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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  • Sam Shropshire (Maryland)

    The hearts of our city Annapolis, Maryland USA go out to the Norwegian people. We feel your pain and suffering, and we pray for all who have lost loved ones or who have been injured.

  • ghostcommander

    My condolences to the families of the victims and to the wonderful people of Norway

  • Lisa

    Mitt hjerte går ut til alle mine venner i Norge. dine venner i USA elsker du alltid.

  • Loren R.

    America loves Norway and we stand with you against terrorism. Home grown or otherwise.
    We are praying with you and for you. We will be there for you. We are there for you now.
    America loves Norway.

  • greg kitchen

    R.I.P.

  • Gary McCausland, Olympia WA

    This reminds me so much of a Timothy McVeigh attack where domestic violence is disguised as international terrorism. And noticing the earlier posts, there seems to be a response to condemn people of middle-eastern, arabic or Muslim heritage.
    Thankfully, to both the Norwegian press and the government, they have refrained from making these accusations until more information has been made available.
    Unfortunately, this does not ease the pain to the victims or their families that have suffered from this senseless act.

  • Caterine and Jean-Pierre (Germany)

    Our deepest sympathies are with the Norwegian people.
    We the townspeople of Aachen/Germany are very saddened to hear of this gruesome act.
    Our thoughts are with you at this most difficult time.

  • Nomind

    My thoughts are with the Norwegian people. You will overcome.

  • http://al-terity.blogspot.com/ tempo dulu

    This is sad news.

  • TrDem

    Condolences, tears, for your tragedy, sorry state of the world where a peaceful people are attacked by one of thier own. It seems the world has an extra helping of homicidal crazy this century…….
    Peace and thanks for backing the US in our time of need on 9-11

  • Nancita

    I love Norway. A gorgeous country with wonderful people. I’m so sorry. I send condolences on behalf of everyone in the American Midwest. God bless you all.

  • Bettina

    I am in tears about what has happened. I am so sorry Norway. I am so sorry for all your losses.

  • BILL HONNER

    I heard on the news that there were 40 homicides in Norway last year. We have more than that in Detroit in one month. Oslo, Norway would be one of the last places in the world to expect something like this. My prayers are for the surviving families. What a terrible happening!.
    WH

  • Duckabush Writer

    When will Liberals and Progressives figure out this is the opposition that is getting larger and more radical throughout Western Culture. Islam is not the danger – it is the present day followers of Hitler. Obama is the perfect example of the Liberal with no backbone and apparently no understanding of who is against him. “Compromise” – the Right wants no compromise. There are more evil doers out there in every western country…wake up Liberals and Progressives!

    • Neil

      What exactly is your point? “Western” right wing radicals in favour of extreme conservative values in the same way that Islamic radicals are in favour of extreme conservative values.
      They’re basically the same thing. They’re as dangerous as one another.

  • Dick In Seattle

    Millions of Americans are related to Norway through family ties but tonight all 310 million of us are related to you in spirit. As others have said we remember how you stood with us after 9/11 and at other times of shared crisis. Please know we are standing with you now. Vi bed for deg.

  • James

    Thoughts go out to our Norwegian brothers and sisters from your friends in Canada; especially those of us whose ancestors of Norwegian heritage. Don’t let these senseless acts deter you from continuing to exemplify an open and tolerant society that is an example to the world.

  • Dahlsdottir

    I am so sorry — no family should have to bear this kind of tragedy. People should not fear their fellow citizens; people should not decide that killing others is the way to solve political frustrations.
    Wishing peace and healing to you all.

  • Hale Relic

    I’m seeing this human world turning inward on itself out of pain. It saddens me that these individuals cave in a try to take others with them seeking to ease their own suffering. All we can do is wish that others will see how futile that is. Courage to face these dark times should be held more in honour, as it was of old. To stay strong in spite of all failure is our only hope.

  • http://TheGraphicVisigoth Skulz Fontaine

    Damn sad day for Norway. Outrageous. I’m Norwegian by ancestry and I feel Oslo’s pain. Dear Norway, you have our condolences, our sympathies, and our prayers. Stand strong.
    most respectfully,
    Skulz Fontaine
    Spokane, Washington

  • Wheeler Winston Dixon

    This is absolutely tragic news. I am so, so, sorry to read of this; shocking and utterly indefensible. My heart goes out to all — I only wish I was not so far away, and could help more concretely. This is terrible, terrible news.

  • http://comcast.com downingnewman

    My prayers are with all of Norway.

  • Pashangaon

    Condolences to family members of loved ones. Norway be strong.

  • Andrea Moen

    My father was born in Norway and I hope to go one day, but although I haven’t been there yet, I feel connected to it. I feel so terrible for those hurt and for the parents, siblings, friends, and acquaintances of the victims – and sad that Norway has to deal with this horrifying situation and realize that a Norwegian was brainwashed to the degree he was like most others who commit murders for a cause. It is another dark day for mankind – but the love and caring shown by those around the world toward those suffering everywhere shows that there are so many more who are not succumbing to evil and want to radiate love and compassion out into the world.

  • Lia

    My sympathies to the Norwegian people, especially families of the victims. This is horrible.

  • R. Hotaling

    The prayers of the American people go out to Norway tonight. We are deeply saddend at any terrroist attack on innocent people whether it is domestic or not. Be strong Norway, we in the USA stood up after 9/11 and you will too when the time is right. Reasonable people of all countries and religious faiths must stand against intolerance of all types. Our thoughts are with all the families in Norway who lost loved ones…we are with you.

  • Hugo Cohen

    Norway, you are in our thoughts. Such a beautiful, peaceful country. Unfortunately we have come to expect this sort of thing here in the United States. We have thousands of shootings daily and no one seems to care – not even us. Sadly we have become immune to killing. But Norway? It’s sad and shocking that one person with a gun can cause so much suffering in your beautiful country to your peace loving people. Much sadness here among peace loving people in the US for our friends in Norway tonight.

  • M Norskog

    My condolences to the people of Norway. Every time I’ve gone back, I’ve been welcomed like I never left, by people I’ve never met. This is a terrible tragedy, but I have faith that the great love of the Norwegian people can overcome it.

    Keep your chins up, friends. We’re all with you in spirit.

  • Michelle

    We in America are so sorry that this has happened to the people of Norway. Our hearts go out to you.

  • Hussain, Pakistan

    Love and condolences for the people of Norway, from Pakistan.

  • James McDonald

    Brave Norway, our hearts are with you in this hour of tragedy. Compassion and succor to the innocent, swift and terrible justice for the guilty.

  • john

    My heart aches for all the Norwegians …..how sad …soo sad.
    I send my love to you folks from South Dakota. Prayers as well.

  • John (California)

    Tonight I am feeling Norway’s pain, its the same way I felt after the Oklahoma City bombing and after 911.
    I dont understand the evil that humans are capable of, there is no limits to human hatred.
    I wish I could go to sleep tonight and not wake up tomorrow, I dont want to be a part of this sickness that we call humanity.
    We love to hate each other over differences in politics, religion, cultures and skin colors.
    Who will deliver justice for all those innocent kids killed by this animal, God is too busy apperantly.
    I am far away in geography but very close in my thoughts this evening, with the people of Norway.
    John K.
    Los Angeles

  • John

    So sorry for Norway

  • kunle misak

    May the Lord strength the families affected.

  • Pat

    Thank you Norway for being one of the few Countires to pay back debt to the USA after WW II — but we are still at War–unfortunately one of your own was used to carry out a demented act of Hatred. From one Country to Another our Hearts are Full!

  • Radish

    Our condolence to all who have lost their near and dear ones. May God give them the courage to withstand the pain of heart.

  • Fayaz Ahmad

    Long Live Norway!

  • Benjamin

    All my Norwegian brothers and sisters, stand against the terrorism. We love you and support you.

  • Klyfer

    All my thoughts with people of Norway

    A beautiful country with beautiful people. Those who did this horrendous attack should be ashamed.

    Norway, stand strong as you have always been.

    Love from Maldives!

  • Wüthrich Werner (Switzerland)

    We here in Switzerland are deeply hit by the bad and unbelievable news from Norway. Our sympathy and love for the Norvegian People grows even more after the terrible bomb attack. The people of Norway have many friends all over the world, who will help them in these difficult times.

  • Anum

    Today it’s proved that terrorism knows no religion.We need to stop this hatred among society. Hatred yields no results, it just spreads terrorism.
    LOVE YOU NORWAY. May the country of peace turns back as it has been always.

  • Ed Weissman

    To the brave and great Norwegian people. You have built the finest country on earth. Hatred and fanaticism have brought you such horror. Be strong and be brave. My late uncle Albert, working for the U.N., helped with the rebuilding of Norway after W.W. II. He often told stories of the greatest of Norway’s people. In Bergen, the first shipment of oranges arrived, the people quietly shared them equally. The crowd did not rush or riot or steal from others. They were Norway. I’m crying too.

  • michael

    I am sorry that so many young people died, but I must say that government and political police (and their journalists) are responsible for spreading of hate against immigrants, such politics developed right wing standpoints and result is one crazy man. It happened in Sweden, Malmo, too, one fascist killed random individual immigrants who waited for bus, several months they needed to arrest him and all the time he killed people just because they have dark skin. This Norwegian is even more extreme, he didn’t attack only immigrants than government and kids from different political party. Beside it, chef of political police is responsible if someone created car bomb and political police didn’t get information about it.

  • The poetician

    Hypocrisy is the word..The media has long hesitated before naming the suspect..and now few people dare compare the lunatic mafia wars addict and nationalist christian white guy to Timothy McVeigh..and the words terror and terrorism are no more used since the perpetrator does not fit in the pre-conceived profile that almost everybody wanted/expected him to be..Middle Eastern muslim that is!! The extreme right is escalating in Europe and that’s what the hypocrite media will not tell you..
    They said this white skin ethnic norwegian faces 21 years of jail. But hey don’t worry he’ll be out for christmas to carry out for a new Mafia Wars episode..

  • Joao Mendonca (Portugal)

    My condolences to the Norwegian People and to the families who have suffered such a terrible loss.
    My prayers are with you, love and peace from Portugal.

  • Goran Juric

    I just saw pictures in newspapers of those young people executed beside a wall, on that island. I can’t imagine what their parents feel and goes through at the moment but as a ordinary person i feel anger and hate against ideologies and beliefs that followed him on his killings path!
    My condolences to the families and people of Norway.

  • Allie

    I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims as well as to Norway as a whole. No one should face such a situation as this. My thoughts are with you all.

  • Mark Lincoln

    I hope this horror does not warp Norway the way that 9/11 deranged the USA. The ‘enemies’ are extremism, intolerance and fundamentalism. The victims and their families suffer from a young man’s self-destructive beliefs. Let his actions not turn a beautiful nation into an image of himself.

  • Feyzullah TORLAK, Turkey

    My condolences to you from İstanbul.

  • Helen

    My heart is broken for all the people of Norway and especially those who lost loved ones in this horrific attack on one of the most humane, civilized, caring, and peaceful countries in this world. Just as you have been an example for others, your strength in confronting this tragedy will again show the world how to confront enemies from within.
    Helen