The man responsible for the worst single day of blood-letting in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings was born into a comfortable middle-class background and was "doted on" by an adoring mother.
But Anders Behring Breivik grew up to despise the liberal values of his family and spent a quarter of his life meticulously waging war on his own country. Yesterday, even his father said that it would have been better if his son turned the gun on himself. "How could he just stand there and kill so many innocent people and just seem to think that what he did was okay?" said Jens Breivik. "He should have taken his own life too."
Breivik was born in February 1979 in London to a diplomat father and his nurse wife. Jens Breivik and Wenche Behring divorced a year later, with Wenche taking her son back to Norway. In his 1,500 page manifesto, Breivik talks about how he lost contact with his father during his teens and was rebuffed when he tried to make contact. "I have not spoken to my father since he isolated himself when I was 15," he wrote. "I tried contacting him five years ago but he said he was not mentally prepared for a reunion."
Yesterday French police threw a ring of steel around Jens Breivik's home in the southern French village of Cournanal to protect him. Breivik had moved back in with his mother in western Oslo. Neighbours described him as a quiet and awkward man. "He looked like an ordinary guy, he was just like anybody else," said Caroline Slatti, 22. "I didn't know him all that well but his mother is really friendly. She always talks about him."Reuse content