Saturday, July 23, 2011
File:Anders Behring Breivik (Facebook portrait in suit).jpg
A gunman, identified by Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik, has shot and killed at least 85 people at a youth camp on the island of Utøya in Norway. The 32-year-old man has been charged with both this attack and an explosion in the capital city of Oslo, which killed at least seven people. Police searched Breivik’s apartment in Oslo overnight and have been interrogating him.
Breivik is reported to have arrived at the camp dressed as a police officer, telling children to gather around him for protection before systematically shooting them. It is not yet known whether he acted alone; police say there are no concrete reports of a second gunman, but this cannot be ruled out.
The camp was organised by the Workers’ Youth League (AUF), which is affiliated with the Norwegian Labour Party. A number of sources, both inside and outside of Norway, are speculating that an opposition to the Labour Party’s immigration policies, especially regarding Muslims, was Breivik’s motivation for the attacks.
Islam is the second largest religion in Norway, after Christianity, and Breivik’s comments on the political website Document.no, where he posted using his real name between September 2009 and October 2010, expressed anti-Islamic sentiments. He described the religion as a “hate ideology” ((no))Norwegian language: ?hat-ideologier and compared it to Nazism. His Twitter account was used to post only a single comment, quoting social liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests”.
|a youth paradise turned into a hell|
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who described the island as “a youth paradise turned into a hell”, reports that a number of children have not yet been located. He, and the families of some of the children killed, met with King Harald V of Norway, his wife Queen Sonja, and their son Crown Prince Haakon, and was said to have been “deeply touched” by the meetings.
He also said that it is “too early to speculate” about the shootings, and that the police should be allowed to continue with their investigations before people “jump to any conclusions”.
Breivik, who ran a farm, reportedly recently purchased six tonnes of fertiliser, which is speculated to have been involved in the making of the Oslo bomb.
The island of Utøya is closed to the public, and an official at the British embassy in Oslo does not recommend travel to the immediate area of central Oslo where the bomb was detonated. However, she is not discouraging travel to Norway, nor to Oslo.