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Entries in Oslo (27)

Tuesday
Jul312012

Fake Bomb Spurs Evacuation in Oslo

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(OSLO, Norway) -- U.S. officials apologized Tuesday for mistakenly leaving a fake bomb attached to an embassy vehicle in Oslo and causing a bomb scare that led to the evacuation of the U.S. embassy, Norway's royal palace and part of downtown Oslo.

The device had been placed beneath an embassy vehicle as part of a security drill and then mistakenly left there. It was spotted by security guards at the embassy's front entrance when someone tried to drive the vehicle onto embassy grounds just after 11 a.m. local time, triggering the evacuation of the embassy and the palace, the cancellation of an international children's soccer game nearby, and an interruption of nearby subway train traffic.

Deputy State Dept. spokesperson Patrick Ventrell confirmed that the device had been used in a previous drill and then forgotten.

"This morning at our U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway," said Ventrell, "embassy security staff identified a suspicious device in an embassy-owned vehicle and took appropriate precautions. Upon investigation, the device was determined to be a non-threatening training device previously used in an exercise."

"We regret any disruption caused by this incident not only for visitors to the embassy and others, but neighbors, and we take any potential threat seriously and respond immediately," he said.

In Oslo, the U.S. ambassador apologized to police via a phone call, according to Norwegian media. An embassy spokeswoman also issued a public apology. "The Embassy regrets the uproar this caused," said Marit Andersen. "But to ensure the safety of embassy employees, visitors and our neighbors, it is necessary that we take every security threat seriously and act accordingly. The Embassy would like to express gratitude for the extremely fast and professional response from Norwegian emergency services. "

The Oslo bomb squad, emergency services and other agencies responded to the bomb alert. The children's soccer game was cancelled so the field could be used to land helicopters. The Oslo squad removed the object and determined that it was a dummy bomb. The Oslo City Council, according to Norwegian media, is seeking compensation for the police response.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

Norway Commemorates One Year Since Oslo, Utoeya Massacre

ROALD, BERIT/AFP/GettyImages(OSLO, Norway) -- As the U.S. continues to come to grips with the tragedy in Aurora, Colo., Norway spent Sunday observing the one year anniversary of its worst-ever mass shooting that left 77 people dead on July 22, 2011.

Most of the victims were young activists attending a summer camp sponsored by the Labour Party on the island of Utoeya.  Earlier that day, accused killer Anders Behring Breivik also set off bombs in Oslo as a diversionary tactic, which killed several others.  The injury toll from the entire shooting spree was put at 242.

Prime Minister Jen Stoltenberg led the day of mourning by first laying a wreath in Oslo where he told mourners, "It's been a very heavy year for all of us.  Not a day has passed the tragedy has not filled the room...The bomb and bullets were aimed at changing Norway.  The Norwegian people responded by embracing our values."

The prime minister then joined the families and friends of victims on Utoeya to pay their respects to the fallen.  Other events in Norway included church services and a concert in which American singer Bruce Springsteen performed.

Breivik, who has never denied being the gunman, remains on trial.  His rationale for the crime was to call attention to the proliferation of Muslims and other immigrants in Norway and Europe, claiming the continent was losing its national identity.

Since Norway does not have the death penalty, Breivik faces either a long prison term or treatment in a psychiatric ward depending on how the court judges his sanity.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun062012

Prosecutors: Alleged Norway Killer Played 'World of Warcraft' 7 Hours Per Day

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images(OSLO, Norway) -- Anders Breivik, the right-wing extremist who has confessed to killing 77 people during a murder spree in Norway last summer, played the violent computer game World of Warcraft nearly seven hours a day for several consecutive months before his attack, prosecutors say.

Breivik, 33, already known to have a long history with the online role-playing game, was particularly absorbed by it between November 2010 and February 2011, when he played for an average of 6 hours and 50 minutes per day, according to prosecutors.

The new evidence in Breivik's ongoing trial was presented in an Oslo court on Wednesday. When asked about his interest in the game by a prosecutor, Breivik angrily dismissed the idea that playing World of Warcraft had any connection to his attacks, according to media reports.

"It is not relevant to this case whatsoever," Breivik said, getting so upset that he threatened to turn off his microphone, according to Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang.

On July 22, 2011, Breivik detonated a bomb in central Oslo that killed eight people, and then shot and killed 69 people attending a youth summer camp on the nearby island of Utoya. Breivik admitted mounting the attacks after his arrest, and used weapons named after Norse gods to massacre his victims.

He has previously stated that he played Warcraft, as well as another "first-person shooter" game called Modern Warfare, for hours daily.

In Warcraft, players assume the identity of an online character to use magic and weapons to battle monsters and other characters and go on quests.

According to prosecutors, Breivik played Warcraft under the aliases "Andersnordic" and "Conservatism."

Norwegian anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen, who was brought in as an expert witness for Breivik's defense earlier this year, said in an interview with the British network ITN that Breivik was apparently unable to separate games from reality.

"He does not seem to be very successful at distinguishing between the virtual reality of World of Warcraft and other video games and reality," Eriksen said.

In a March 2008 post on a Web forum devoted to the game, user "Andersnordic" posted that the game had been responsible for making him "300kg, bald and pale," and told the game's developer Blizzard Entertainment, "You'll hear from my lawyer!"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May112012

Massacre Victim’s Brother Throws Shoe at Norway Shooter

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images(OSLO, Norway) -- The contentious trial of the man accused of killing dozens of people in a rampage in Norway was interrupted Friday when a supposed relative of one of the victims stood up and threw a shoe at the confessed murderer.

“You killer!  You killed my brother!  Go to hell!” the man shouted, according to reporters in the room.

The shoe reportedly missed the accused, Anders Breivik, but clipped one of his lawyers, Vibeke Hein.  The incident was met with applause by some in the audience.

Breivik has confessed to killing 77 people -- a majority of them teenagers -- in a bombing and shooting rampage, but claimed it was an act of self-defense and the first move in a new crusade against “multi-culturalism” in Europe.

In a 1,500-page manifesto posted online before the attack, Breivik claims to have been just one operative in a group called the new Knights Templar that would lead a violent conservative Christian revolution -- a battle that, by Breivik’s prediction, would last 60 years.

Last month, the extremist testified that his original plan also included the beheading of the Norwegian prime minister and the bombing of Norway’s royal palace. 

Early in the trial, Breivik teared up, but not apparently for his victims.  He started to weep when the court showed a propaganda video he had created.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr192012

Norway Killer Wanted to Behead Prime Minister on Camera

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted killing 77 people in twin terror attacks in Norway last summer, testified Thursday that his original plan included chopping off the head of former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and posting a video of the beheading on the web.

"The plan to was to behead Gro Harlem Brundtland while it was being filmed," Breivik said in court Thursday. "It was meant to be a very powerful psychological weapon."

Breivik, a right-wing extremist who claims he committed the July 2011 murders to protest Islamic immigration to Europe, said he got the idea of decapitation from al Qaeda videos.

Breivik said he had also intended to bomb Norway's royal palace and the headquarters of Norway's Labor Party. After detonating explosives in central Oslo that killed eight, he stormed the nearby resort island of Utoya, where the Labor Party was holding a youth rally, and shot and killed 69 people.

Testifying at the fourth day of his trial, Breivik explained that he had to change his plans to set off three bombs in Oslo when building a single fertilizer-based bomb proved difficult. He said he chose the summer youth retreat of the ruling Labor Party as a target when he failed to prepare in time for a meeting of journalists and the Labor Party's annual meeting.

Brundtland had appeared at the youth retreat, but had left by the time Breivik arrived.

Breivik explained that he prepped for the Utoya Island massacre by playing the computer games "World of Warcraft" and "Modern Warfare" for hours daily. He shot his victims with two weapons named after Norse gods.

The confessed killer showed no remorse for his victims Thursday, referring to them as "traitors." He believes that members of Norway's liberal elite betrayed the country by opening it to Muslim immigration.

Breivik cried on the first day of his trial, which began Monday, but not for those he killed. He confessed to the murders, and then began crying after they played a portion of a propaganda video he had made in support of his new "crusade" in Norway.

Before the massacre, Breivik posted a 1,500-page manifesto online in which he said he was just one operative in a group called the new Knights Templar that would lead a violent conservative Christian revolution in Europe. On Tuesday, he said the Knights Templar would lead a revolt against "multiculturalist" governments.

The 33-year-old had rejected an insanity defense, saying he considered an insanity diagnosis "the ultimate humiliation." Though he was found insane in an initial examination, a second team of doctors found him to be sane.

His defense is expected to try to prove his sanity by calling both Islamic extremists and right-wing extremists to the stand during his trial to demonstrate that he is not the only one who believes "Europe is the setting for a war of religion."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr102012

Norway Shooter Anders Breivik 'Regrets Not Going Further'

AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Right-wing extremist Anders Breivik, who has admitted killing 77 people during a politically-motivated murder spree in Norway last summer, has been declared sane and fit to stand trial and will probably take the stand.

"The experts' main conclusion is that the accused Anders Behring Breivik was not psychotic during the events on 22 July 2011," a Norwegian court said in a statement. "That means that he is considered criminally responsible at the time of the crime."

An earlier psychiatric report had found that Breivik suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Both Breivik and some of the families of his victims objected to the diagnosis.

The families want Breivik to be legally responsible for his actions, and Breivik said in a 38-page letter to the Norwegian media that he considered the insanity diagnosis the "ultimate humiliation."

Breivik has confessed to detonating bombs that killed eight people in downtown Oslo and to killing 69 people with a rifle on the nearby resort island of Utoya. Breivik said he committed the acts as part of a war on Islamic immigration to Norway and had targeted government offices and the youth summer camp of Norway's ruling political party. He also told police that he had considered attacking U.S. President Barack Obama with a car bomb when Obama visited Oslo in December 2009 to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

Breivik's trial begins April 16. His defense attorney, Geir Lippestad, has said that the Breivik wants to be found guilty of the twin attacks. "He wants to be found sane and accountable," said Lippestad.

Lippestad also said that Breivik will provide an explanation for his actions. "He will not only defend his actions," said Lippestad, "but will also lament, I think, not going further."

Given his client's wishes, Lippestad will portray Breivik as sane, but as an extremist. To bolster his case, he plans to call both Islamic extremists and right-wing extremists to the stand. Lippestad says he will call Mullah Krekar, an Islamic extremist now resident in Norway, as a witness. Krekar, who once headed Ansar al-Islam, an Islamist group in Kurdish Iraq, has admitted meeting with Osama bin Laden and requesting backing for his group.

Lippestad said he wants to demonstrate that "Islamists also believe that Europe is the setting for a war of religion" and that therefore Breivik's belief in such a conflict is not delusional. Breivik has written a 1,500 page manifesto outlining his motives.

The attorney told the French newspaper Le Monde that he also plans to call the Norwegian anti-Islamic blogger who goes by the name Fjordman to the stand. Breivik quoted Fjordman, whose real name is Peder Jensen, in his massive manifesto.

In their new report, psychiatrists said there was no evidence that mental illness had "significantly weakened" his ability to evaluate the outside world realistically. The doctors said they would provide more detail on Breivik's mental state in court.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar292012

Norway Shooter Will Call Islamic Extremists as Defense Witnesses

AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The man who has admitted killing 77 people in last summer’s Norwegian massacre insists he’s not crazy, just a right-wing extremist – and his attorney plans to call Islamic extremists to the stand to prove it.

Anders Breivik does not want to use insanity as a defense at his trial, which begins on April 16, according to defense attorney Geir Lippestad. Lippestad told Le Monde that Breivik wants to be found guilty of the bombing and shooting attacks in Oslo and the nearby island of Utoya. “He wants to be found sane and accountable,” said Lippestad.

Breivik, who says he mounted the attacks to protest Islamic immigration to Europe, has written a 1,500 page manifesto outlining his beliefs. He has demanded a medal for his deeds and a rank in the Norwegian armed forces, and has claimed to be part of a larger organization.  Specialists who examined him found him insane, and Lippestad had initially planned to use an insanity defense at trial.

But given his client’s wishes, he will instead portray Breivik as sane, but as an extremist. To bolster his case, he told Le Monde he plans to call Mullah Krekar, an Islamic extremist now resident in Norway, as a witness. Krekar, who once headed Ansar al-Islam, an Islamist group in Kurdish Iraq, has admitted meeting with Osama bin Laden and requesting backing for his group.

Lippestad said he wants to demonstrate that “Islamists also believe that Europe is the setting for a war of religion” and that therefore Breivik’s believe in such a conflict is not delusional.

The attorney said he may also use other Islamists as witnesses, as well as right-wing extremists. He told Le Monde that he plans to call the Norwegian anti-Islamic blogger who goes by the name Fjordman to the stand. Breivik quoted Fjordman, whose real name is Peder Jensen, in his massive manifesto.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec102011

Three Women Honored at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Norway

Nigel Waldron/Getty Images(OSLO) -- Three women who risked their lives to fight for injustice in Liberia and Yemen received their Nobel Peace prize Saturday morning in Oslo.

The ceremony honored Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her compatriot Leymay Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.

The Nobel committee chairman said the three women represent the struggle for human rights and specifically the role of women in fighting for peace and equality.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Confessed Norway Killer Anders Breivik Is Insane, Doctors Say

AFP/Getty Images(OSLO, Norway) -- Anders Breivik, the man who confessed to ruthlessly killing more than 70 people in a bombing and shooting spree in Norway, has been declared mentally insane by court-appointed doctors, according to media reports.

A panel of psychiatrists said on Tuesday that Breivik suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was insane both during the massacre and during the 13 interviews two psychiatrists had with him.  The panel recommended Breivik be held at a psychiatric ward rather than prison.

Though he has pleaded not guilty to charges against him, Breivik freely admitted that he attacked the country's liberal party for their "treason" and even reenacted the deadly shooting for investigators in August.

In the aftermath of the bloody massacre, investigators discovered Breivik had posted a 1,500-page manifesto online in which he said he was just one operative in the beginning of a violent Christian conservative revolution in Europe led by members of the new Knights Templar.  Breivik had apparently worked clandestinely for months, meticulously planning his deadly attack from an isolated farmhouse in Norway.

Breivik had planned on a 60-plus year struggle against mutliculturalism until the Knights would take control over Europe, the manifesto said.  One of the order's primary weapons, Breivik wrote, is the use of one-man terror cells.

"Chop-chop <3 For those of you who does [sic] not want to wait this long, should immediately ordinate yourself as a Justiciar Knight for the KT [Knights Templar]," he writes.  "Any self-appointed Justiciar Knight has been given the authority by [Knights Templar]... to act as a judge, jury and executioner until the free, indigenous peoples of Europe are no longer threatened by cultural genocide."

After his arrest, Breivik's lawyer said the suspected mass murderer made two lists of demands from jail -- one for practical jailhouse items like cigarettes and clothes, and another with far more bizarre requests including the complete overthrow of the Norwegian government and the promise of a key role in the future of the country.

He also wanted the mental evaluation to be conducted by Japanese specialists because they "understand the idea of values of honor," Breivik said, according to attorney Geir Lippestad.

Such demands, Lippestad said in August, were "unrealistic -- far, far from the real world and shows he doesn't know how society works."

The psychiatrists' report will be further reviewed by the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine, according to media reports.  Breivik is scheduled to stand trial for his crimes on April 16.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep152011

Norway Massacre: Camera Catches Breivik Minutes Before Bombing

HOLM MORTEN/AFP/Getty Images(OSLO, Norway) -- Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed to killing nearly 80 people in twin terror attacks in Norway on July 22, was filmed by a security camera right after he placed a bomb outside a government building in downtown Oslo.

Breivik, 32, can be seen on the closed-circuit camera image published by a Norwegian website walking away from a car after planting the bomb. He is dressed in police gear, complete with vest, boots, and helmet, and is carrying a pistol in his right hand.

A spokesman for the Oslo police, Roar Hansen, confirmed that the image published by ABC Nyheter was real and was part of a police report, but had not been released by police. The police report was provided to lawyers representing Breivik's victims.

Breivik has admitted detonating a bomb outside the offices of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on the morning of July 22, killing eight people. After the car bombing, Breivik drove west to the island of Utoya, where hundreds of teenagers from Stoltenberg's Labor Party were attending a youth camp. He shot and killed 69 people on Utoya, most of them teens, before surrendering to police.

He faces 21 years in prison with the possibility of permanent detention for both acts. He will be back in court on Monday, Sept. 19, when jurors will decide whether he will remain detained in solitary confinement prior to his trial, which is expected to begin in 2012. An appeals court determined Thursday that the Monday court appearance will be behind closed doors.

In a 1,500-page manifesto apparently published by Breivik hours before the attack, Breivik claims to be just one warrior in a widespread crusade against Muslim immigration and integration in Norwegian and European society that will take 60 years to complete. Breivik also mentions a plan to escape prison and execute a "bonus operation."

He has also made two series of demands since his arrest, one group that his lawyer calls practical and the other more bizarre. He has asked for cigarettes and clothes, but also to be made the commander of the Norwegian military and to wear a uniform when he appears in court. He has demanded the complete overthrow of Norwegian and European societies, starting with the resignation of the Norwegian government. When the societies are rebuilt, Breivik said, he wants to play a key role.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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