By Jerome Taylorin Asta Oest, Norway.
Norway got a glimpse into the mind of a mass murderer yesterday as an extraordinary manifesto by Anders Behring Breivik emerged on the internet, detailing a massacre eight years in the making.
The killer was vainglorious, lethal, meticulous and utterly callous. He was also desperate for the world to know exactly who he was and why he had decided to embark on such a brutal killing spree.
The appearance of the 1,500-page document, which Breivik placed online before embarking on Friday's devastating attacks, came as forensic investigators sifted through the buildings of a farm in the village of Asta Oest, two hours' drive north of Oslo. It is believed the 32-year-old secretly built a car bomb there that tore the heart out of Oslo and killed seven people.
According to his lawyer, Geir Lippestad, Breivik, who will appear in court today charged with two counts of terrorism, he has admitted masterminding Friday's attacks, but believes he is not criminally responsible.
When special forces stormed Utoya island, where the death toll climbed by one to 86 yesterday, Breivik gave up without a fight. But just in case he was killed, he left his manifesto and a YouTube video explaining his warped ethos. Both documents are diatribes against what he saw as the erosion of traditional Europe by the forces of liberalism and a call to arms for nationalists to "embrace martyrdom" by starting an anti-Muslim crusade.
Entitled "2083 – A European Declaration of Independence", the manifesto reveals how the six-foot bodybuilder spent eight years planning his attacks. Between 2002 and 2006, a period he described as phase one, Breivik raised money before moving on to phase two – planning his massacre.
He moved out of his own apartment and in with his mother to save money and gradually distanced himself from his friends. Vain and body-conscious, he visited tanning salons and took steroids to bolster his physique. Mindful of the impact he wanted his writing to have, he published them in English.
An entry from 2009 reveals how Breivik bought his farm as a perfect cover for buying fertiliser. "Needless to say; this is an extremely vulnerable phase," he wrote after placing his first order. "If I get through this phase without trouble, I will be very close to finalising my operation."
By spring of this year Breivik had successfully bought his weapons, including a Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle and Glock pistol which he buried in the woods behind the farm. With no previous criminal convictions, it was easy for him to acquire weapons in a country where hunting is hugely popular. "On the application form I stated: 'hunting deer'," he wrote. "It would have been tempting to just write the truth; 'executing category A and B cultural Marxists/multiculturalist traitors' just to see their reaction :P."
And it was with these weapons that Breivik once again displayed a lethal meticulousness that made the Utoya island shootings the deadliest attack on record by a lone gunmen. After eight years of planning, Breivik was in no hurry. He calmly fired his weapons with precise single shots rather than spraying the area with bullets.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg spoke on behalf of his traumatised nation: "We are still struggling to get to grips with the dimension of what has happened," he said. "Many of us know people that have been killed."
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