Ultra right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 persons in a bombing and massacre in Norway last summer, has received hundreds of letters in prison and written many himself to other right-wing extremists. He’s trying to drum up support for his anti-immigration and anti-Islamic causes.
Newspaper VG reported on Thursday that Breivik wants to establish a network for extremists that he calls the Conservative Revolutionary Movement, to be set up outside the prison where he’s being held. He reportedly envisions a group consisting of around 50 right-wing activists in Europe, in addition to a right-wing extremist movement within European prisons.
Vibeke Hein Bæra, one of Breivik’s defense attorneys, told newspaper VG that their client has spent as many as eight to 10 hours a day writing letters since his 10-week trial ended in June. In them, he details how he wants to continue his fight against what he considers liberal immigration policies and other democratic values of his native Norway.
Breivik has a computer at his disposal in his prison cell but no Internet access. He thus can only send and receive letters written on paper since he has no access to e-mail. Their content is monitored by prison officials and several politicians are objecting to his correspondence. One told VG that the letter-writing constitutes “a constant threat” if it can motivate and influence others towards violence.
Breivik also has written that he has plans for three books; one on his terrorist attacks of July 22 last year, another on the ideology behind them and a third on how he envisions the future. Breivik has repeatedly claimed that he attacked Norway’s left-center government headed by the Labour Party and a summer camp organized by Labour’s youth organization AUF, because he holds Labour responsible for allowing Norway to emerge as a multi-cultural society. He also wanted to kill off the next generation of Labour leaders.
Prison officials may cut off the correspondence
Breivik himself has received nearly 600 letters sent to the Ila Prison outside Oslo, where he was held in high-security cells isolated from other prisoners until this week. On Monday he was moved to another high-security prison in Skien, Telemark County, pending construction of improvements at Ila. He’s expected to be sent back to Ila later this fall.
Prisoners are generally allowed correspondence with the outside world but prison officials are considering restrictions on Breivik’s massive letter-writing. “We see what he’s writing and have worked to determine whether we can view this in the context of his attacks, especially his manifesto,” Knut Bjarkeid, director at Ila Prison, told VG. “We have now received confirmation from the Justice Ministry that we can.”
That means prison authorities can put a halt to Breivik’s correspondence. Bjarkeid wouldn’t say whether they already have stopped sending the letters Breivik writes.
Breivik has confessed to both the bombing of Norway’s government headquarters and his massacre at the Labour summer camp. He awaits sentencing on August 24, when the judicial panel overseeing his case will rule on whether he’s sane and able to serve a normal prison term, or insane and committed to psychiatric care. He’s expected to ultimately serve either term at Ila Prison because he’s considered too dangerous to be held in a psychiatric institution.
See related story: Breivik’s appeal was posted on YouTube
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
Please support our news service. Readers in Norway can use our donor account. Our international readers can click on our “Donate” button: