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Norway mourns victims of anti-Islam attacker
Police chief Sponheim confirmed that Breivik had published a 1,500-page anti-Islamic manifesto Friday just hours before the attacks.
The online tract, written in English, describes how he planned his onslaught and made explosives, as well as outlining his violent philosophy.
The killings would draw attention to the manifesto entitled “2083-A European Declaration of Independence,” Breivik wrote.
“Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike,” he wrote.
He attacked what he called “the Islamic colonisation and Islamisation of Western Europe” and the “rise of cultural Marxism/multiculturalism.”
Sponheim defended the speed of the police response to the massacre on the island, only 500 metres long, where the gunman was able to shoot unchallenged for a prolonged period.
“The response time from when we got the message was quick. There were problems with transport out to the island,” he said.
Witnesses said the gunman shot his victims at will, as youngsters fled in panic or tried to swim to the mainland.
Breivik may have intended the Oslo bombing, which killed seven people, partly as a diversion. Police believe he drove to Utoeya after the explosion in the capital.
His lawyer, Lippestad, speaking late Saturday, did not give more details of Breivik’s possible motives.
A video posted on the YouTube website showed several pictures of Breivik, including one of him in a scuba diving outfit pointing an automatic weapon.
“Before we can start our crusade we must do our duty by decimating cultural Marxism,” said a caption under the video called “Knights Templar 2083” on YouTube, which removed the clip Saturday.
Norway has long been open to immigration, which has been criticised by the populist Progress Party, to which Breivik once belonged. The Labor Party, whose youth camp he attacked, backs multi-culturalism to accommodate different ethnic communities.
“We are all in sorrow, everybody is scared,” said Imran Shah, a Norwegian taxi driver of Pakistani heritage, as a light summer drizzle fell on unusually empty Oslo streets.
Home-grown anti-government militants have struck elsewhere, notably in the United States, where Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people with a truck bomb in Oklahoma City in 1995.
Breivik’s actions have prompted soul-searching in Norway.
At Oslo cathedral, Britt Aanes, a priest aged 42 said the fact that Breivik was Norwegian had affected people deeply.
“In one way, I think it was good that it was not a Muslim terrorist group behind this,” she said.
“But it is almost more gruesome because it says more about how complicated the topic of immigration and inter-religious interaction can be, how important it is that…we see that we are a small and privileged people.
“We must open our eyes and not simply think that we can keep all this wealth to ourselves,” Aanes said.
Richard Ayers, a former U.S. intelligence officer now based in London, said that Breivik might have decided to strike back at the government for allowing increased Muslim migration into Norway. “And that’s what he did, he struck at the government.”
Other analysts questioned whether the Norwegian authorities had been so focused on preventing al Qaeda-type attacks that they had neglected the threat from home-grown violence.
“While the main terrorist threat to democratic societies around the world still comes from Islamist extremists, the horrific events in Norway are a reminder that white far-right extremism is also a major and possibly growing threat,” said James Brandon, research head at London’s Quilliam think-tank.
Grief was still raw for survivors and relatives clustered at a hotel in Sundvollen near Utoeya island. They huddled together, many with bloodshot eyes, at terrace tables.
Inside, a board gave contact details for priests and imams. Pinned to the board was a poem that begins: “Today, today it’s not the same. Our shining lights snuffed in out in shame.”
(Additional reporting by Walter Gibbs, Anna Ringstrom, Henrik Stoelen, Terje Solsvik, Patrick Lannin, Johan Ahlander, Wojciech Moskwa, John Acher and Ole Petter Skonnord in Oslo, William Maclean in London; Writing by Alistair Lyon; Editing by Jon Boyle)
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