mini-14 rifle ban
On 28 February 2018, Peter Froelich of the Norwegian parliament's committee on judicial affairs, said a proposal to ban semi-automatic weapons proposed the year prior now had enough political support to become law by 2021. The law will ban Ruger Mini-14 rifle that was used in Utøya massacre and other semi-auto rifles for hunting. However, using semi-automatic firearms for shooting sports is still legal for sportsmen who have permission for practice and competition shooting from Dynamic Sports Shooting Norway (DSSN) or the Norwegian Reserve Officers' Association (NROF).
Christchurch mosque shootings
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the perpetrator of two consecutive mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, said in his manifesto "The Great Replacement" (in reference to a far-right theory from France by Renaud Camus) that he was in particular inspired by Breivik and claimed to have been in "brief contact" with him, as well as meeting with his organisation, the Knights Templar. The shootings took place at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer on 15 March 2019, killing 51 people and injuring 49 more.
In popular culture
Two films about the attacks were released in 2018: the Norwegian production Utøya: July 22, directed by Erik Poppe in Norwegian language and released in February, and the American production 22 July, directed by English filmmaker Paul Greengrass in English language (but with a Norwegian cast) and released in September. Despite their similar names and close release dates, they are unrelated.
Poppe's film is a continuous shot feature film reenacting the Utøya massacre by focusing solely on the victims (particularly on one played by Andrea Berntzen), with Breivik only appearing briefly as a distant shadowy figure. All the characters are fictional, and the movie was filmed as one continuous take, as the purpose was to promote understanding of the victims as seen from their perspective.
Greengrass' film is based on the non-fiction book One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway – and Its Aftermath, and unlike Poppe's work depicts real-life individuals involved in the events, with Breivik (played by Anders Danielsen Lie) playing a central role. The movie depicts both attacks, while also focusing heavily on their aftermath, most notably Breivik's trial; in parallel, it also focuses on the story of Viljar Hanssen, one of the survivors of the Utøya massacre who was shot and barely survived, as he and his family try to cope with the trauma.
Dutch symphonic metal band Epica released a song entitled "Internal Warfare", on their 2012 album Requiem for the Indifferent. Singer Simone Simons stated in an interview that it was about the Breivik attacks in Norway.
A 2016 song performed by the Norwegian pop-rock band deLillos, "Vi ser dere nå" ("We see you now"), was written about the attacks; one verse says: ".. he set off a bomb, to go to an island, where he gunned down youth, as if it was fun".
The Futurama episode The Cryonic Woman was briefly changed on some syndicated reruns, including the DVD re-release, because a moment in the episode included a screen saying "Prime Minister of Norway". This was later changed to "Chainsaw Juggler".
- List of right-wing terrorist attacks
- 22 July Information Centre, the government enquiry into the attacks
- Anders Behring Breivik
- Oklahoma City bombing, a lone wolf attack against government offices Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US, using similar explosives.
- List of rampage killers (religious, political, or ethnic crimes)
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No one has said it better than the AUF girl who was interviewed by CNN: "If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together."
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No one has said it better than the Labour Youth League girl who was interviewed by CNN: If one man can create that much hate, you can only imagine how much love we as a togetherness can create.
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- https://www.nrk.no/kultur/i-dag-starter-rettssaken-om-minnestedet-etter-terroren-22.-juli-1.15266564 " Staten bygger minnested på Utøyakaia, men naboene mener prosjektet kommer til å påføre dem helseplager og ber derfor retten om å stanse arbeidet. [...] Naboene som har gått til sak, er redde for at minnestedet vil gi dem stadige minner om terroren, og mener tilstrømningen av folk som er forventet vil også være en belastning. [...] – Jeg tror vi må erkjenne at blant etterlatte, overlevende, men også redningsmenn og naboer, så er det mange som fortsatt sliter med traumer fra det. – Det som er viktig for oss å få frem i rettssaken er at dette ikke er en følge av at man nå etablerer et minnested, svarer AUF sin advokat"
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Hundreårene går, hvorfor minnesmerket kom opp er glemt. ... Å ja, Her har de hogget løs en odde fra moderfjellet. Et landskap var ikke så mye verdt—den gang.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2011 Norway attacks.|
- Stor eksplosjon i Oslo sentrum, Aftenposten, News report in Norwegian, with pictures.
- Allvarligt bombattentat skakar Oslo, Sveriges Radio, News report in Swedish, with pictures.
- 2011 Norway attacks collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Norway – Breivik Attacks, July 2011 collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Victims from the attacks in Oslo and at Utøya (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Oslo Terrorist Attacks – Terrorism with a different face, in a different place
- Rapport fra 22. juli-kommisjonen (Official report)