Oslo police release names of massacre victims
Published 7:12 am Tuesday, July 26, 2011
OSLO, Norway (AP) — Norwegian police on Tuesday began releasing the names of those killed in last week’s bomb blast and massacre at a youth camp, an announcement likely to bring new collective grief to an already reeling nation.
Police named the first four of at least 76 people killed. Although only names, ages and hometowns were listed, it will likely bring another shock to friends and acquaintances who did not already know of their deaths.
The first release listed three who were killed in a bomb blast in Oslo’s government quarter and one killed at the island youth camp. They were Gunnar Linaker, 23, from Bardu in northern Norway, who was killed at the camp; and Oslo residents Tove Aashill Knutsen, 56; Hanna M. Orvik Endresen, 61; and Kai Hauge, 33.
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Earlier Tuesday, the national newspaper Dagbladet posted the names and photos of 16 people it said were killed in the attacks or missing. The information, apparently received from friends or relatives, showed three victims who did not appear to be ethnic Norwegians — examples of the multiethnic Norway that the alleged bomber and gunman says he despised.
Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old who has confessed to the massacre, is unaware of the impact of the attacks and asked his defense counsel how many people he had killed, his lawyer Geir Lippestad told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Lippestad said his client is likely insane.
That question furthers the emerging portrait of Breivik: The judge in his case described him as very calm, a police officer said he was merciless in his spree, and his lawyer added that he was very cold, but saw himself as a warrior and savior of the Western world.
Breivik has confessed to last week’s bombing in the capital and a rampage at a Labor Party retreat for young people that left at least 76 people dead, but he has pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges he faces, claiming he acted to save Europe from what he says is Muslim colonization.
Lippestad said Breivik took drugs to “to be strong, to be efficient, to keep him awake” during the 90-minute attack at the camp. It is too early to say if Breivik will use an insanity defense, he said.
Lippestad said in an exclusive interview that he did not answer Breivik’s question about the death toll.
The brutal assault has stunned peaceful, liberal Norway — but also appears to have brought its citizens together. About 150,000 people filled the streets of Oslo on Monday, laying roses feet deep in the street as they mourned the dead and vowed that Norway’s commitment to democracy could not be shaken.
Lippestad said his client, who claims he is part of an organization with several cells in Western countries, has been insulated from the effects of his crime.
“He asked me if was if I was shocked and if I could explain to him what happened,” Lippestad said. “He didn’t know if he had succeeded with his plan.”
But Lippestad said in an earlier news conference that his client felt the “operation” was going ahead as planned and had assumed he would be taken down 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 Labor Party, leaving dozens dead and hundreds of terrified young people scrambling to escape, many diving into the water to try to swim away.
While Breivik says he acted alone and police believe he didn’t have any accomplices, he claimed that several cells of his terror organization exist abroad, including two in Norway, Lippestad told reporters. It was his first press conference since taking the case.
Though Breivik has been charged with acts of terrorism, Lippestad told the AP he could also be charged with crimes against humanity. Although the stiffest sentence in Norway is 21 years, the lawyer said his client 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 Lippestad.
Asked how his client looks up himself, he said: “As a savior, some kind of savior.”
Two psychiatric experts will evaluate Breivik to determine whether he is mentally ill, said Lippestad, adding that it’s too early to say whether that will be his defense.
“This whole case has indicated that he’s insane,” he told reporters.