Norway killer faces court

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik claims he is part of a network of up to 80 ‘solo martyr cells’ of people wanting to overthrow Western governments that tolerate Islam.
The fear that he could send coded messages to associates was reportedly behind the judge’s order that Breivik’s Oslo District Court appearance last night be closed to the public and the media. Police also feared he might be lynched.

The armoured Mercedes that brought Breivik, 32, to the court’s back entrance for the remand hearing was attacked by a crowd, it was reported.

The hearing was over less than an hour after his arrival.

District Court president Feir Engebretsen said the next hearing would be in four or eight weeks. Asked if the maximum penalty of 21 years was too short for this crime, Mr Engebretsen said there was a legal possibility Breivik could be jailed for longer.

Following the revelation of a 1500-page ”manifesto” that Breivik emailed only hours before the attacks on Friday that killed at least 76 people, intelligence agencies are investigating whether he had accomplices, as fears of copycat crimes have risen across Europe.

Scotland Yard is investigating Breivik’s claims he began his ”crusade” against ”the Islamic colonisation of Europe” after meeting other right-wing extremists in London in 2002.

He wrote that any member of a political group who had allowed Muslims to migrate deserved death for being ”multiculturalist traitors”.

The manifesto says the meeting called itself the ”European Military Order and Criminal Tribunal” of the ”Knights Templar”. UK authorities have noted increased internet chatter by a group using that name.

The manifesto, which Breivik emailed to 5700 people just hours before he detonated the Oslo car bomb, is entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence.

It documents his meticulous planning. Between 2002 and 2006 he raised money and moved in with his mother to save more, and trained and took steroids in order to build up his strength.

In 2009, he bought a farm as a cover for buying fertiliser, a key ingredient in bombs. This year, he bought weapons.

After his arrest he told police he acted alone, but they have been investigating witness statements that spoke of more than one gunman.

A spokeswoman for the Norwegian public prosecutor’s office last night refused to comment on whether police were looking for accomplices.

Breivik was expected to plead not guilty at a custody hearing overnight despite having confessed to the bombing and the massacre.

Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, has said he wanted to wear a uniform to the custody hearing and wanted it to be public. Breivik had written that trials could provide a ”propaganda base”.

During questioning, Breivik said he had intended to shoot former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during her presentation on the island where the shootings took place, but she was delayed, the Aftenposten reported, citing police sources.

Norwegian security officials have refused to comment on whether they were aware of Breivik as a potential threat but police have revealed more about why it took them nearly an hour to get to Utoya island, site of the massacre of 86 teenagers, following the first call for help.

Eric Berga, police operations chief in Buskerud County, said an inadequate boat and the wait for a special armed unit from Oslo slowed the response. ”When so many people and equipment were put into it, the boat started to take on water, so that the motor stopped,” Mr Berga said.

Breivik had written of using dum-dum bullets to cause maximum injury.

Norwegian surgeons confirmed he used a similar type of ammunition.

”These bullets more or less exploded inside the body,” said Dr Colin Poole, of Ringriket Hospital.

Norway last night observed a minute’s silence for the victims.

About 100 volunteers in 32 boats were helping police in the search for up to five people who were still missing.

First published in WA Today.