Police: Norway Attacks Suspect Acted Alone, Admits Responsibility
July 24, 2011
Norway's police say the man suspected of orchestrating the bomb and gun attacks that killed at least 92 people on July 22 says he acted alone.
Police say they are trying to verify the claim, as some witness accounts suggest one or more shooters.
At least 85 people were gunned down at a youth Labor Party meeting on the Norwegian island of Utoeya on July 22, just hours after seven people were killed in a car-bomb explosion near government buildings in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.
Acting police chief Sveinung Sponheim told reporters in Oslo on July 24 that the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, has taken responsibility for both incidents but attempted to distance himself from a criminal investigation.
Sponheim said Breivik, a 32-year-old Christian fundamentalist believed to hold extreme anti-Muslim views, "has admitted to the facts of both the bombing and the shooting, although he's not admitting criminal guilt."
Police say the death toll could rise as some people are still missing. Over 90 people were reported wounded in the worst massacre seen by Norway since World War II.
Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told reporters on July 24 that his client said he attacked Norwegian society because he wanted to change it, adding that Breivik had also written a manifesto espousing his views.
Lippestad said Breivik had "said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary."
Breivik has been charged with terrorism and is expected to be arraigned in court on July 25. He could face a maximum of 21 years in jail if convicted.
Condemnations of the bloodshed have come from across the world, with the United Nations Security Council on July 23 issuing a statement describing the attacks as "terrorism," and saying the council condemned the violence "in the strongest terms."
compiled from agency reports
Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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