Norway is still reeling from the horrific terror attacks on Friday which left 76 confirmed dead in Utøya and Oslo. Anders Behring Breivik, the man who confessed "to the factual circumstances" of the coordinated attacks on Norway's government headquarters and a youth retreat, is currently being detained in solitary confinement for eight weeks, but his lawyer has implied that he may seek an insanity plea for his "very cold" client: "This whole case has indicated that he's insane. He expects that this is a start of war that will last for 60 years, but his mind is very...well, I don't want to comment more on his mind, but that's what he believes," attorney Geir Lippestad told reporters yesterday.
Lippestad said Breivik told cops he was part of a Christian crusader army trying to save Europe from what they see as a Muslim invasion: "He looks upon himself as a warrior. And he started this war, and takes some kind of pride in that." He also reportedly took drugs to "to be strong, to be efficient, to keep him awake" during the 90-minute attack on the youth camp, and one of the first questions he asked police after his arrest was how many people he had killed.
In his rambling 1,500-page manifesto, Breivik claimed that he was focused on driving out the "Muslims," "Marxists" and "multiculturalists" as part of his pseudo-holy war. But an unidentified friend of Breivik gives more details about his motivations, and suggests there was another reason for his extremist views: girls never paid attention to him. "He has never had a girlfriend, as far as I know," the friend said. In addition, Breivik underwent plastic surgery on his forehead, nose and chin to try to improve his chances. A photo has also surfaced of Breivik dancing at a Gay Pride event in Oslo seven years ago, although the gunman insisted he was straight in his manifesto.
The names of the 76 massacre victims have now been released, and President Obama paid his respects at the Norwegian Embassy yesterday. Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg spoke at a news conference this morning; he discussed mourning for the victims, repudiated the violence of the attacks, but said this should not curtail free speech in the country: “We have to tolerate also views we don’t like,” he said.
Even so, there is one thing that everyone seems angry about: Breivik won't get the death penalty, nor is it likely he'll get life in prison, because of Norway's lenient system of justice. As of now, he's eligible for 21-years in prison, the max, which may be increased only if he is identified as a possible risk of repeat offenses. Breivik may eventually end up at Halden, the "heavenly" prison which spent roughly $1 million on paintings, photography and light installations for prisoners, including a mural by Norwegian graffiti artist Dolk, which "brings a touch of humor to a rather controlled space."