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Homeland Security

Norwegian minister praises police, anti-terrorism team over Breivik attack

RIA Novosti

15:46 27/07/2011 OSLO, July 27 (RIA Novosti) - Norwegian Justice Minister Knut Storberget praised the actions by the country's police authorities and anti-terrorism team over the way they handled Anders Behring Breivik, the principal suspect in the twin terror attacks in Norway last Friday.

The Norwegian police was strongly criticized after accusations that the attacks could have been prevented, or the death toll reduced, by a more timely response from law enforcement personnel. Criticism of the security arrangements for the campers on Utoya Island has centered on the local anti-terrorism team's delayed response to reports of shooting, which allowed Breivik to calmly stalk the island during a 90-minute killing spree.

"It is important for me to congratulate all policewomen and policemen working on the streets, as well as all senior police officials," Storberget said. "I am open for discussion over how this should have been handled."

Police have now revised the death toll from both attacks from 93 to 76.

During a closed hearing at a Norwegian court on Monday, Breivik, 32, admitted to carrying out a bombing in Oslo that killed seven people, and a mass shooting at a Labor Party youth camp on the nearby island of Utoya.

Norwegian Prosecutor Christian Hatlo said on Tuesday that if charged with crimes against humanity, Breivik could face up to 30 years in prison. In line with the laws in Norway, a court's verdict could be revised as many times as possible and therefore the prison sentence could be prolonged as well.

The Norwegian telegraph bureau reported on Wednesday that Brevik was a member of a gun club in Oslo between 2005 and 2007 and from June 2010 until recently.

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