Norway terror suspect claims to have worked with two other cells


Photo courtesy of CNN

This photo comes from the end of a document written in English and titled, “A European Declaration of Independence.” While the title page shows the document’s author as Andrew Berwick, the writer later identifies himself as Anders Behring Breivik. As of Sunday, July 24, 2011, news media in Norway reported that Breivik is in police custody. While police had not yet officially named the suspect they are holding, they had announced that the man they are holding admitted to the slayings. The document from which these photos are taken is a rambling, 1,500-page manifesto which vows that a “European civil war” will lead to the execution of “cultural Marxists” and the banishing of Muslims.

CNN Wire Service

The suspect in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II has acknowledged carrying out the mass shooting and bombing, and claims to have worked with two other cells, a judge said Monday.

Judge Kim Heger said that the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, acknowledges carrying out the attacks, but said the attacks were necessary to prevent the “colonization” of the country by Muslims. He accused the Labour Party, whose members were targets of the mass shooting, of “treason” for promoting multiculturalism, the judge said.

Police refused to release information about their investigation into the possibility that two cells aided Breivik, saying Monday that a court hearing was closed so as not to disclose information.

Other court officials have said they could not confirm the existence of the cells and referred questions to police.

During his court hearing Monday, Breivik appeared “very calm,” an official said. “He was very concise in trying to explain why he was trying to do this,” the official said. “But when he started reading from his manifest, he was stopped.”

Two court psychiatrists will be assigned to the case, he added.

Heger ordered Breivik to remain in custody for eight weeks, until his next scheduled court appearance, as authorities continue to investigate a bombing in Oslo and a mass shooting at a nearby island that together killed at least 76 people.

Authorities originally said 93 had died but announced Monday that eight people were confirmed dead in the bombing and 68 in the shooting. Also on Monday, police said they were still searching Utoya Island for shooting victims, adding that 50 officers were going through “to make sure there are no casualties left.”

The suspect will be held in isolation for the first four weeks of his custody because of the possibility of tampering with evidence, Heger said. He will have access to his lawyer but no one else, and no letters or news, court officials said.

Breivik, 32, is a suspected right-wing Christian extremist who appears to have written a 1,500-page manifesto ranting against Muslims and laying out meticulous plans to prepare for the attacks.

CNN has not independently confirmed that Breivik is the author of the manifesto, which says it is designed to be circulated among sympathizers and bears his name.

The judge spoke to reporters after Monday’s hearing, which was closed to the public for “security reasons and because of a concern that it would impede the investigation,” court communications director Irene Ramm told CNN.

Breivik asked to wear a uniform to the hearing but was not allowed to, court official said.

The Norwegian government called for a national moment of silence in their memory Monday, ordering trains halted as part of a nationwide observance to remember the victims of Friday’s bombing in downtown Oslo and shooting at a political youth retreat on Utoya Island.

Court officials were among many who stood in silence to mark the moment at noon.

Police spokesman Henning Holtaas told CNN that the suspect has been charged with two acts of terror, one for the bombing and one for the mass shooting.

In Norway, the maximum sentence on such a charge is 21 years. However, if the court deems that a person could be a future threat, then they can be sentenced to “preventative detention,” Holtaas said. Under that type of sentence, a person would serve the maximum sentence of 21 years and then the court could assess an extension if the person was still deemed a threat, he said.

Breivik, a Norwegian, told investigators he acted alone and was not aided in the planning, acting National Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim told reporters Sunday.

Sponheim said that investigators were studying a manifesto that authorities believe was published online the day of the attack.

The suspect told investigators during interviews that he belonged to an international order, The Knights Templar, according to Norwegian newspaper VG, which cited unnamed sources.

He described the organization as an armed Christian order, fighting to rid the West of Islamic suppression, the newspaper said. He also told investigators he had been in contact with like-minded individuals and said he counts himself as a representative of this order, it said.

Holtaas declined to confirm the news report, saying “we are not commenting on such details.”

The newspaper report mirrors statements in the manifesto.

In the manifesto, there are photographs of Breivik wearing what appears to be a military uniform that features an altered U.S. Marine Corps dress jacket with Knights Templar medals.

The Knights Templar were Christian Crusaders who helped fight against Muslim rule of the Holy Land in the Middle Ages, but the order was shut down 700 years ago.

The manifesto with Breivik’s name on it refers to a “European Military Order and Criminal Tribunal (the PCCTS – Knights Templar) … created by and for the free indigenous peoples of Europe” in London in 2002.

The manifesto rants against Muslims and their growing presence in Europe and calls for a European civil war to overthrow governments, end multiculturalism and execute “cultural Marxists.”

Authorities allege that Breivik killed eight people Friday by setting off a car bomb in downtown Oslo that targeted government buildings, then traveled 20 miles to Utoya Island and killed 68 teens and young adults in an ambush at a political youth retreat. Authorities said Monday they were working on trying to nail down the timing of the attacks.

The suspect was carrying a considerable amount of ammunition when he surrendered to authorities, Sponheim told reporters.

Investigators will conduct autopsies over the next few days, Sponheim said, and the identities of the victims will be released once all the next-of-kin have been notified.

Among those killed on the island was Trond Berntsen, the stepbrother of Crown Princess Mette-Marit, according to a statement released by the Royal House Communications office.

At least four people have not been accounted for around Utoya Island, with investigators searching the waters nearby for victims who may have drowned trying to escape the shooter.

CNN’s Jonathan Wald, Michael Holmes, Jennifer Deaton, Erin McLaughlin, Chelsea J. Carter and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.