Anders Breivik

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"Lone Nut"
Person.png Anders Behring Breivik   PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Born13 February 1979
Oslo Norway
Supposed perpetrator of2011 Norway attacks
Interests • Freemasonry
• Islam
• anti-communism
Convicted of planting the bomb that killed 8 people in central Oslo, Norway, followed by the shooting to death of 66 teenagers on a nearby camping island on 22 July 2011
Breivik in his suit of armour

Anders Behring Breivik is the confessed perpetrator of the July 22, 2011 Norway attacks.[1][2][3][4] The terrorist attacks included detonating a car bomb in downtown Oslo, Norway, near the offices of the Prime Minister, killing eight and wounding 26. This was followed by a mass shooting on the nearby island of Utøya, where he attacked teenagers attending a Norwegian Labour Party youth camp, killing 68 and wounding 66.[5][6]

Breivik's far-right[7] militant ideology is described in an online manifesto 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence, posted by Breivik on the day of the attacks[7][8] under the anglicised pseudonym Andrew Berwick.[9][10] His ultranationalist manifesto lays out his xenophobic worldview, which includes support for varying degrees of cultural conservatism, right-wing populism, anti-Islamisation, "far-right Zionism", and Serbian paramilitarism.[7][11] It further argues for the violent annihilation of Islam, "cultural Marxism", and multiculturalism, to preserve a Christian Europe.[7][12][13][14][15]

Breivik has confessed to what he calls "atrocious but necessary" actions, but denies he broke the law.[16][17] Breivik claimed contact with Norwegian and international far-right political movements,[18][19] and claims to belong to an international anti-Islam network with two cells in Norway and more in other countries. Police and experts doubt these claims but have not dismissed them completely.[17]

On 25 July 2011, Breivik was charged with "destabilising or destroying basic functions of society" and "creating serious fear in the population",[17] and acts of terrorism under the criminal law.[6][20]


Breivik was born in London, on 13 February 1979,[21][22] the son of Jens David Breivik, a Siviløkonom (Norwegian professional title, literally "civil economist"), who worked as a diplomat for the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London and later Paris, and Wenche Behring, a nurse.[23] He spent the first year of his life in London.[21] His parents divorced when he was one year old. His father, who later married a diplomat, fought for his custody but failed. Breivik lived with his mother and his half sister in the East End and West End of Oslo|west-end of Oslo and regularly visited his father and stepmother in France, until they divorced when he was 12. His mother also remarried, to a Norwegian army officer.[24]

Breivik attended Smestad Grammar School, Ris Junior High, Hartvig Nissen High School and Oslo Commerce School. When he reached adolescence his behaviour became more rebellious and wayward. He and his gang of friends would reportedly spend their evenings hanging around Oslo, spraying tags and graffiti on buildings. In his manifesto, he claimed that after he was caught spraying graffiti on walls, his natural father stopped contact with him.[25] A former classmate has recalled that Breivik was an intelligent student who often took care of people who were bullied.

Breivik wrote that his parents supported the policies of the Norwegian Labour Party and that his mother was a moderate feminist. He wrote: "I do not approve of the super-liberal, matriarchal upbringing as it completely lacked discipline and has contributed to feminising me to a certain degree."[25]

Breivik's father currently lives in France as a pensioner and said that he has had no contact with his son since 1995.[26] His home in the south of France was surrounded by gendarmes following the murders.[27][28] They initially said they were searching the premises,[29] but later the state prosecutor at Carcassonne said that the gendarmes were to protect Breivik and his wife.[25] The local mayor's office said Breivik had requested protection against harassment from journalists.[30] After the attack, Jens Breivik is quoted as saying "I don't feel like his father", and "How could he just stand there and kill so many innocent people and just seem to think that what he did was OK? He should have taken his own life, too. That's what he should have done", adding "I will have to live with this shame for the rest of my life."[29]

Breivik was exempt from conscription in the Norwegian Army and has no other military training. In his manifesto Breivik bragged how he dodged his mandatory military service in the Norwegian Army three times by claiming he would not put his life on the line for Norway’s political parties. He was described by friends as a 'mummy's boy' who did not leave home until the age of 30, had few friends and no serious girlfriends.[24] He is often described by people who came into contact with him through the years as "quiet" and "withdrawn".[31]

For some time Breivik worked in the customer service of a company. A former co-worker has described him as an "exceptional colleague", while a close friend of his stated that he usually had a big egotism|ego and would be easily irritated by those of Middle Eastern or South Asian origin.[32] Around 2002 he traded online buying and selling stocks and commodities. The company was later declared bankrupt and Breivik was reported for several breaches of the law.[33] To save money, he moved to his mother's home again. According to Breivik, the cost of preparations for the attacks was 317,000 euros -"130,000 out of pocket and 187,500 euros in lost revenue over three years."

In 2009 Breivik visited Prague in an attempt to buy illegal weapons. The attempt was a failure, and Breivik decided to obtain weapons through legal channels instead.[34]

In late June or early July 2011, Breivik moved to a rural area south of Åsta in Åmot, Hedmark|Hedmark county, about 140 km (86 miles) northeast of Oslo,[35]where he operated a farming Enkeltpersonforetak|sole proprietorship under the name "Breivik Geofarm", (established May 2009).[36] Immediately after the attack there was speculation that he could have used the company as a cover to legally obtain large amounts of artificial fertiliser and other chemicals for the manufacturing of ANFO|fertiliser explosives.[35] A farming supplier sold Breivik's company six tonnes of fertiliser in May.[37] Newspaper Verdens Gang reported that after Breivik bought large amounts of fertiliser from an online shop in Poland, his name was among 60 passed to the Police Security Service (PST) by Norwegian Customs as having used the store to buy products. Speaking to the newspaper, Jon Fitje of PST said the information they found gave no indication of anything suspicious. Despite this, the security service accessed his phone and email but only for 24 hours. In his manifesto Breivik described his first experiments with the fertiliser nitrate explosives before detailing a successful test detonation at a remote location on 13 June 2011.[38]

According to the newspaper Verdens Gang, Breivik had no previous history with the police, apart from traffic violations, and had a Glock pistol, a rifle and a shotgun registered to his name. [35]

2011 attacks

Full article: 2011 Norway attacks
Breivik posing in a compression garment in a photo released six hours before the attacks. The insignia on his left shoulder reads: "Marxist Hunter - Norway - Multiculti Traitor Hunting Permit"

On 22 July 2011, Breivik went to Utøya island, the site of a Labour Party youth camp, posing as a police officer and then opened fire on the adolescents present, reportedly killing 68.[39][40] He has also been linked with the bomb blasts which had taken place approximately two hours earlier in Oslo, killing eight people. Six hours before the attacks, Breivik posted a YouTube video urging conservatives to "embrace martyrdom" and showing himself wearing a compression garment and pointing a rifle.[41][42][43][44]

Breivik confessed and stated the purpose of the attack was to save Norway and Western Europe from a Muslim takeover and "[t]he price for this they had to pay yesterday." Ian Stephen, a retired forensic clinical psychologist, said Breivik knew what he was doing but is clearly a psychopath.[45] After arrest and outside court, Breivik was met with an angry crowd, some of whom shouted "burn in hell", while some used stronger words.[40][46][47]

After conviction, Breivik asked for a better prison cell. This was his prison cell at the time.[48]

Breivik's lawyer has stated that Breivik may be insane.[49] The chief of the Norwegian Police Security Service disputes the claim Breivik is insane saying "His lawyer is not a psychologist and I am not. But I have previously been a defense attorney and I perceive him as a sane person because he has been so focused over such a long time."[50] Breivik himself has confessed to using testosterone in the days before the attack, saying he had become more aggressive after coming off testosterone supplements.[51][52]

Self-published statements


Breivik used an array of internet forums to display his Islamophobic views and criticise immigration policies.[12] In online debates he was a strong opponent of the idea that people of different cultural backgrounds can live alongside each other.[12] In this context, he boasted about conversations with unnamed members of the organisation Stop the Islamification of Europe.[12] However, Janne Kristiansen, Chief of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), has stated that Breivik "deliberately desisted from violent exhortations on the net [and] has more or less been a moderate, and has neither been part of any extremist network."[53] He is reported to have written many posts on the Islam-critical[54] website[55] He also attended meetings of "Documents venner" (Friends of Document), affiliated with the website.[56] Due to the media attention on his Internet activity following the 2011 attacks, compiled a complete list of comments made by Breivik on its website between September 2009 and June 2010.[57][58][59]

In his writings Breivik displays admiration for the English Defence League (EDL), expressing an interest in starting a similar organisation in Norway, and writing that he had advised them to pursue a strategy of provoking overreaction from "Jihad Youth/Extreme-Marxists" which in turn might draw more people to join the organisation.[12][60] On 25 July 2011 British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a review of Britain's own security following the attacks.[61] EDL issued a statement denouncing terror as a tool on 26 July 2011.[62] Some editorialists criticised the EDL and other anti-Muslim groups in this context.[18][63][64] Dagens Næringsliv writes that Breivik sought to start a Norwegian version of the Tea Party movement in cooperation with the owners of, but that they, after expressing initial interest, ultimately turned down his proposal because he did not have the contacts he promised.[65] He also expressed his admiration of the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, finding him "a fair and resolute leader worth of respect", though he was "unsure at this point whether he has the potential to be our best friend or our worst enemy." Putin's spokesperson Dmitri Peskov has denounced Breivik's actions as the "delirium of a madman".[66]


Breivik[67] compiled a 1,516-page manifesto entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence (a reference to the unsuccessful second Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683[68]), under the pseudonym "Andrew Berwick", which he e-mailed to 1,003 addresses about 90 minutes before the bomb blast in Oslo.[69] In the manifesto, which is part political discussion, part confessional, and part action plan, Breivik sets out his belief that his actions will help to spark a civil war in Europe that will last for decades, progressing through three distinct phases and culminating in 2083 with the extermination of European Marxists and the expulsion of Muslims from Europe.[70] Major parts of the manifesto are attributed to the pseudonymous Norwegian blogger Fjordman.[71]

The introductory chapter of the manifesto defining "Cultural Marxism" is a copy of Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology by the Free Congress Foundation.[72] The text also copies sections of the Unabomber manifesto, without giving credit, while exchanging the words "leftists" for "cultural Marxists" and "black people" for "muslims".[73] The New York Times described American influences in Brevik's writings, noting that he mentions the anti-Islamist American Robert Spencer 64 times in his manifesto and cites Spencer's works at great length.[74] The work of the Egyptian born Jewish author Bat Ye'or [75] is cited dozens of times.[76] Neo-pagan writer Koenraad Elst and neo-conservative Daniel Pipes are also mentioned as Breivik's sources of inspiration.[77] The pamphlet also quotes from Jeremy Clarkson's Sunday Times column as well as Melanie Phillips' Daily Mail column.[78] Breivik also admires Ayaan Hirsi Ali ) who he thinks deserves the Nobel Prize), Bruce Bawer, Srda Trifkovic,[79] and Henryk M. Broder.[80]

In the manifesto, Breivik considers himself "a real European hero", "the saviour of Christianity" and "the greatest defender of cultural-conservatism in Europe since 1950".[81] Breivik wanted to see European policies on multiculturalism more similar to those of Japan and South Korea, which he said are “not far from cultural conservatism and nationalism at its best”.[13]

Political views


Following his apprehension, Breivik was characterised by officials as being a right-wing extremist. The acting police chief said the suspect’s Internet postings "suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views, but if that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen." He was also described as a Christian Fundamentalist, nationalist and right-wing extremist,[15][40][82][83][2] He claims that the European Union is a project to create "Eurabia"[84][85][86] and describes the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia as being authorised by "criminal western European and American leaders".[87] The Jerusalem Post describes him as pro-Israel and strongly opposed to the "Islamisation of Europe", and asserts that his manifesto includes "extreme screed of Islamophobia" and "far-right Zionism".[7]

Breivik claimed he had contact with the English Defence League (EDL)[18] and claimed to have been involved with the Norwegian Defence League(NDL),[19] The NDL had held a failed rally in Norway in April 2011[88] An EDL leader denounced Breivik and the attack on 26 July 2011.[62] He sympathises with Serbian paramilitarism.[11]

Self-identification as a member of a Christian military order

In a text that he sent to numerous e-mail addresses prior to the attack, Breivik calls for a revolution to be led by a movement that he sees as following the legacy of the [[Knights Templar.[89] During interrogation, Breivik claimed membership in an "international Christian military order" that "fights" against "Islamic suppression". Breivik refers to this order as the "Knights Templar" and, according to his manifesto, the order has between fifteen and eighty "ordinated knights" besides an unknown number of "civilian members".[90] Breivik has claimed that the group has several "cells" in Western countries, including two more in Norway.

Breivik gives the full name of the organization as "Pauperes Commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici", and claims that it has been established in London in April 2002, as a "re-founding" of the twelfth-century crusading order. The new organisation supposedly was established to take political and military control of Western Europe, with its members being armed as an "anti-Jihad crusader-organisation". It reportedly was established by nine men: two Englishmen, a Frenchman, a German, a Dutchman, a Greek, a Russian, a Norwegian, and a Serb. The main initiator apparently was the Serb, whom Breivik claims to have visited in Liberia and whom he referred to as a "war hero".

Breivik said that his own code name was "Sigurd Jorsalfar" and that his "mentor" was "Richard Lionheart" (recalling the twelfth-century Crusaders King Sigurd I of Norway and Richard the Lionheart). Breivik asserted that Norway had "4,848 traitors" who had to die.[91]

The EDL has claimed that a former member, Paul Ray, author of a blog called "Lionheart" is identical with Breivik's alleged "Richard".[92] Ray however denied this, although he acknowledged that he was leader of an informal anti-Muslim group called the "Ancient Order of the Templar Knights" (AOTK). Currently living in self-proclaimed "exile" in Malta, Ray said he had never heard of Breivik before. Ray also rejected Breivik's methods as "a horrendous crime [that] goes beyond the realm of human understanding."[93] Ray instead countered that he believed Breivik's "mentor" must have been Alan Lake, the financial strongman behind the EDL. Newspaper Dagbladet noted that the conflicting parties seemed to be taking their chance of using Breivik to "smear" each other.[94]


Breivik has been described as a Christian terrorist.[95][96][97][98] On his Facebook profile, Breivik describes himself as a Christian.[12][99] He has also stated that he chose to be baptised into the Protestant Church of Norway at the age of 15 although he later became disenchanted with Norway's State Church, supporting “an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic” in an online post in 2009. Breivik stated an intention to attend Frogner Church in a final "Martyr's mass" before the attacks.[100]

Breivik describes himself as a cultural Christian.[101] Breivik condemns Pope Benedict XVI, for his dialogue with Islam: "Pope Benedict has abandoned Christianity and all Christian Europeans and is to be considered a cowardly, incompetent, corrupt and illegitimate Pope." It will thus be necessary, writes Breivik, to overthrow the Protestant and Catholic hierarchies, after which a "Great Christian Congress" would set up a new European Church.[102]

Deputy police chief Roger Andresen initially told reporters that information on Breivik's websites was "so to speak, Fundamentalist Christianity|Christian fundamentalist".[40][103][104][105] Subsequently, others have disputed Andresen's characterisation of Breivik as a Christian fundamentalist.[106][102][107] Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, head of the World Council of Churches and himself Norwegian, accused Breivik of blasphemy for citing Christianity as a justification in his murderous attack.[108][109][110]


Breivik identified himself in a multitude of social media services as an admirer of, among others, Winston Churchill,[111] Max Manus,[111][112] Robert Spencer[113] and Dutch politician Geert Wilders, whose political party he described on the website of the periodical Minerva (Norwegian periodical)|Minerva as one among the few that could "truly claim to be conservative parties in their whole culture".[114] On Twitter, he paraphrased philosopher John Stuart Mill: "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests".[35][115]

Breivik has also frequently praised the writings of blogger Fjordman.[116] In response to his knowledge of this following the 2011 attacks, Fjordman distanced himself strongly from Breivik, whom he referred to as a "violent psychopath", and said he "intensely dislike[d]" that he was cited by Breivik.[117] He also endorsed the writings of Australian historian Keith Windschuttle in the 2083 manifesto, among other Australian political figures.[118]

Breivik listed Freemasonry as one of his interests on his Facebook page and was himself a Freemason.[119] He had displayed photographs of himself in Masonic regalia on his Facebook profile[120] and was a member of St. Olaus T.D. Tre Søiler No. 8 in Oslo.[121] In interviews after the attacks, his lodge stated they had only minimal contact with him, and Grand Master (Masonic)|Grand Master of the Norwegian Order of Freemasons Ivar A. Skaar issued an edict immediately expelling him from the fraternity based upon the acts he carried out and the values that appear to have motivated them.[122][123]

External links

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Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
File:BreivikIndictment.pdflegal documentApril 2012The Public Prosecutors of OsloThe official legal indictments of Brevik for the 22 July 2011 murders on Utoya Island and the planting of the Oslo bomb
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  1. July 2011
  2. a b
  6. a b
  7. a b c d e 'Norway attack suspect had anti-Muslim, pro-Israel views' by Ben Hartman, The Jerusalem Post, 24 July 2011
  11. a b
  12. a b c d e f
  13. a b "Norway killings: Breivik posted hate-filled video on YouTube hours before attacks". The Daily Telegraph. 24 July 2011.
  14. Norwegian Crime and Punishment by Debra J. Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 July 2011 ~ "... the anti-multiculturalism, anti-Muslim and anti-Marxist message of his 1,500-page manifesto."
  15. a b
  17. a b c
  18. a b c
  19. a b
  21. a b
  24. a b
  25. a b c Norway gunman's father speaks out: 'He should have taken his own life' The Guardian, 2011-07-25.
  26. "Father of Norway attack suspect says in shock", Reuters, 24 July 2011.
  27. French Police Raid Norway Suspect's Father's Home Fox News, 2011-07-25.
  28. French police raid Norway shooter's father's home Forbes, 2011-07-25.
  29. a b
  30. Police Form Ring Around Breivik's Father's House Wall Street Journal, 2011-07-25.
  35. a b c d
  40. a b c d |publisher= BBC News |location= London |date= 2011-07-23 quote= We have no more information than... what has been found on [his] own websites, which is that it goes towards the right and that it is, so to speak, Christian fundamentalist.
  52. }
  54. Henmo, Ola (20 February 2009). "Dynamittgubben". Aftenposten, A-magasinet (in Norwegian). p. 20.
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  68. "Killings in Norway Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S.". The New York Times. 24 July 2011
  70. Norway Gunman Anders Behring Breivik Released Manifesto on the Web – Video and 1,500 page document, The Last Refuge, 23 July 2011.
  75. Smith, Craig S. (20 February 2005). "Europe's Jews Seek Solace on the Right". The New York Times
  78. Bigotry a stepping stone to extreme action Newsroom, 26 July 2011
  79. De var Breiviks helter, 26.07.2011, Dagbladet
  81. Breivik forberedte terror i ni år (in the embedded video)
  83. Norway police say 84 killed in Utoeya shooting Reuters, 23 July 2011
  84. Doug Saunders, Norway gunman's manifesto calls for war against Muslims, the Globe and Mail, 2011-07-25;
  85. Doug Saunders, ‘Eurabia’ opponents scramble for distance from anti-Muslim murderer, the Globe and Mail, 2011-07-26;
  86. Toby Archer, Breivik's Swamp, Foregin Policy , 2011-07-25;
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  101. Anders Breivik Manifesto: Shooter/Bomber Downplayed Religion, Secular Influence Key. (25 July 2011). International Business Times. Retrieved from
  102. a b quote= At first, the media called Anders Behring Breivik a Christian fundamentalist, some of them even a Roman Catholic. This shows the cavalier use of the word 'fundamentalist' prevailing today in several quarters.
  104. "You will all die", Sydney Morning Herald: Norway terror attack | Anders Behring Breivik by Melissa Davey on 24 July 2011.
  106. quote= Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik's internet writings show him to be anti-Muslim and anti-Marxist, not a fundamentalist Christian.
  108. AP Interview: Head of world church body says Norway attack was abuse of Christianity The Washington Post, 25 July 2011
  109. Anders Breivik Manifesto: Shooter/Bomber Downplayed Religion, Secular Influence Key. (25 July 2011). International Business Times. Retrieved from Accessed 26 July 2011
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