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Anders Behring Breivik (born Oslo, Norway, February 13, 1979) was accused of, and has since confessed to, murdering 77 people[1] during a killing spree in Norway on July 22, 2011. On that day, a bomb was detonated near government buildings in the capital city of Oslo, killing eight. Some 90 minutes later, Breivik went to a summer camp on the island of Utoya and began shooting, killing 69 people.

Breivik describes himself as an investor, director, manager, revolutionary conservative, and resistance fighter.[2]


Oslo bombing

At approximately 15:26 local time on Friday, July 22, 2011, a car bomb detonated in the political center of Oslo. Eight people were killed, and the offices of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg were damaged, along with several other government buildings. Additional undetonated explosives were also located in the area, police confirmed the next day. The explosives were believed to be comprised of fertilizer and fuel, similar to the bomb used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.[3] Norwegian police later revealed that Breivik planned to attack the royal palace and the Labour Party’s headquarters in central Oslo as well as other locations that would “hit the government.”

Shooting spree on the island of Utoya

Utoya, an island located approximately 20 miles northwest of Oslo, has been used by the Worker's Youth League (AUF), the Norwegian Labor Party's youth wing, since the 1970s for summer camps.[4] Between 600 to 700 people were on the island on July 22, 2011. Around 16:57 local time, a man dressed as a policeman requested passage on a local ferry over to Utoya. He stated he was there to "do research in connection with the bomb blasts".[3] He was reportedly armed with a pistol and an automatic rifle.[3] According to witnesses, he gathered the camp atendees around him for an announcement, then began shooting at them. The people panicked, and began running in an attempt to get away. Some tried to swim to the mainland, and were shot while still in the water.

The first reports of the shootings reached authorities at 17:26, and by 17:40, a specialized SWAT team was dispatched from Oslo to the island, arriving at 18:09.[3] Local police were already at the ferry crossing, but were waiting for a boat. Difficulties arose when the police boat was loaded with the men and equipment; the boat was too small and began to take on water.[3] Recreational boats were used instead, and the authorities arrived on the island at 18:26.[3] By this time, the shootings had been going on for over an hour.

When the police reached the gunman, they found him standing with his hands up, and his guns several yards away on the ground.[3] He didn't resist arrest, and according to police, still had a significant amount of ammunition remaining.[3]

Sixty-nine people, mostly teenagers, were killed in the shooting spree, with scores of others injured. Hospital officials reported Breivik used dum-dum bullets, which are designed to cause severe internal damage because they disintegrate within the body.[3]

Charges and investigation

Breivik has been charged with acts of terrorism, including "destabilizing or destroying basic functions of society" and "creating serious fear in the population." While appearing before a judge on July 25, 2011, Breivik admitted to his acts but pleaded not guilty to the charge of terrorism,[5] as he believes he was acting in pre-emptive self-defense [6]

A police press conference described Breivik as “more than willing to explain himself” during interrogations on Friday that lasted from 10:00 in the morning until 18:30 in the evening. Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad,also confirmed details of Breivik’s behaviour in the hearings and solitary confinement, telling VG that he was “very taken up with details” in his explanations about technical aspects of his operations, but that he “does not recognize our society, our courts or out justice system” because “his understanding of reality is not like other people’s.” He continues to see himself “as a great general that is at war against the Muslim’s invasion of Europe.” He has also been given two novels to read which “he did not like.”

Breivik planned to attack the royal palace and the Labour Party’s headquarters in central Oslo as well as other locations that would “hit the government.” Lippestad confirmed the fact that his client had “both A and B plans” when speaking to newspaper Dagbladet, adding that the attacks he carried out were “probably the B plan.”[7] The 32-year-old murderer also said his bombing of government buildings in Oslo and shootings at the summer camp on Utoya island for Labour's youth wing was aimed at deterring future recruitment to the Labour party, which he blames for "mass imports of Muslims," which he accuses of engaging in "demographic warfare." [8]

Breivik will be kept in custody for eight weeks, the first four weeks being spent in solitary confinement with no visitors, letters or access to media. If convicted on the charges against him in Norway, a possible 30-year prison sentence could be imposed. However, as a Norwegian prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence must show they are no longer a danger to society before being granted parole, some believe that it is technically possible that Breivik could spend the rest of his life in prison. The prosecution said Breivik had behaved calmly and did not seem to be affected by events. The lawyer representing Anders Behring Breivik has stated that his client is most likely insane.[9]

Norwegian newspaper VG Nett claims Anders Behring Breivik had been put on a terrorist watchlist after illegally buying large amount of chemicals online from a Polish retailer.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister had visited the Labour Youth League summer camp on the island of Utoya Thursday, and was met with claims that Norway must recognize a Palestinian state,[10] which Breivik also opposes, as part of his nationalistic beliefs. Breivik also supports nationalistic movements in India.

Breivik's manifesto and ideology

Over a period of approximately three years, Breivik wrote and/or compiled a 1,518 page, partly plagiaristic manifesto titled 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence, half of which he states he wrote himself. He sent this to 8,000 dedicated nationalists just before his murderous rampages began, and which was subsequently converted to a PDF file[11] and posted on the Internet after the attacks.

In his manifesto Breivik details how Islam invaded Europe in the past and was defeated, and expresses plans to combat, by an "armed indigenous rights movements/resistance movement" (p. 668), the latest Islamic invasion/attack in which they employ "demographic warfare." (p. 816) Breivik resistance involves raising up an army of Justiciar Knights, PCCTS, ("Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici" or "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon" in English), commonly known as the Knights Templar,(p. 1509) which Breivik claimed had been re-formed in London in 2002.

Breivik's compendium/book presents "advanced ideological, practical, tactical, organizational and rhetorical solutions and strategies" for his war against "Islam and the cultural Marxism/multiculturalism in Western Europe," and its different political fronts, and the reestablishment of a secular "Christian" Catholic culture, and thus the restoration of Europe's cultural self-confidence (nationalism) by 2083. (pp. 4, 5, 802) Its extensive instructions include prolonged violence and the advocation of the use of drugs to enhance performance.

The manifesto also shows that Breivik was an active player of the World of Warcraft (and other computer games), and indicates that he was inspired by such themes.[12]

While the manifesto contains a legal disclaimer that states certain chapters in Book 2 and Book 3 (a Declaration of pre-emptive War) were hypothetical, and "must not be confused with an actual plan, or strategy to attempt to harm any individuals...," and that the author does not condone such, (p. 766-68) yet it has become apparent that this disclaimer itself was part of his malevolent strategy.

Religion and moral views

On his Facebook profile, Breivik describes himself as a Christian. He states that he chose to be baptised into the Protestant Church of Norway at the age of 15, although he later became disenchanted with Norway's State Church. He supported “an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic” in an online post in 2009.

Deputy Police Chief Roger Andresen initially told reporters that "We have no more information than... what has been found on [his] own websites, which is that it goes towards the right and that it is, so to speak, Christian fundamentalist." [13]

Likewise, some reports were quick to described Breivik as a “Christian terrorist,” based largely on his self-identity as one on his Facebook profile, and his postings to some Christian fundamentalist type websites on certain shared views.

However, in contrast to the common theological understanding of Christian fundamentalism, that of "militantly anti-modernist Protestant evangelicalism," and its emphasis on Protestant doctrine and salvation by faith,[14] in his manifesto, Breivik referred to "Protestantism as the Marxism of Christianity". (p. 1346) He criticized salvation by faith and deplored "Christian fundamentalist theocracy" as "everything we do not want", in favor of "a secular European society based on our Christian cultural heritage". (p. 1346) He also commended the separation of church and state. (p. 1132)

Breivik invoked Roman Catholic canon law and the example of the Crusades for support, and looked toward a "Crusader Pope." (p. 1135) He also believed those who died in his case were worthy of an indulgence, (pp. 1324–26, 46) and stated, "If there is a God I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs for the Church in the past," (p. 1345) and advocated that such take of "the Eucharist (Holy Communion/The Lord's Supper)" for the practical purpose of strength to face such death. (p. 1345)

Breivik also considered it sufficient that one be "a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist" to fight for his Christian cultural heritage, (p. 1361, 62) and held that "it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings." (p. 1403)

Breivik denied the need for a personal relationship with Christ to be a Christian, stating, “If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.” (p. 1307)

In response to the question as to why he choose an allegiance to a group with Christian values and pan-European goals instead of a purely national/regional group, Breivik stated that,

"My choice has nothing to do with the fact that I am not proud of my own traditions and heritage. My choice was based purely pragmatism...A hateful ideology (white supremacist), death metal, Odinism, conspiracy theories does NOT have mass appeal...It is essential that we choose a banner that has the potential to appeal towards central and southern Europeans as well...Mass appeal should be the most essential factor in this strategy. (p. 1380,81)

Responding to the issue of perceived anti-gay mentality among conservatives, Breivik stated,

The multiculturalists WANT us to fit in their pre-defined stereotype. They want us to be racists, fascist, gay hating individuals because it would make their job so much easier in their effort to label us as the scum of the earth. The truth of the matter is that I personally know several gay individuals and have known several gay people during the years and I don't have any reservations against them. Why would I care what they do behind closed doors?

However, I personally do object to the "gay media hysteria" which has been going on in Western Europe the last two decades. In many cases "alleged victim groups" are subjected to positive discrimination within politics, media and certain sectors. In those specific contexts it has become standard policy to discriminate so called "heterosexual men". Western European media, especially in the protestant countries are obsessed with cheering the gay community and other minorities they see as "preferred groups" in their so called "victim hierarchy". The glorification of "preferred groups" in the EUSSR "victim hierarchy" have gone too far. It's racist and fascist. (pp. 1357,58)

In addition, Breivik stated that after 5 years in the Freemasons, he was finally accepted for rank 4-5. However, due to lack of time he decided to decline the offer and told them he would be unavailable until autumn 2011, due to extensive traveling. (p. 1431)

In an insight on his personal morality, Breivik was fond of the clubs in Hungary, though he disliked rock music. He avoided affairs with females for the sake of his mission, although he had engaged in fornication less recently, which he stated was "a relatively small sin compared to the huge amounts of grace I am about to generate with my martyrdom operation." He also revealed that he had reserved a substantial sum from his operations budget which he intend to spend on a quality prostitute just before or after he attended his final martyr's mass in Frogner Church in order to place him "biologically, mentally and spiritually at ease." (p. 1424)

While he avoided getting drunk due to the priority of his mission, he advocated the use of performance-enhancing drugs to that end, and he did enjoy getting very drunk at a birthday party. (p. 1415) He also played video games for pleasure and motivation, such as those in the "World of Warcraft" series and "Dragon Age Origins", and stated, "I regret to admit that I’ve become a notorious downloader of pirated movies, series and games etc." (p. 1418, 24, 25)


The attacks left the world stunned, not only due the number killed in such a manner, but because it happened in Norway, a country seen as relatively peaceful. And which was also due to the murdering being done by a blond haired, green eyed 32-year-old gunman, looking much like a Nordic ideal (he claimed Viking ancestry), who apparently had no criminal record other than traffic violations. Jens Breivik, the father of Anders Behring Breivik, who said his son cut off contact with him in 1995 (Breivik was 15–16 years old), sent his condolences to "all those who have suffered" as a result of the attacks, and said he is in "a complete state of shock and has not recovered".

Within a day, over 27,000 people signed up via Facebook for a memorial service in Oslo the next day, with numbers increasing rapidly. It was later reported that the whole country was watching the service. "Not a man in sight outside."

Geir Lippestad, Breivik's lawyer, told Norwegian media, "I think he's realized what he's done, and he views himself as sane." Lippestad continued, "He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary...He wanted to hurt the Labour party and halt its recruitment in the worst possible way, referring to party members as Marxists." Extra security was planned for mosques around the U.K.

Breivik wrote of having strong links with the right-wing group, the English Defence League (EDL), which denied that Breivik had any links with them and stated that they "vehemently" opposed his actions.[15] Daryl Hobson, who organizes EDL demonstrations, condemned the killings, and stated that, “I spoke to him a few times on Facebook and he is extremely intelligent and articulate and very affable,” said the source. “He is someone who can project himself very well and I presume there would be those within the EDL who would be quite taken by that. It’s like Hitler, people said he was hypnotic. This guy had the same sort of effect.”[16]

Certain liberal sources, such as a Professor Juan Cole, were quick to implicate conservatives as somewhat culpable for Breivik's rampage, leading others to opine that, “The Left tends to use non-violent passive resistance, like with Gandhi and MLK, Jr.”

To which one respondent writes,

"Your above-cited quote is a good case of historical amnesia, deliberate or otherwise... You apparently have never heard of (or don’t want to acknowledge) the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and others in the U.S.; not to mention the Bolsheviks in Russia, Mao Zhe Dong in China, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Kim Jong Il in North Korea, the FARC in Colombia, the Sendero Luminoso in Peru, The MIR in Chile, and other Leftist movements throughout the world that have used terrorism as a tactic. I think an objective tally would prove that both the Left and the Right are equal opportunity terrorists."[17]

Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly stated that "No one believing in Jesus commits mass murder. The man might have called himself a Christian on the net, but he is certainly not of that faith."

But atheist antagonist Bill Maher rejected that truth and asserted, "Religion ... gives people license to commit crazy acts," and warned of Christianity becoming "the violent blood-lusty religion it was under the crusades," ignoring that his own atheistic moral reasoning can justify the same or worse as false religion, while New Testament Christianity does not support such religious violence.

Republican Margaret Hoover responded to Mayer on his show by referring 50 million who were were killed in the 20th century in the name of atheism and communism (though 250 million may be more accurate[18]), what she called "ideology run amok," and that Breivik only called himself a Christian, and in contrast to Islam, he was not "connected to a well -funded global terror network."[19]

The New York Times (which Breivik references a few times in his manifesto), in a opinion piece by Roger Cohen titled, Breivik and His Enablers, used the killing to implicate Sarah Palin with the attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, while naming Republicans such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Peter King as "ideological fellow travelers" with Breivik, as well as "U.S. church pastors using their bully pulpits week after week to say America is a Christian nation under imminent threat from Islam." The columnist called such bigotry, while he exhibited his own bigotry against the latter group of people, linking them to the actions of Breivik, and "a racist and murderous European right."[20]

At the least, liberal journalists charged that Breivik seems to have been motivated by the view of right versus wrong that animates the "Christian worldview," which pits Marxism, multiculturalism, Islam, etc. as enemies of God and truth,[21] while the same journalists fight against evangelical Christian faith, traditional morals and those who uphold them as being enemies of liberalism's deleterious social experiment that has cost America and the world greatly in souls, lives and money.[22]

Others also cite evidence that liberalism is more prone to violence and terrorism.[23][24]

In contrast to the overall reaction by Islamic authorities to the acts of Muslim terrorists, the Christian community has been quick to condemn the attacks by Breivik as being contrary to authentic Christianity. Gordon Showell-Rogers, Associate International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), stated,

“Norway’s strong Christian history has created a long history of peace within her borders and has been a significant contributor to Norway’s very positive impact on global peace efforts.” “Evangelical Christians globally condemn religious violence in the strongest possible terms, and are sickened when such violence is carried out in the name of Christ.”

Norway's’ Pro Deutschland group concurred, saying,

"As Christians and Conservatives, we want to express solidarity with the victims of the attacks of July 22. The hate that is driving Islamic assassins and fanatic individuals a la...Breivik is foreign to Christians and Conservatives."

Norwegian minister. Olav Fykse Tveit, head of the World Council of Churches, representing 349 Protestant and Orthodox churches, told The Associated Press in response to the attack, "It's important to say to all Muslims wherever they are, in Europe or elsewhere in the world, that these actions in no way can express what is our Christian faith and our Christian values. It is blasphemous to make that kind of connection." [25]

See also

Essay: Analysis of the 2011 Oslo terrorist attacks from a Christian perspective


  1. Death Toll in Norway Attacks Rises to 77
  2. 2083 - A European Declaration of Independence,p. 1398
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Timeline of attacks
  4. How Labour Party's paradise in Utoya turned to 'hell'
  5. Norway Suspect Denies Guilt and Suggests He Did Not Act Alone
  6. Norway's mass killer pursuing anti-Islam crusade, Reuters, Sun Jul 24, 2011
  7. Breivik planned palace attack
  9. The Christian Post, Norway Shooting, Bombing: Anders Behring Breivik Insane, Lawyer Says, Jul. 26 2011
  11. Manifesto
  12. Norway's mass killer pursuing anti-Islam crusade
  13. BBC News, Europe, 23 July 2011
  14. George M. Marsden, "Fundamentalism and American culture," pp. 3, 4, 110
  15. Norway shootings: July 24 as it happened
  16. Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik had extensive links to English Defence League, The Telegraph, 25 Jul 2011
  17. "White Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism in Norway", Informed consent blog, posted on 07/23/2011
  18. Atheism's Body Count - Ideology and Human Suffering
  19. Norway Shooting, Bombing: Bill Maher Insists Suspect Is a 'Christian Terrorist' The Christian Post, U.S., Sat, Jul. 30 2011
  20. "Breivik and His Enablers" July 25, 2011
  21. Sarah Posner, "How Breivik’s “Cultural Analysis” is Drawn from the “Christian Worldview”"
  22. Revealing Statistics: America in Decline; Present Costs of the War against God
  23. Five names you should know
  24. History of liberal violence
  25. Church's leader calls Norway rampage blasphemous The Denver Post, 07/25/2011