Anders Breivik is 'insane', says his lawyer

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The Independent Online

Massacre gunman Anders Breivik is insane and appears to have no idea of the worldwide revulsion at his acts, his lawyer said today.

Geir Lippestrad spoke after talking in jail to Breivik who told him he thought his 'operation' was going to plan and asked how many people he had killed.

He revealed Breivik took drugs to be "strong, efficient and awake" before launching his Oslo bomb attack and island shooting rampage that together killed 76 people.

Mr Lippestrad described Breivik, 32, as a 'very cold' person who described the attacks as necessary because he was in a state of war.

Breivik has confessed to the attacks but pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges, claiming he acted to save Europe from what he says is Muslim colonisation.

Mr Lippestad said that he did not answer Breivik's question about the death toll.

"He asked me if was if I was shocked and if I could explain to him what happened," Mr Lippestad said. "He didn't know if he had succeeded with his plan."

But Mr Lippestad said Breivik felt the operation was going ahead as planned and had assumed that he would have been stopped by police sooner than he was. About 90 minutes into his rampage, a SWAT team reached him, and he surrendered.

The attacks began with a bombing outside the building that houses the prime minister's office in Oslo. Then, Breivik opened fire on an island retreat for the youth wing of the Labour Party, leaving dozens dead and hundreds scrambling to escape, many diving into the water to try to swim away.

While Breivik says he acted alone, and police believe he did not have any accomplices, he claimed that several cells of his terror organisation exist abroad, including two in Norway

Breivik has been charged with acts of terrorism, but Mr Lippestad said he could also be charged with crimes against humanity. Although the stiffest sentence in Norway is 21 years, the lawyer said he would never be set free.

"His reason (for the attacks) is that he wants to start a war against democracy, against the Muslims in the world, and as he said he wants to liberate Europe and the Western world," said Mr Lippestad.

Asked how Breivik sees himself, he said: "As a saviour, some kind of saviour."

Two psychiatric experts will evaluate Breivik to determine whether he is mentally ill, said Mr Lippestad, adding that it's too early to say whether that will be his defence.

"This whole case has indicated that he's insane," he said.

Earlier, Norway's justice minister Knut Storberget said that employees from his department are still missing. Police plan to start publicly naming the dead for the first time Tuesday.

There is a particular focus on identifying the dead since authorities dramatically lowered the death toll on Monday, apparently because they counted 18 bodies twice in the confusion following the massacre. They initially said 86 people died on the island, but now say the figure is 68.

Mr Storberget also defended the police in response to a question about the mounting admissions of mistakes.

Police have acknowledged that they took 90 minutes to reach Utoya island, where the gunman was picking off young people attending a retreat for the Labour Party's youth wing. They were not able to deploy a helicopter because the entire crew had been sent on holiday. Victims who called emergency services from the midst of the massacre reported being told to stay off the line because authorities were dealing with the Oslo bombing.

"I feel the police have delivered well in this situation. I also feel they've delivered especially well on the points where there's been criticism raised," said Mr Storberget.