Accused Norway Gunman in Court as Country Mourns After Killing Spree

BY News Desk  July 25, 2011 at 9:10 AM EDT

Norway

Norwegians observe a minute’s silence in Bergen on Monday for the victims of Friday’s attacks that left 93 dead. Photo by Marit Hommedal/AFP/Getty Images.

Updated 11:30 a.m. ET
Police in Norway have lowered the number of people killed in Friday’s shooting spree on a political youth group, saying 68 people were slain. The overall toll in the twin attacks — a bombing in downtown Oslo killed eight people — now stands at 76.

The AP reports that police spokesman Oystein Maeland said that higher, incorrect figure emerged as police and rescuers were focusing on helping survivors, but a more detailed explanation was not immediately available.

Posted 9:15 a.m. ET
Anders Behring Breivik, the man who has admitted carrying out Friday’s pair of terror attacks in Norway, arrived for his first appearance in court on Monday. The hearing was being held behind closed doors in Oslo, as ruled by the judge in the case earlier.

Breivik, 32, admitted carrying out a bombing in the capital, Oslo, and a massive shooting spree on an island youth camp, killing at least 93 people in total and injuring 96. Reports say he claims links to far-right groups and spent years planning the attacks.

The Guardian has video of this statement from Oslo’s acting police chief:

Oslo police said the death toll from the shooting massacre on the island could be revised downwards from the current 86, based on the information now available.

A 1,500-page document written in English and said to be by Breivik was put online hours before the attacks. Breivik had prepared a speech for his day in court — a public stage where he wanted to air anti-Muslim rants and call for revolution, according to the AP. He had requested an open hearing in which he would wear a uniform. A judge denied that request.

Under Norwegian law, Breivik faces a maximum of 21 years in jail if convicted, although that sentence can be extended if a prisoner is deemed a threat to the public. Police said that while Breivik had admitted the killings, he had not accepted criminal responsibility for them.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg led the mourning nation in a minute of silence on Monday, standing on the steps of an Oslo university next to a flame. The king and queen stood by as well, and neighboring countries Denmark and Sweden also joined in the remembrance.

Foreign Policy examines, “What did the Oslo killer want?”

The Economist looks at the “Manifesto of a murderer.”

The BBC reports on Norway’s right-wing extremist activity.

The New York Times reports that Breivik “was deeply influenced by anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing activists in the United States.”

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