Who is the suspect in Norway's attacks?
A picture is emerging of Norway attacks suspect Anders Behring Breivik as a right-wing Christian fundamentalist.
July 23rd, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Who is the suspect in Norway's attacks?

(CNN) - As Norway struggles to come to terms with its greatest loss of life in decades, all eyes are on the man charged in the explosion in central Oslo and the deadly shooting rampage at a youth camp.

While police have not officially named him, Norwegian television and newspaper reports have identified the suspect as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, of Norwegian origin.

A picture is emerging, gleaned from official sources and social media, of a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who may have had an issue with Norway's multi-cultural society.

Norwegian and international news outlets have run photographs of a blond man with blue-green eyes and chiseled features, dressed in a preppy style.

A victim who was shot during the attack at the youth camp on Utoya island told CNN Saturday that he had seen pictures of Breivik taken from what is believed to be his Facebook page and shown on NRK and TV2. The victim said he recognized the man from the news reports as the gunman.

Breivik is a member of the Oslo Pistol Club and has three weapons registered in his name, according to leading Norwegian newspaper VG, citing Norway's official weapons register. They are a Glock pistol, a rifle and a shotgun, VG reported.

A post in Breivik's name on an online forum, Document.no, from December 2009, talks about non-Muslim teenagers being "in an especially precarious situation with regards to being harassed by Islamic youth."

"I know of many hundred occasions where non-Muslims have been robbed, beaten up and harassed by Islamic gangs," the post reads. "I had a best friend between the ages of 12-17 who was a Pakistani, so I was one of the many protected, cool 'potatoes' that had protection. But this also made me see the hypocrisy up close and personal and made me nauseous."

A Twitter account attributed to Breivik by Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has only one message, dated July 17. "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who has only interests," it says, adapting a quote from 19th-century British philosopher John Stuart Mill.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that other people may have helped the suspect, but say at present they are not pursuing any other arrests.

"The official questioning is starting now," Roger Andresen, a police official, told reporters during a news conference Saturday.

The suspect was cooperating with police, making it clear he wanted to explain himself, Andresen said.

Two addresses connected to the suspect are being searched, police said. One of them is believed to be an apartment in Oslo and the other a farm in Hedmark.

NRK reports that Breivik is registered as having run a company which produced "vegetables, melons, roots and tubers" - an industry which allows access to large amounts of fertilizer, the broadcaster notes, which can be used for explosives.

NRK also reports that Breivik does not have a military background and was exempt from Norway's mandatory military service. He has not had any special military training, it adds on its website.

More details on the man are sure to emerge in the coming hours and days. But what many Norwegians find hard to comprehend is that the chief suspect in the massacre appears to be one of their own.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg stressed that whoever was behind the attacks must be dealt with properly.

"It is very important that those who are responsible - one or several persons - are sentenced according to Norwegian law, in the Norwegian system of justice," he said.

"Norway is a small country but it is a proud country. We are all very close, especially in times like this."

CNN's Laura Smith-Spark and Cynthia Wamwayi contributed to this report.

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Topics: Crisis • Current Events • Terrorism

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Thomas Mc

    Perhaps NOW Homeland Security will start taking the threat of Tea Party terrorism seriously.

    July 23, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      You're exaggerating! Yet, there are overlapping ideas that Anders Behring Breivik shares with the Tea Party patriots. He shows an interest in libertarianism and a clear belief in the power of the individual. The Tea Party patriots hold individual liberty as the organising principle of a society. They advocate for a minimal state and the goal of maximal individual liberty and political freedom.

      July 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  2. Ankh

    This concentration or whether or not he was Christian is infuriating. Who cares what religion he was? Why does it matter? There are equal amounts of crazy fundamentalists in ANY religion. Christianity is not special or unique in that respect. Stop focusing on it, it's not what is important. It's about bringing justice to the people he murdered.

    So why don't all of you just stop trying to prove that your faith or lack of faith is better than the next? Maybe you could try showing some compassion for these poor people like your various books and consciences tell you to do.

    July 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  3. Anonymous P@TRI0T (S3kshuN8)

    First just let me say that I am verifiably crazy, but this guy is literally insane. I cannot imagine the rationale for such a HEINOUS act. Truly a "radical extremist" to put it mildly. I find it very hard to believe that he did this from his own persuasion. Someone or several someones had to be tugging at the strings somewhere along the way, prepping this guy to do their bidding. And they are laughing at all of us right now, I'll bet.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Sometimes there is simply NO EXCUSE for crummy behavior."

    What is it going to take to put an end to this type of activity once and for all time? This makes me think I would be better off to take my secrets to the grave with me than to share them with the rest of the human race, even at a slow and gradual pace. Not ready. Just not ready for what I see with my mind's eye. I was sure that with the belated demise of OBL things would finally start to get better. Apparently I was wrong. A painful lesson even without personally knowing any of the fallen.

    Perhaps with the passage of time a monument to the fallen will be constructed at the site of this horrific tragedy. Norway, your slain children will not be forgotten. Bitter consolation, I know, but I offer it anyway.

    #(my apologies for anything mis-translated)#

    Først bare la meg si at jeg er beviselig gal, men denne fyren er bokstavelig talt gal. Jeg kan ikke forestille begrunnelsen for en slik avskyelig handling. Virkelig en "radikal ekstremist" for å si det mildt. Jeg finner det svært vanskelig å tro at han gjorde dette fra sin egen overbevisning. Noen eller flere vekke måtte slite på strengene sted langs veien, prepping denne fyren å gjøre sin budgivning. Og de ler av oss alle akkurat nå, vil jeg satse.

    Jeg har sagt det før og jeg sier det igjen: ". Noen ganger er det rett og slett ingen unnskyldning for crummy oppførsel"

    Hva går det å ta å sette en stopper for denne type aktivitet en gang for all tid? Dette gjør meg tror jeg ville være bedre å ta mine hemmeligheter til graven med meg enn å dele dem med resten av den menneskelige rase, selv på en langsom og gradvis. Ikke klar. Bare ikke klar for det jeg ser med mitt indre øye. Jeg var sikker på at med den forsinkede bortfallet av OBL ting ville endelig begynner å bli bedre. Tydeligvis tok jeg feil. En smertefull leksjon selv uten personlig å kjenne noen av de falne.

    Kanskje med passering av tid et monument over de falne vil bli bygget på stedet av denne forferdelige tragedien. Norge, vil drepte barn ikke bli glemt. Bitter trøst, vet jeg, men tilbyr jeg det likevel.

    July 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  4. Tim

    The real attacks suspect is the west country,they invade Islamism country,this is the main reasion.Ofcourse I dont hope there will be more attacks.

    July 24, 2011 at 1:42 am | Reply
  5. Tim

    We have be mislead by our country and media,the wirer puller is Islamism clearnly.but we dont need to beg the Islamism only,they just want peaceful,if their lives as us,they will be good citizensas us.

    July 24, 2011 at 2:09 am | Reply
  6. valerie dorsey

    I.m looking for the story with Becky Anderson and Dr. frank farley?

    July 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  7. valerie dorsey

    story with dr frank farley

    July 24, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  8. Jaekib

    Why is this sob's face showing up on every article!? I believe such people should be given a number to replace their name and be stricken from history. Plastering their face on the media only gives them the fame that their meager minds seek! How about a little social responsibility from our media for a change?

    July 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  9. raz neal

    this just proves, that religion is the problem. my god is bigger than your god. when you get all teaching from one book, you will have twisted thinking. xtianity, islam, judiaism, they all are rackets, and should be discarded as nonsense.

    the rightwing GOP has been usurped by the cult xtians. if you hear voices, it aint god, your schizophrenic....

    July 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  10. ringo

    Wow, he looks really familiar. The strong chin, the receding hairline. Can't quite put my finger on it.

    July 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  11. jon

    Here’s some facts surrounding the events not being reported.

    1. The bombing occurs right after Oslo Norway declares a pro-Palestinian position.

    2. The massacre takes places immediately following a Labour Youth League Summer Camp finishing a pro-Palestinian rally.

    July 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  12. Jeff

    This picture makes me want to go to Old Navy and shop for a long-sleeve pullover

    July 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  13. Mike N

    Anders Breivik is not a Christian at all. To call him this is just propaganda making. He is a Neo Nazi.

    July 29, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
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    April 24, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply

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