Norway’s confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik says he intended hundreds should die in his attack on a Labor Party camp last year.
Breivik, 33, told his trial he planned to behead former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during the rampage, and post a video of it on the internet.
He also hoped his car bomb in Oslo would kill the entire government.
The attacks killed 77 people. Breivik, 33, disputes a report by a psychiatrist describing him as insane.
Anchor Lisa Mullins gets more from reporter Martin Sandbu in Oslo.
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Lisa Mullins: I’m Lisa Mullins and this is The World. There were more shocking statements today in the trial of the rightwing extremist Anders Breivik in Norway. This time Breivik told the court in Oslo that he had planned to kill more than the 77 people he murdered in the bombing and shooting rampage last July. He said he specifically wanted to kill the former Norwegian prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland. Covering this trial in Oslo is Martin Sandbu, of the Financial Times newspaper. We spoke to you a couple of days ago, Martin, and you talked about the fact that Breivik was bragging about his killing. Souns like today there was more boasting about his brutality. What happened?
Martin Sandbu: Yes, thanks for having me back. It was quite a chilling day in court. The prosecutor took Breivik through some of his alternative plans, his plans A, as he calls them in this very sort of technical, formal language. He often speaks in a very technical way in the third person and so on. But he talked about the things he had originally planned to do, which included killing the former prime minister by beheading her in a plan that he said himself he was going to imitate from al-Qaeda. He also said he originally planned more bombs. He had planned to attack an annual conference for journalists, who he holds the media responsible for what he thinks is censorship of views such as his own. He had planned to attack the labor party conference, and he used this chilling language when he said he was only his own human limitations that caused the delays that in the end forced him in his view to choose this labor youth camp instead.
Mullins: What exactly did he mean by that?
Sandbu: Well, he meant that he had planned to make more than one bomb and he thought that he would be able to do that in four weeks. Turned out it took him several months to make just one, and he was running out of money. So he had thought he’d be ready in June before the summer holiday started, and he talked about all these things as practical constraints. And basically the Utoya labor youth camp was in his words politically most attractive target available during the summer holidays.
Mullins: This is a man who also, you’ve noted this in your stories, Martin, was a fan of video games. There’s of course a lot of controversy about whether video games prompt any kind of violent actions, but in this case he had a lot of exposure according to his own testimony, exposure to a particular video game.
Sandbu: That’s right, he explained to the court or to the prosecutors that he’d spent a year from 2006 to 2007 playing the video game World of Warcraft full time, 16 hours a day on average. He claimed this was pure entertainment, had nothing to do with his terrorist attacks five years later. The prosecution seems to be pushing a different story. They haven’t suggest yet that this game, which can be a violent game, although people say it’s not among the most violent games out there, it could have started his mental deterioration. That’s sort of the thesis of two of the psychiatrists who’ve examined him. He did also play a different game, Modern Warfare, which he did say he had used specifically to prepare himself for the shooting operation in his words.
Mullins: And last time we spoke to you, Martin, you had noted the stunning civility of the proceedings, the kind of polite interactions between the prosecutor and the defendant. Do you see more of that today?
Sandbu: There is more of it although it’s changed a little bit on all sides, but Breivik himself for the first time this morning did not perform his fascist style salute which he has performed every morning before the proceedings start, and many of the victims and families have taken offense. But there is still an occasionally chatty tone between the prosecutors and Breivik, although it’s getting quite a lot testier. You can tell that Breivik gets quite animated when he talks about technical details, about his planning, about weapons and so on. And he is much less comfortable talking about feelings. And today, the prosecutor pointed out in that he was smiling while he was talking about some of these things. And the prosecutor asked him directly, and I think this was the first time, what do you think the victims and the families feel about seeing you smile. And he immediately stopped smiling and said well, they probably feel the natural thing, they feel horror and disgust, but what is striking about Breivik is that he needs to be asked these questions about how other people might feel. It doesn’t seem to occur to him naturally.
Mullins: All right, thank you, covering the trial of Anders Behring Breivik in Norway, Martin Sandbu for the Financial Times, thanks a lot.
Sandbu: Thanks very much.
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