Anders Breivik 'wanted to behead ex-PM Gro Harlem Brundtland'

 

Confessed mass killer Anders Breivik says he was planning to capture and decapitate former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during his shooting massacre on Utoya island.

Breivik told a court that he planned to film the beheading and post the video on the internet.

Brundtland had already left the Labour Party's youth camp on Utoya when Breivik arrived on July 22.

The far-right fanatic said he also planned to kill many more than the 69 people who died on the island.

There were nearly 600 people there. Breivik said, "the goal was to kill them all".

"The plan was to behead Gro Harlem Brundtland while it was being filmed," Breivik told the court.

He said he was inspired by al-Qa'ida's use of decapitation but noted that "beheading is a traditional European death penalty".

Breivik said the beheading "was meant to be used as a very powerful psychological weapon".

Brundtland was Labour prime minister for 10 years. She later headed the World Health Organisation and was appointed as a UN climate change envoy in 2007.

"Gro Harlem Brundtland has no comment on the information provided by Breivik, nor the court case in general," her adviser Jon Moerland said.

On the fourth day of his trial in Oslo on terror charges, Breivik spoke at ease about Norway's worst peacetime massacre, describing the victims as "traitors" and showing no sign of remorse.

"The goal was not to kill 69 people on Utoya. The goal was to kill them all," Breivik said.

The 33-year-old Norwegian said his original plans were to set off three bombs in Oslo, including at the royal palace, but building just one fertiliser bomb turned out to be "much more difficult than I thought".

"I settled on the palace in a setting where the royal family wouldn't be hurt," he said. "Most nationalists and cultural conservatives are supporters of the monarchy, including myself.

"When I reached a situation where it was impossible to make more than one bomb, it resulted in a strategy of one bomb and one shooting-based action," he said.

His preferred targets for the shooting massacre were an annual conference of Norwegian journalists or the Labour Party's annual meeting. But he could not get prepared in time, so he decided on striking against the summer retreat of the Labour Party's youth wing.

Breivik said he had expected to be confronted by armed police when he left Oslo for Utoya island. He killed 69 people there, armed with a handgun and a rifle - both named after Norse gods.

"I estimated the chances of survival as less than 5%," he said.

Breivik, who styles himself as a modern-day crusader, has confessed to the attacks but rejects criminal guilt, saying he was acting to protect Norway and Europe by targeting left-wing political forces he claims have betrayed the country by opening it up to immigration.

"Militant nationalists are split in two," Breivik said today. "One half says you should attack Muslims and minorities. The other half says you should attack elites, those who are responsible."

The key issue of the trial is to establish whether he is criminally insane.

He entered the Oslo district court without the clenched-fist salute he had used in previous hearings.

In his testimony, Breivik said he played the computer game Modern Warfare for 16 months starting in January 2010, primarily to get a feel for how to use rifle sights.

Breivik said he decided already in 2006 to carry out what he expected to be a "suicide" operation. First he took a "sabbatical year" fully devoted to play another computer game, World of Warcraft, for 16 hours a day.

Breivik said that cutting off social contact for a full year helped him prepare for the attacks, but the game-playing was "pure entertainment. It doesn't have anything to do with July 22".

Prosecutors challenged Breivik's assertion that he decided on an attack already in 2006, noting that his preparations for the attacks started in 2009, when he created an agricultural firm to buy chemicals for explosives.

Showing no sign of remorse, Breivik calmly answers questions from prosecutors, except when they ask about the alleged anti-Muslim "Knights Templar" network he claims to belong to. Prosecutors say they don't believe it exists.

When he smiled at one point during questioning on Wednesday, Prosecutor Svein Holden asked him how he thought the bereaved watching the proceedings in court would react to that.

"They probably react in a natural way, with horror and disgust," Breivik said. He said he smiled because he knew where Holden was going with his line of questioning.

The main point of his defence is to avoid an insanity ruling, which would deflate his political arguments. He repeatedly accuses prosecutors of trying to "ridicule" him by highlighting portions of a rambling, 1,500-page manifesto he posted before the attacks.

In it - and in a shortened version he read to the court on Tuesday - he said the "Knights Templar" will lead a revolt against "multiculturalist" governments around Europe, with the aim of deporting Muslims.

If found sane, Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence or an alternate custody arrangement that would keep him locked up as long as he is considered a menace to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to psychiatric care for as long as he's considered ill.

The trial is expected to last 10 weeks.

AP

Suggested Topics
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Life and Style
life
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Test Manager - Banking - Yorkshire - £450 per day

£400 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Test Manager - Banking - West Yorkshire - £400-£5...

IT Support - Hampshire - £24,000

£19000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have be...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone