Utoya attack was Norway killer's back-up plan

Anders Breivik admits island camp was not prime target

Even as grief-stricken Norwegians, led by the Crown Prince Haakon, paid their respects yesterday in a private memorial service in Domkirke, the main cathedral in central Oslo, Anders Behring Breivik showed no sign of remorse for one of the most lethal killing sprees by a single person in history.

Last night it emerged that Breivik harboured plans to detonate several bombs in the centre of Oslo including its royal palace. But he was unable to produce explosives in time. During a 10-hour police interrogation Breivik was said to have been more interested in asking authorities how many people he had killed, apparently reacting "without emotion" when told.

Authorities explained how Breivik said that the attacks – which comprised a bomb in centre Oslo and a gun massacre of 69 people on the island of Utoya at least 20 miles away – were actually the contingency plan of a wider plot involving multiple devices across the city. Police would not confirm local reports that the royal palace and Labour Party headquarters were among the targets.

Despite Breivik's efforts, the tragedy has only served to bring Norwegians together in dignified displays of unity.

Oslo was littered with roses yesterday: potent symbols of a people in mourning. Aled Fisher, 24, from Cardiff, a student at the University of Oslo, described the scene, saying: "The centre of town is packed. It's very hot and people are out sunbathing and having a good time.

"Cafés, bars and down by waterfront looks completely normal except for roses everywhere you look. People came back from the memorial on Monday and stuck them in public places, traffic lights, gates. Everywhere you look today you see roses covering things. By the cathedral, there is a large sea of flowers. The memorial services have been events to keep survivors occupied and together."

Norwegian journalists were told by police who interviewed Breivik yesterday that he was eager to know whether his photograph had appeared in newspapers and the exact number of television crew in Oslo. The 32-year-old been prohibited from seeing any media since his arrest.

Although Breivik claims to have spent almost a decade preparing his deadly attack, police say that he does not appear to have shared his plans with anyone. His rampage began on 22 July, when he parked a van loaded with a bomb made from fertiliser outside government offices in central Oslo. Eight people were killed in the explosion. Less than two hours later, Breivik walked into a youth political camp on Utoya island dressed as a policeman and armed with a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle, and embarked on a shooting rampage. He claims to have carried out the attacks as part of a network of modern-day crusaders – the Knights Templar – to launch a revolution against a Europe spoilt by Muslim immigration, and that there are other cells ready to strike. Although it has been established that Breivik had contacted members of the English Defence League (EDL), investigators say they have found no signs of a larger conspiracy.

Britain's National Association of Muslim Police (Namp) will deliver a letter to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, stating that its officers have been targeted by radicalised members of the EDL. It details an unresolved investigation of an unidentified man arrested last year with "quantities of fireworks/devices" alongside names of Muslim police officers circled on whiteboards for attacks.

The letter also outlines concerns that EDL leader Stephen Lennon suggested similar events to those witnessed in Norway could be "years away" if his organisation's concerns were not addressed.

The Independent on Sunday can also reveal that British businessman Alan Lake, a known funder of EDL and other far-right groups in Europe, was filmed on Norwegian TV saying that he would be happy to execute extremist Muslim. He said: "I call them seditious. They are seeking the overthrow of the state. They are not respecting that which respects the state and as far as I am concerned I'd be happy to execute people like that."

Meanwhile, leading charities joined Labour in urging Theresa May to review the Government's recently introduced Prevent strategy and its entire approach to terrorism. It was echoed by comments from Jonathan Birdwell of Demos. "Security services have to examine far-right activities on the fringes more carefully. Politicians need to start speaking about these issues."

To an extent, however, it is still unclear how seriously European authorities should take Breivik's claims of links to others. Police investigations into claims made by Breivik shed fresh light on his tenuous grip of reality and vainglorious self-obsession.

His claims that he once almost gained a seat on Oslo's city council were dismissed as "nonsense" by Joran Kallmyr, who was chairman of the Progress Party's youth wing and is now a vice mayor of Oslo. He claimed Breivik attended just five or six party meetings and barely spoke. "I remember there was nothing special about him that could lead to something like this," said Mr Kallmyr.

Richard Steenfeldt Berg, described as a one-time business mentor by Breivik, said the claims were a "bizarre exaggeration". He added that the only thing he taught Breivik was how to record corporate minutes.

"Yes, I met this monster 11 years ago. No, I did not coach him in any subjects, except for some advice on writing corporate minutes protocol, which he requested fervently," Mr Berg said in a letter on his Facebook page. "No, I have never acted as, nor accepted the role of, any kind of 'mentor' for him."

The conflicts between Breivik's story and reality highlight the delusional tone of the 1,518-page manifesto he released hours before the attacks. He described teen years infatuated with hip-hop, spray-painting buildings with graffiti before apparently reinventing himself as a crusader against Islam. Although former friends confirm Breivik's claims of troublemaking, they add that he was a loner, reluctant to reveal his own thoughts.

Last week his former stepmother, Tove Overmo, said: "If I'd had some kind of suspicion, some kind of idea that something was not right with him, it would have been easier. He left saying 'see you soon' or something like that, something very normal."

Additional reporting by Sarah Morrison and Andrew McCorkell

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?