The suspect in the Oslo and Utøya terrorist attacks, Anders Behring Breivik, was likely delayed on his way in and out of the capital on the day his crimes were committed, potentially saving many lives at both the government headquarters and the Labour Youth summer camp – as new details continue to emerge about the case.
Breivik himself revealed the new information during police interviews. Had the confessed perpetrator been on time, it is thought that a greater number of people would have been at work in the bombed government complex, and that many more would have died at Utøya as participants gathered to hear a speech from former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.
New information regarding international purchases made on eBay by Breivik have also been published by a British newspaper.
Car accident caused delays
On the day of the attacks, Breivik drove a getaway car into the city by 11:45. He would then go home, change into police uniform and post his manifesto online. He was nevertheless unable to reach the center with the vehicle containing the bomb until around 15:00, the time at which he had hoped to arrive at Utøya while Brundtland was still on the island. A car accident at Bygdøylokket at 14.19 is believed to be the cause of his delays, leading to long queues. After the bombings, Breivik drove his getaway car from Hammersborg Torg in west central Oslo at around 15:30. He would meet another set of delays in the same area on his way out of the city that effectively doubled the time it would normally take to get to Utøya.
Breivik has already admitted that he hoped to attack Utøya while Gro Harlem Brundtland was present. Brundtland herself has commented to newspaper VG that the current situation “is about the young people that were alone out there,” refusing to speak on how she feels to have been targeted. Figures revealed on Monday, meanwhile, showed that just 190 employees of a 1,600-strong workforce were present in the government complex when the bombings took place. VG further reports that much of the bomb’s power had been dissipated because it was placed on top of underground pedestrian tunnels that absorbed the blast, leading a bomb expert with Norwegian People’s Aid, Per Nergaard, to calculate that the bomb was around the 1,000 kilos described in Breivik’s manifesto. “It is completely unique that ‘only’ eight people lost their lives” in the use of such a large bomb, Nergaard concluded.
Further details about Breivik’s international activities have also emerged, as the British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph claimed that the suspect had bought several items of equipment from the UK, the USA, China and Hong Kong. Using an eBay account with the name “andrewbrei,” Breivik is believed to have legally bought 500 grams of sulphur powder from a London-based middleman named Andrew Christou, who said that his “shock and horror” at the Oslo attacks was “multiplied ten-fold” when he found out that he had “unwittingly” supplied key ingredients. According to Breivik’s manifesto, he would use the sulphur to create a primary charge chemical known as DDNP. He also used eBay to buy a drill press vice worth £12 from a Sheffield-based firm called Tool Timez, which his manifesto describes as being used to help him hold bullets in place so that they could have a portion of lead hollowed out in order to be filled with poison. It is not yet confirmed whether poisoned bullets were used in the shootings.
Breivik was able to purchase a “Hazmat” suit from a British academic living in the USA in order to work with chemicals. He would further buy a full-face respirator, a LaserLyte pistol bayonet from the USA, a zoom spotting scope from China and a tactical rifle foregrip from Hong Kong. As Breivik’s manifesto describes a number of other eBay-purchased items, it may mean that he had further and as yet undiscovered accounts.
A spokesperson for the Oslo police district, Sturla Henriksen Bø, told news agency NTB that Breivik had described some details about online purchases during interrogations, and that the authorities “now make enquiries in order to verify this and get answers for unanswered questions.”
Swedish links, non-halal demands and government ultimatum
The police now plan to map all of Breivik’s activities over the past 10 years in detail, as they attempt to find anyone who may have aided the terror suspect. It has now been confirmed by Swedish police that authorities are investigating the Facebook profiles of two men that list themselves as employees in Breivik’s farming front operation, Breivik Geofarm.
A number of Breivik’s demands to the police have also been made public. Many of these demands revolve around access to the internet or other material, and have been refused, although the suspect’s demand not to be served halal food has been met. According to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), Breivik has also demanded that the government resigns before he reveals certain aspects of the case, including details on another two terror cells that he claims are in operation in the country.
Other revelations over the weekend suggest that Breivik also planned to attack the royal palace in Oslo.
Views and News from Norway/Aled-Dilwyn Fisher
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