Probe in Norwegian killer’s UK links

London: Scotland Yard is probing links between the Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik and associates in Britain, based on mentions about a meeting in London in a document recovered from him after the Friday massacre.

Breivik, 32, who has admitted carrying out the Oslo bombing and Utoeya island youth camp shootings which killed at least 93 people.

Scotland Yard said a police officer had gone to Norway to help with the inquiry. Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK National Security Council (NSC) would meet on Monday to discuss the attacks. The document is reportedly littered with references to British politicians for allowing the spread of Islam.

The Prince of Wales is criticised for his patronage of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is branded “a war criminal” and accused of aligning himself with Islamist terror groups.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Labour Party leader Jack Straw, Prince Charles and a number of national newspaper journalists are also mentioned.

In the document written in English, Breivik claimed he was recruited by two English extremists at a meeting in London in April 2002 attended by a total of eight people. He signed the document with an anglicised version of his name – Andrew Berwick – and it was datelined “London, 2011”.

Anders Behring Breivik wants to tell Norway and the world why he killed at least 93 people in a bomb attack and shooting rampage when he appears in court on Monday, his lawyer said.

Calling himself a crusader against a tide of Islam in a rambling 1,500-page online manifesto, the 32-year-old mass murderer wants the opportunity to explain actions he deemed ‘atrocious’ but ‘necessary’.

The judge will have to decide whether the custody hearing, expected to start after 1 pm (1630 IST), will be held in public or behind closed doors.

The issue has generated a debate about freedom of expression with many Norwegians opposed to allowing a man who has shaken the nation’s psyche to expound his views.

Breivik has asked to wear a uniform in court, but his lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said he did not know what type.

The killer was dressed as a policeman during his shooting spree.

His lawyer said it was not clear what sort of uniform he wanted to wear. Breivik has not served in the armed forces but in some of the pictures he posted on the Internet before his killing spree he was dressed in a military-style outfit.

Police did not confirm a local media report that they planned to request a closed hearing. ”It’s up to the judge to decide. It’s not uncommon that the police will ask for it in advance but I don’t know if the police will ask for that,” Liv Corneliussen, a police prosecutor, told Reuters.

Lippestad said his client had admitted to Friday’s shootings at a Labour youth camp and an earlier bombing that killed seven people in Oslo’s government district, but that he denies any criminal guilt.

”He has been politically active and found out himself that he did not succeed with usual political tools and so resorted to violence,” Lippestad told TV2 news.

”I await a medical assessment of him,” he said.

The worst peacetime massacre in the normally placid country’s modern history appears to have been driven by Breivik’s mission to save Europe from what he saw as the threats of Islam, immigration and multi-culturalism.

Breivik wrote in his manifesto, posted hours before his attacks, that if he survived his assault and was arrested, this would ”mark the initiation of the propaganda phase”. (Agencies)

Norwegian newspapers focused on the victims as shock turns to mourning, giving chilling new accounts of the island massacre and focusing on acts of bravery which saved lives.

The main broadsheet Aftenposten led with ”Sorrow unites Norway” and printed a picture of a central Oslo square filled with flowers and lit candles in remembrance of the dead.

The newspaper’s commentator Harald Stanghelle said Breivik should not be allowed to turn the courtroom into his pulpit.

Daily Dagsavisen asked ”Why didn’t you come earlier?” citing screams by youth as police arrived on Utoeya island on Friday — an hour after they were notified of the shooting.

Norwegian markets will open as normal, but the country will observe a minute of silence at midday (1000 GMT).

”He explains himself fairly calmly, but every now and then expresses emotion,” Lippestad said of Breivik. ”He buries his head in his hands.”

”He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary,” adding his client did not feel he deserved punishment.

Police believe Breivik acted alone after losing faith in mainstream parties, even those that have gained popularity and parliamentary seats on anti-immigration policies in otherwise liberal, tolerant European nations, including affluent Norway. PTI

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