Norway Killer Hints At 'Cells' Abroad; Police Response Defended
The defense lawyer for the man thought to be behind deadly twin attacks in Norway says the suspect has suggested there are two cells of collaborators in Norway but "several cells abroad."
The lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said 32-year-old suspect Anders Behring Breivik believed the attacks -- which killed at least 76 people and which he reportedly admitted to carrying out -- were "necessary" because he "believes that he is in a war and he believes that when you are in a war you can do things like that."
The lawyer also said Breivik was likely "insane" and that he is to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The lawyer also said Breivik was not aware of the death toll of the attacks or the public outrage.
Breivik killed at least 68 youngsters at a ruling Labor Party youth camp, after killing eight in an earlier bombing of Oslo's government district.
Minister Defends Police Response
Meanwhile, Norwegian Justice Minister Knut Storberget has hailed "fantastic" police work since the bombing and gun rampage stunned the country on July 22, rejecting criticism that police had reacted too slowly.
An armed special police team took more than an hour to reach Utoeya Island, where Breivik was shooting youngsters at a youth camp.
Storberget also denied police had ignored threats posed by right-wing zealots in Norway.
Police were expected to release the names of the victims today, one day after authorities revised the death toll down to 76 from 93.
Many Norwegians appeared satisfied with the police response. People applauded rescue workers at a rally in Oslo on July 25 at which more than 100,000 gathered to honor the victims.
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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