Tag Archive: Oslo

Who says killers can’t be stylish?

Anders Behring Breivik, the gunman who killed 77 people after a shooting rampage at a youth camp and a bombing in Oslo on July 22, insists on wearing Lacoste sweaters on his trips out of prison. And Lacoste is not happy about it.

The Telegraph reported that the French company has called Breivik’s love of Lacoste a PR “nightmare” and according to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, Lacoste execs have written to Oslo police demanding the terrorist be stopped from wearing their clothes.

Breivik has donned a bright red sweater with the signature alligator logo while driving in and out of prison. But according to Dagbladet, he also wore a black sweater by Lacoste in a photograph he used for his manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence” (which can be read in full online) and has said that wearing the luxury brand “makes it possible to act as an educated European of the conservative character.”

Needless to say, Lacoste would like to get the confessed terrorist out of its preppy styles.

An Oslo police spokesperson told the Telegraph, “The company feels that such a man sporting their clothes could do considerable harm to their reputation.”

But it may be pointless, writes DagbladetThe newspaper interviewed a local marketing professorwho said that Lacoste is overreacting and thus making the PR worse.

“I do not think there’s much else they can do now than to continue to work to make Lacoste to the strong brand it is,” he said. “If they are asked they should strongly condemn what happened, but otherwise there is nothing they can do with this.”

It remains to be seen whether Lacoste will actually succeed at ripping the fuzzy red sweater from Breivik’s hands.




Terror in the Name of God


Since the capture of Anders Behring Breivik, the Oslo terrorist and murderer, at least two critical issues have emerged. The first is his sanity, or lack thereof. The second is that Breivik’s assaults may have been ideologically motivated. According to Breivik’s logic, the murder of 76 people was necessary to challenge the Muslim takeover of the West. It was also an act directed at some of the people who, in his mind, were making the conquest possible: liberals or, more specifically, the Labor Party.

But as important as these issues may be for determining his status as a terrorist, there is another important point to consider about the ruthlessness of his intents and actions. Breivik, like the vast majority of terrorists in the world, was a male.

On the surface of things, this may be a rather obvious and seemingly trite point to make given the horrific nature of his actions. For most analysts, what matters is that he’s a fundamentalist Christian, a terrorist, a racist, a murderer and possibly insane.

But in his own mind, Breivik is also a patriot. He is a man committed to the defense of his nation from the external threat of the “Other” — in this case, the Muslim other. According to Breivik, Norway, and the West more generally, are locked in a struggle with two possible outcomes: a West dominated by Islam or free of its presence.

Sound familiar? It is. Much like bin Laden and his associates, the ideas and visions circulating in Breivik’s mind closely resemble the cosmic battle imagined in the minds of al Qaeda fighters: the fear, the external threat, the internal traitors, the violent resistance, the utopian future. Breivik, like bin Laden, is nothing short of the archetypal extremist whose ghastly deeds reveal the malevolence of passion when mixed with fear and hate.

But Breivik, like bin Laden and a long list of others, is a man. And like the many men before him guilty of pitiless crimes against humanity, he acted in a way that begs us to consider the relationship between such violence and his notions of manhood.

Why, in other words, do some men seem to find violence as a reasonable course of action when dealing with a perceived threat?

Part of the answer, we believe, has to do with something much larger than Breivik’s sound or unsound mind — gender. Men like Breivik all imagine their communities as uniquely feminine. This idea is effectively communicated through the language of their struggle. Breivik, for example, claimed to be defending the “honor” of the West and, in his manifesto, regularly refers to the “penetration” of Muslim armies throughout history and the “rape” of Europe.

These men also believe that, in defending some imagined “sacred community,” they are also defending manhood. Most of us think of communities as something like the family. We think of the people at the local and national levels as our brothers and sisters of sorts — people with whom we share duties and obligations. Beyond our borders, however, are the outsiders — the other families. In this sense Breivik is much like the rest of us: a modern-day tribalist.

Where Breivik and others stop being like us is how they think about the tribe. Breivik believes the west exists as an essentially pure and vulnerable tribe. An important aspect of Breivik’s actions lies in the fact that he believes the pure feminine family of the West needs protection by the warrior men of which he is a part.

A quick glance at Breivik’s 1,500 page manifesto reveals explicit antipathy for “feminism” and its role in the Islamization of Europe. He refers to the “Knights,” who will lead the revolution fighting “bravely” as men defending their civilization. The manifesto is all about a macho world waging war on “feminism” and “Muslims” at one and the same time.

Of course, this is not to say that women have refrained from the glory of human cruelty. But there is something peculiar about the fact that it is mostly men who commit the extreme violence of terrorism. For reasons rarely considered by analysts, men like Breivik seem to feel a great sense of urgency to act violently in the name of their people — imagined or real — and defend its honor and purity.

Thinking about Breivik and others like him, we might do well to think more about their manhood as much as their ideologies since, more often than not, the two seem to go hand-in-hand in the play of their madness.

Anders Behring Breivik


One week after the Oslo drama, Anders Behring Breivik’s 1518-page manifesto reveals a detailed portrait of the suspected Norway shooter and of what he himself describes as his “privileged upbringing.”

Breivik was born in 1979 in London, where his father Jens Breivik was stationed at the Norwegian embassy. Less than a year after his birth Breivik’s father and mother divorced, prompting his mother Wenche Behring to return to Oslo. Breivik’s father remarried and remained in Europe, accepting a position in Paris where Breivik used to visit him during school vacations.

According to the Telegraph, Breivik described growing up with his mother in his manifesto, saying: “I do not approve of the super-liberal, matriarchal upbringing as it completely lacked discipline and has contributed to feminise me to a certain degree.”

In school Breivik seemed to have been a rather quiet child. Friends told Time magazine that he became a bit of an outsider at the end of sixth grade. “He was getting bullied,” a friend told the magazine.

By the age of 15, Breivik lost contact with his father. “I tried to contact him five years ago,” theTelegraph quotes him writing in the document. “But he said he was not mentally prepared for a reunion.” He did keep in touch with his stepmother, Tove Oevermo, who had divorced his father three years before. In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press, Oevermo said she said she had never seen any violent behavior in her former stepson. She did remember him talking about a book he was writing. In the manifesto , he describes his stepmother as “intelligent” but “obviously a traitor.” According to the Daily Mail he said: “Although I care for her a great deal, I wouldn’t hold it against the KT (Knights Templar) if she was executed during an attack.”

When he was about 15, Breivik got into graffiti. CNN reports he claimed to be the most active graffiti artist in the Norwegian capital by 15. Of that time he also wrote: “Unless you had Muslim contactsyou could easily be subject to harassment, beatings and robbery,” according to CNN. The network also points at some of the more paradoxical paragraphs in the document. Breivik writes: “As all my friends can attest I wouldn’t be willing to hurt a fly and I have never used violence against others … If we wanted to we could have harassed and beaten up dozens of Muslim youth. However, as we didn’t share their savage mentality, violence was pointless.”

Breivik’s right-wing political views seem to have fully developed in his late twenties, childhood friends saying that he had friends of Middle Eastern descent earlier on. A friend told the Guardian that it was only then that Breivik began posting right wing opinions on Facebook.

In 1,500-page manifesto, Norwegian mass-killer sets out Christian fundamentalist revolution against European Muslims.


By Marc Preel – OSLO

‘It’s pretty obvious he has thought a lot about it’

At more than 1,500 pages long and nearly a decade in the making, the manifesto detailing Norwegian mass-killer Anders Behring Breivik’s murderous “crusade” gives a chilling picture of a self-confessed “monster.”

It was designed to bring about the revolution he says is needed to end a centuries-long Muslim colonisation of Europe.

Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old now in police custody, draws together decades of academic research and serves up a dedicated diary of bomb-making subterfuge. The final entry comes just moments before Friday’s Oslo carnage.

“I will be labelled as the biggest (Nazi-)monster ever witnessed since WW2,” says the “Marxist Hunter” in what is at times a rambling, at times bewilderingly detailed thesis.

In it, it reveals his admiration for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and calls for adherents to spawn large families of white European ‘jihadists.’

“If you are not willing to sacrifice your own life, then I would strongly advise you to make babies and ensure that they will be willing to sacrifice theirs when the time is right,” he says at one point.

“I believe this will be my last entry,” the document states before closing with a series of posed pictures in old-fashioned military uniform or with an assault rifle — and those sharp, piercing eyes that have stared out of newspapers worldwide since his arrest in the hours following the carnage.

“It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51. Sincere regards, Andrew Berwick, Justiciar Knight Commander, Knights Templar Europe, Knights Templar Norway,” he says in the tract “2083 — A European Declaration of Independence,” using an anglicisation of Behring Breivik’s Nordic name.

The Christian fundamentalist, as described by investigators expected to bring Behring Breivik before an Oslo court early on Monday, has now admitted to the Friday’s double attacks.

The car bomb explosion outside downtown government offices and the subsequent 90-minute shooting spree on a nearby island have now claimed 93 lives.

But police say he has not accepted “criminal responsibility” and his lawyer said on Sunday that he saw “nothing reprehensible” in his actions.

The text outlines his transformation as he strives to return Europe to an almost medieval racial and religious make-up.

It ranges from denunciations of political correctness to how to cover up the real reasons for purchasing chemicals from China for use in weaponry.

Friday’s sickening scenes trigger the start of a “pre-emptive war” he says.

It is “waged in order to repel, defeat or weaken an ongoing Islamic invasion/ colonisation, to gain a strategic advantage in an unavoidable war before that threat materialises.”

He adds: “We cannot afford to wait around and re-act when it is too late.”

The cross of chivalry represents the cover image of a PDF computer file accompanied by a 12-minute video, pulled from YouTube on Saturday night.

He launched his movement in London in 2002, he says, “one of several leaders of the national and pan-European Patriotic Resistance Movement.”

Concrete planning for Operation Martyr, as he baptised the events in and around Oslo, began in earnest in the autumn of 2009, with the setting up of “front” companies including a mining company and a farm to cover his acquisition of materials for military use.

The accelerating reduction in savings earned through these commercial activities represents an eerie countdown to his opening fire.

“In this manifesto, he appears like a loner and someone with a very peculiar intellectual influence,” says Thomas Hegghammer, senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) in Oslo, expert on terrorism and violent islamism

“If he wrote 1,500 pages, it’s pretty obvious he has thought a lot about it.”

Oslo, Norway (CNN) — The suspect in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II has acknowledged carrying out the mass shooting and bombing and claims to have worked with two cells, a judge said Monday.

Judge Kim Heger said the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, acknowledged carrying out Friday’s bombing and shooting, but has said they were necessary to prevent the “colonization” of the country by Muslims. Breivik accused the Labour Party, whose members were targets of the mass shooting, of “treason” for promoting multiculturalism, the judge said.

Police refused to release information about their investigation into the possibility that two cells aided Breivik, saying Monday that a court hearing was closed so as not to disclose any evidentiary information.

During his court hearing Monday, Breivik appeared “very calm,” a police official said. “He was very concise in trying to explain why he was trying to do this,” the official said. He has pleaded not guilty, police said Monday.

Monday’s hearing was closed to the public for “security reasons and because of a concern that it would impede the investigation,” court communications director Irene Ramm told CNN.

Afterward, Heger told reporters that he had ordered that Breivik remain in custody for eight weeks, until his next scheduled court appearance. Authorities continue to investigate the bombing in Oslo and the mass shooting at a nearby island that together killed at least 76 people. If police need more time, they can petition the court for it, he said.

Authorities initially said 93 people had died but announced Monday that eight people were confirmed dead in the bombing and 68 in the shooting. “Some people might have been counted two times,” a police official told reporters about the lowered toll.

But officials predicted the official toll could rise again. Police were still searching Monday in and around Utoya Island for victims, with 50 officers — some of them using cadaver dogs — combing through the crime scene for any remaining casualties.

At least four people have not been accounted for around Utoya Island, with investigators searching the waters nearby for victims who may have drowned trying to escape the shooter.

The suspect will be held in isolation for the next four weeks to ensure he has no opportunity to tamper with evidence, Heger said. Breivik has access to his lawyer but to no one else, and not to letters or news, court officials said.

Breivik, 32, asked to wear a uniform to the hearing but was not allowed to, Heger said.

The suspected right-wing Christian extremist appears to have written a 1,500-page manifesto that rants against Muslims and lays out meticulous plans to prepare for the attacks.

CNN has not independently confirmed that Breivik is the author of the manifesto, which bears his name and says it is intended to be circulated among sympathizers.

As Norwegians tried to come to grips with what had befallen their normally peaceful country, their government called Monday for a national moment of silence, ordering trains halted as part of a nationwide observance to remember the victims of Friday’s bombing in downtown Oslo and shooting at a political youth retreat on Utoya Island.

Nearly 200,000 people participated in a memorial Monday in downtown Oslo to honor the victims, police said.

Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang praised Monday’s memorial service as a display by Norwegians that they do not accept violence. “Today, people turned out to show that this town is ours and we don’t accept this,” he told CNN about the actions attributed to Breivik. “We’re going to punish him with democracy and love.”

Police spokesman Henning Holtaas told CNN that the suspect was charged with two acts of terrorism, one for the bombing and one for the mass shooting.

In Norway, which does not have the death penalty, the maximum sentence for such a charge is 21 years. However, the court could impose an extension if the person were deemed still to be a threat after having served the sentence, he said.

Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that his client is prepared to spend the rest of his life in jail.

Breivik had expected to be tortured by police and shot during Monday’s court proceeding, the lawyer said.

Breivik, a Norwegian, had told investigators that he acted alone and was not aided in the planning of the attacks, acting National Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told reporters Sunday.

Sponheim said investigators were studying the manifesto published online on the day of the attack.

The suspect told investigators during interviews that he belonged to an international order, The Knights Templar, according to the Norwegian newspaper VG, which cited unidentified sources.

He described the organization as an armed Christian order, fighting to rid the West of Islamic suppression, the newspaper said. He also told investigators he had been in contact with like-minded people and said he counts himself as a representative of this order, it said.

Holtaas declined to confirm the news report, saying, “We are not commenting on such details.”

The newspaper report mirrors statements in the manifesto.

The manifesto contains photographs of Breivik wearing what appears to be a military uniform that features an altered U.S. Marine Corps dress jacket with Knights Templar medals.

The Knights Templar were Christian Crusaders who helped fight against Muslim rule of the Holy Land in the Middle Ages, but the order was shut down 700 years ago.

The manifesto bearing Breivik’s name refers to a “European Military Order and Criminal Tribunal (the PCCTS — Knights Templar) … created by and for the free indigenous peoples of Europe” in London in 2002.

It rails against Muslims and their growing presence in Europe and calls for a European civil war to overthrow governments, end multiculturalism and execute “cultural Marxists.”

The youth camp is an annual tradition in the Labour Party, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview. “I myself have participated every summer since 1974, since I was a teenager,” he said.

He predicted the attacks’ impact may be long-lasting, but will not fundamentally change the country. “We will have a Norway before and a Norway after the bomb and the killings,” he said. Still, he added, “I will do whatever I can to make sure that … Norway will be possible to recognize; that even after these terrible incidents, (it) will be an open society, will be a democratic society.”

Espen Barth Eide, the deputy foreign minister, predicted the shock of Friday’s events may linger in Norway, but the country will not fundamentally change. “Almost everyone in Norway is now determined to not allow this to change the way we live, and change the way we are — we are an open and tolerant society.”

More security may not be the answer, he said. “There is always a balance between security and risk. If you have more police, you may protect something, but you may lose something. So, there’s something valuable in the sort of openness that we will try to protect together.”

Among those killed on the island was Trond Berntsen, the step-brother of Crown Princess Mette-Marit, according to a statement released by the Royal House Communications Office.

A giant explosion rocked government buildings in Oslo, Norway, on Friday, state TV broadcaster NRK said, with at least one person confirmed dead.

Windows in several buildings had been blown out, and people were in the street bleeding, NRK said on its website. The cause of the blast remains unknown.

There are conflicting reports about whether a second blast followed the first, which occurred mid-afternoon in the center of the Norwegian capital.

One explosion happened near a government building housing the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, said Linda Reinholdsen, a reporter for Norwegian state broadcaster NRK. Another hit near the Norwegian parliament, she told CNN.

Several buildings in Oslo were on fire, she said, and smoke was pouring from them.

Walter Gibbs, a journalist with Reuters, said he saw eight injured people, including two or three with serious wounds and one who looked dead.

Gibbs said he believes one explosion happened on an upper floor of a main government building. He said it blew out every window on the side of the building.

The blast also severely damaged the Oil Ministry and left it in flames, he said.

Reuters reported that Stoltenberg was safe.

Stoltenberg, who has been prime minister since October 2005, heads a coalition government made up of the Labour Party, the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party.

A representative for Oslo University Hospital confirmed that seven patients were being treated there after the explosion.

“I am not aware whether they are major or minor injuries. We have spoken to the other hospitals in Oslo, and in total, we are sending 22 ambulances and five helicopters. We currently have no confirmation of any deaths.”

Nick Soubiea, an American-Swedish tourist in Oslo, told CNN he was less than 100 yards from the blast, which he described as deafening.

“It was almost in slow motion, like a big wave that almost knocked us off our chairs,” he said. “It was extremely frightening.”

He said the streets were crowded with people trying to get away from the center of the city. “There are people running down the streets, people crying, everyone’s on their cell phones calling home,” he said.

A hotel worker in Oslo’s Grand Hotel, about a five-minute walk from the government building, said everyone in the hotel felt and heard the explosion, which felt like someone was shaking the entire building.

“It’s crazy,” she said, not wanting to be identified because she is not authorized to speak to the media on behalf of the hotel. “This happens in the big world, not in Oslo. I’m shocked.”

Vivian Paulsen, media adviser for the Norwegian Red Cross, lives 20 minutes away from the center of Oslo in the northern outskirts of the city. She said she heard a “huge blast.”

“I heard the big bang, I didn’t think it was anything serious. I can still see smoke coming up from the place,” she said, watching from her apartment balcony. She also heard sirens and ambulances.

As for Oslo, she said what others have been saying: Events like this don’t happen in the northern European capital.

“There’s occasional arrests of terror suspects we read about in the paper, or people planning something.”

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