Royal Palace was Breivik’s third target

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Mass murder- and terror defendant Anders Behring Breivik testified in court on Thursday that he originally planned to bomb three targets in Oslo including the Royal Palace, and then go on a shooting spree downtown until he was shot himself. He settled on bombing government headquarters and a massacre at a Labour Party summer camp.

Norway's Royal Palace on a recent spring day: It's currently getting a new roof, and it's still possible to drive right up to its front entrance. The king and queen live in the royal apartment on the upper floors at left. PHOTO: Views and News

Prosecutors have been grilling Breivik about how he planned his attacks on July 22 last year.  He revealed his targets just before the court took a midday break.

Breivik said he planned to build three bombs instead of the one that exploded outside Norway’s government headquarters building in downtown Oslo. The government remained his top target, but he initially planned to detonate another bomb outside the Labour Party’s headquarters building nearby before setting off another bomb outside the palace, which is located farther uptown.

Each bomb would be placed in parked cars and he intended to move among them by motorcycle. After detonating the last bomb at the palace, he then planned to head for what’s called  “Blitzhuset” in Oslo, a city-financed center for radical youth, many of whom are anti-racists, “and kill as many Blitzers as I could” before moving on to the building housing the newspaper Dagsavisen. It was formerly known as Arbeiderbladet, and had ties to the Labour Party.

‘More difficult than I thought’
But Breivik decided, as late as last June, that his plan was impractical. “It was much more difficult than I had thought to build a bomb,” Breivik testified, adding that “problems arose” and he lacked enough “raw material” to make three bombs. He settled on the one bomb that caused enormous damage to government ministries and killed eight persons.

Breivik said he evaluated several other targets in Oslo as well, including the Parliament (Stortinget), City Hall (Rådhuset, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year) and various media organizations including the headquarters for Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) and newspaper Aftenposten. Breivik has been irritated by Norwegian media for years, he said, viewing them as too liberal and promoters of the multiculturalism he was fighting against. He referred to NRK as “the Labour Party’s broadcaster.”

NRK, which has a large team of journalists covering Breivik’s trial, reported a lot of head-shaking within the courtroom while Breivik talked about killing or “executing” as many persons as possible. At the same time, he all but contradicted himself when he said he’d ruled out an attack on Aftenposten because it occupies “only a small part” of an office building near the central train station and “there were too many civilians there.”

‘Unacceptable’ to hurt the royals themselves
Breivik was careful to point out that even though he settled on the Royal Palace as a third target before scrapping his first plan, he would bomb it when royal family weren’t there on a Friday afternoon in July. King Harald and Queen Sonja live in the palace, but are normally on summer holiday in July.

Breivik said that injuring members of the royal family would have been “unacceptable” because “the majority of nationalists are supporters of the monarchy, including myself.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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