Massacre suspect is Norwegian

After great speculation that Norway had been hit by terrorist attacks on Friday, police confirmed that the suspect they arrested is a 32-year-old ethnic Norwegian. It remained unclear late Friday night whether he was acting alone, or had ties to a terrorist organization. Speculation was rising that he’s linked to right-wing extremists, not Islamic terrorists.

Police suspect the same man is behind both the massacre at the Labour Party's summer camp and the bombing that severely damaged many government and commercial buildings in Oslo Friday afternoon. PHOTO: NRK/Views and News

Justice Minister Knut Storberget confirmed that police were holding a suspect, charged with gunning down many members of the Labour Party’s youth organization AUF (Arbeidernes ungdomsfylking) who were attending their annual youth summer camp on an island in the Tyri Fjord.

Neither Storberget nor police, however, would reveal more details about the suspect. They would not identify him nor say whether he had a criminal record, although the website for newspaper VG identified him as Anders Behring Breivik, age 32, a self-described nationalist with no criminal record who was opposed to Islam and to a multi-cultural society. VG and Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that police were raiding the suspect’s home in west Oslo Friday night.

Bombing and massacre suspect Anders Behring Breivik. PHOTO: Private

Police did say, though, that the suspect had been spotted in downtown Oslo just before a massive bomb exploded at 3:26pm on Friday, and they have linked him to that explosion as well as the massacre. They did not say how he was spotted, but there are numerous surveillance cameras around the government complex’s area (called Regjeringskvartalet) where the bomb went off.

Sveinung Sponheim, acting chief of police Oslo, told reporters late Friday night that police still had no motive for either the bombing or the shootings at the summer camp on the island of Utøya. Sponheim said he was not sure how the man got from downtown to the island nor do they have a motive for the shootings. He said, however, that the suspect had indicated he was willing to undergo questioning by the police.

Professor Tore Bjørgo of Oslo’s police academy said the suspect could be tied to right-wing extremists with a grudge against the left-wing Labour Party.

Death toll due to rise
Police confirmed that 10 people were killed during the shooting. More than 600 AUF members were at the camp on Friday and many had assembled for an information session on the bombing in Oslo. The suspect reportedly arrived on the island dressed in a police uniform, and then started shooting.

Witnesses described a horrific situation of seeing fellow campers, many of them teenagers, gunned down before their eyes along the waterfront. Others ran for shelter and tried to hide behind rocks and trees. Still others made a desperate attempt to flee by swimming in the fjord’s chilly waters to the mainland, but some of them were reportedly shot as they tried to swim away.

One witness has described seeing as many as 30 bodies in the water, but police would not confirm the number. Sponheim said, however, that they had reason to believe the death toll from Utøya would rise during the night. He said investigators found explosives on the island that had not been detonated, and indicated that more bodies were being discovered as well.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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  • nigerians

    We extend our condolences to the Norwegian people and the victims of this attack. We pray for relief to the family of the victims and pray for peace. It is really sad that this happen and we want to assure you that the people of Nigeria pray for relieve from God almighty for the family of the dead and the wounded in Norway. God be with you.

  • Jeff Bjanes

    With many relatives in Norway, my thoughts are with the families affected. Tragic.

  • Loren R

    Those of you who are using this horrible tradgedy to slam America and people with conservitive beliefs are the real problem. Ugly. Awful.
    Set your hatred aside and help the Norwegians grieve.
    America loves Norway. America is standing with Norway. We know how you feel and we are here to help. Just like we help suffering people all over the world every day.

    • Saviour Ellul, Malta

      Our condolences go to the good people of Norway.
      Unfortunately, hate breeds hate in any place, in any age.
      Some people or even organisations nurture themselves on a philosophy that justifies hatred, to the extent that death and destruction is the ultimate solution.
      It is not and only serves to maim generations whether it occurs in Oklahoma City, New York, Srebrenica or Auschwitz.
      Republic of Malta

    • Shloemoe Smith

      No…I think the people with guns and bombs and hatefull ideology are more the “REAL” problem here…and they tend to be conservatives.

    • Ron H

      I’m just going out on a limb here, but i think the real problem was an individual who believed that acts of violence could solve what he saw as the world’s problems. Sadly, compassion and understanding of others’ differing opinions are in short supply these days.

    • Cristobaldelicia

      Sorry Lauren, but everyday, conservatives on the radio spew this exactly the same type of message against liberals in America. A threat of Marxism and Sharia law taking over the homeland? That is the kind of lies conservatives spew in this country. We are going to end up with the same result if conservative media continues. I find it highly disingenuous to condemn liberals after time and time again liberals are blamed every tragedy in America. Face the facts Lauren, he is one of yours!

  • Frank Bousek

    By not posting my comment, you just confirming the Political Correctness suffocating your once free country.

  • Keith Anderson, Germany

    As an “Anderson”, born in England but with ancestry in the Western Isles of Scotland (so Viking ancestry long ago) and now living in Germany, I send my sympathy to the people of Norway. I am shocked that this tragedy has happened in such a beautiful, friendly, peaceful country.

  • Morgan family (Liverpool)

    Deepest sympathy to all the family’s and the to the Norwegian people our prayers are with you x

  • Kanat Jumagali (Kazakhstan)

    Shocked. My heart is crying. Sending my sympathy to the people of Norway from Kazakhstan.

  • L. J. Celton

    Heartfelt condolences to families of the victims and the citizens of Norway.

  • mena

    My thoughts and prayers are with you folks .. Norway is the shining star of peace and gentle ways …..why does evil always attack the most gentle most loving among us people of earth ….we all look up to the norwegians as the best earth has to offer ….now all our hearts weep for your sorrow. You are stong and will get thru this horrible event..I trust our love will help some…..
    mena from desmet, USA

  • My Writers

    My family sends its heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families of this horrible tragedy.

  • Ann Odegaard

    I am praying for all of the wonderful Norwegian people who have been deeply affected by this cowardly and horrific act of terrorism. My husband has more family in Norway than in the US, and today, we feel more Norwegian than American. I know that Norway will stand together and united as people go through the grieving process. We stand and grieve with you.

  • Duane Lund (South Dakota)

    To our friends and our relatives in Norway, our deepest thoughts and prayers are with you. Norway is an example and role model of what a peaceful country should be. It is so sad that this horrible event had to happen. God Bless, From Duane and Linda in Sioux Falls, SD, USA.

  • Teresa Porter

    Dear Norwegian families and people, our prayers, and tears for strength and the Lord’s loving arms around you for comfort during this horrible sorrowful time. My roots are Scandinavian too, and you have many friends in the U.S. who care very much for what you are going through. God is close to the suffering.
    The Scandinavians are a good and brave people. WWII shines with the help they gave to save all the oppressed running for help- a great and noble heritage to continue on. God be with you and bless you, and creat a new strength within your hearts.
    Sending our love.

  • Janet

    Unfortunately, craziness knows no boundaries.

  • Angela Salter, England

    My heart goes out to the parents of these poor youngsters, and to all the injured and their families.Like so many English people, I have Norwegian ancestors, this makes me feel even more for you all. This is an insane and wicked act. The civilized world will be shocked and horrified. God bless and comfort you all.

  • Ana, Spain

    Heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Norwegian people in general. And my condolences to the whole human race, who promotes hatred and fear towards anyone who thinks or feels differently from ourselves.
    Love and support from Spain.

  • rick hynek

    Sad to read that this guy calls himself a Christian. The Bible says that many will come in Christ’s name that will lead people astray. Don’t be deceived. This guy was as much Christian as the Nazi SS soldiers who wore belts inscribed “God is on Our Side”.

  • John

    How on earth did they allow this man to continue his killing spree for 1.5 hours without intervening. Earlier intervention would have saved the majority of these young people.
    My deepest sympathy to their parents.

  • Rosie, England

    It baffles me how people are so inconsiderate about peoples peaceful lives.
    My best wishes and sympathy are with the victims families.
    I hope people pull together to get through these dark times.
    Best wishes, from England.

  • Jim Indgjer

    So very sad. A bad day for the world and especially for Norway.
    My thoughts are with the loved ones who have to bear this pain.
    As an American with four American generations of Norwegian descent, I want Norway to know that all Norwegian Americans share your pain.

  • Joseph Di Raffaele (Italy)

    Deeppest simpathy to the good people of Norway who are going through this orrific event.
    Palermo, Sicily

  • Etaoin Shrdlu

    Norway is a spectacularly beautiful country. The Norwegians are a wonderful people. Too bad insanity can raise its ugly head anywhere.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Norway, and to the victims of this heinous act.

  • Michael Arazi

    I am shocked at the bombing and massacre on Friday in Oslo and Utoya Island.
    This is not something one expects to take place in peaceful Norway.

    I understand that by Norwegian Law, the suspect, if found guilty, will serve a jail term of maximum 21 years. This means that when he is 53 he is free to go on with his life, as if he didn’t do it. Isn’t this both absurd and disrespectful of those whose lives he has taken?

    My suggestion, so that the integrity of the Norwegian People is kept, is to view this suspect, if found guilty, just as Quisling and be duely punished.

    • Landro

      He could theoretically serve life, if it is shown that he remains a threat to society. However, the suggestion to review the law and make it retroactive is unthinkable. If the law must change, it cannot apply to him. It is also almost certain that this terrorist cannot live a normal life. Of course, the Quisling treatment is out of the question.

  • Art Thomas

    “To own a gun in Norway, one must document a use for the gun. By far, the most common grounds for civilian ownership are hunting and sports shooting, in that order. Other needs can include special guard duties or self defense, but the first is rare and the second is practically never accepted as a reason for gun ownership.”

    –From Wikipedia: Gun Politics in Norway–

    It’s just possible that if guns were more accepted as a means of self defense in Norway the massacre of these beautiful children may have been avoided. If the killer knew that adults could carry weapons for that purpose he may have avoided that act altogether. But he knew he would meet no armed resistance and so he could give vent to his most evil desires.

    • Landro

      Art Thomas: solving a problem that didn’t exist? Why would guns have been an acceptable form of self-defence in a country where gun crime had hardly existed? Hindsight is 20-20, isn’t it?

      • Art Thomas

        Landro,

        Self defense is a basic, I would say quite a natural, right for humans and all living beings. Guns are acceptable to me because they are an effective means of self-defense. I’ve had one all my teenage and adult life. I’ve never been attacked at my home or outside of it. But I intend to be prepared if I am. I value my life. And I’m under no illusions that the police will be there to protect me.

        Now that Norway is the site of the most horrendous gun crime in my memory,
        it may behoove Norwegians to give serious consideration to the issue of gun ownership for self-defense. It may not be what you or many others might want for yourselves. But in free society one should be free to choose.

  • Mary Beth Nelsen

    From an American family to the people of Norway, our deepest sympathies.

  • BostonUSA (Massachusetts)

    Condolences to the wonderful peaceful people of Norway. Don’t let this senseless tragedy break your spirit or the gentle openness to all that you are known for. With heavy heart, in unity with Oslo…in Massachusetts

  • de lowe

    It took the police 1 1/2 hours to arrive at the scene despite having received numerous SMSs about the incident. What does that tell you about security in Norway? By the time the police arrived, the suspect had run out of ammunition.

    • Landro

      It tells that security is lax and relaxed; that is true. That will definitely have to change. This is (was?) a trust-based society, and never have special security arrangements needed to be made at youth camps. The police were slow to respond, and there will be more on that…

  • edu (Spain)

    From Barcelona (Spain) me solidarizo and I suffer with the people Noruego, to know that not llorais alone for the useless and free death of your innocent young persons, nothing me joins either Norway, or language, or family, or friends, only the human feeling of knowing pain and suffering estareis happening now, allow me to embrace each other, that you of my condolences and many spirits to this exemplary village that is Norway.

    If pain causes the death of a dear being, mas pain causes to know of the unutilidad of many senseless human losses, God ..!!! That tragedy, that madness. A fort I embrace brothers.

  • edu (Spain)

    Desde Barcelona (Spain) me solidarizo y sufro con el pueblo Noruego , saber que no llorais solos por la inutil y gratuita muerte de vuestros jovenes inocentes , nada me une a Noruega , ni idioma, ni familia , ni amigos ,solo el sentimiento humano de saber cuanto dolor y sufrimiento estareis pasando ahora, permitidme abrazaros, que os de mis condolencias y muchos animos a este ejemplar pueblo que es Noruega.

    Si dolor causa la muerte de un ser querido, mas dolor causa el saber de la unutilidad de muchas sin sentido perdidas humanas, Dios ..!!! que tragedia, que locura.Un fuerte abrazo hermanos.

  • Andrea

    I know the Norwegian people will continue to move forward and be strong. May justice and peace be to the families and lives lost of the innocent.

  • Marcelo (Brazil)

    My condolences again to all the mourning people, parents and friends of the victioms and the wonderful Norwegian people in general. I wish your beautiful country gets stronger, more peaceful and harmonic, as it has been before.
    And please ignore the provocations to come, as the one by someone (claiming to be Art Thomas, I guess from the USA) that questions that the killing would have not been that serious if weapons were allowed for self defence in your country. In fact, many people use weapons for self defence in the USA, sadly famous for the mass shootings that affect it (Bowling for Columbine) once and again. Do not listen to these proposals. Reinforce your peaceful society with more tolerance and safety.
    Warm regards.

    • Art Thomas

      Marcelo,

      Bowling for Columbine is one man’s opinion of the gun culture in America. I wouldn’t presume to know the Portuguese culture of Brazil based on growing up with Portuguese people in Newport, Rhode Island. You might inform yourself of other view points. For example, here is a link to an interview with John Lott, a researcher of various issues discussing his book “More Guns, Less Crime”.

      http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html

      Best wishes,

      Art Thomas

      • Landro

        Art Thomas: we have a different experience here: ‘less guns’ has always been ‘less crimes’. This event is unprecedented, and will quite definitely hurt the ‘innocence’ in this society, however, this terrorist cannot be a reason to revise long-standing policy, well-tested and proven. We will sort through this, make necessary amends, and emerge even stronger. But our policies cannot be informed by actions by a reject like Breivik.

  • LIM JIN BEE (Malaysia)

    To the people of Norway : The world stand by you. No words can express the grief and trauma the innocent children and their families have gone through. Nobody would expect such a hideous & uncalled tragedy to strike in this thoroughly beautiful and peaceful country.
    In hope, we trust that the innocent will always be protected at all costs, anywhere in the world, especially where it involves children . Security to the highest limits should be carried out and leave no stone unturned. Expect the unexpected.
    Our Deepest Sympathy to the parents… from Malaysia.

  • Donna (Pennsylvania)

    Condolences to the people of Norway. My prayers are with you. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

  • Judith Sanders (Australia)

    How can such a cool, calm looking face mask such unimaginable evil behind it?
    Those poor terrified children and their broken hearted parents and loved ones. It all makes me feel quite ill.
    Consolation, care and sympathy from Australia.

  • Dale (New Zealand)

    From New Zealand we send our sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of Norway.

  • Tluang from Myanmar

    I am so sorry for the good people of Norway. My prayers and condolences to the victim’s families and the nation. From Myanmar

  • Emlaq Ahmad (India)

    My condolences to the families of the victims and to people in Norway.
    Let’s undersatnd the pain of the families, who lost their dear ones in Norway and other parts in the world.
    It is time to unite and oppose all kind of extremism and wars, whether in Europe, Iraq, Libya or any part of the world.

    Emlaq Ahmad & Family, New Delhi, India.

  • serg (Russia)

    My condolences to the families of the victims and to people in Norway
    from
    Russia, Saint-Petersburg.

  • Pwn Dutt (Germany/India)

    my heart felt condolences to the people of Norway in general and to the families of the victims in particular. May peace return to your beautiful country and to the entire world!!

  • Kenny

    The man responsible should be condemned to spend the rest of his life in agonizing pain. Put me into the same room as him.

  • Changgiz Baloch

    We are with you in these days. Keep all together.
    Changgiz Baloch