The death toll in Norway rose to at least 91 in Norway, the New York Times reports, following the bombing of a government center in Oslo on Friday and a shooting attack on a nearby youth camp island. The reports so far have been horrifying. According to The Guardian, a 15-year-old camper gave her account of hiding behind the same rock that the killer was standing on, dressed in a police uniform, as he shot at people. Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg said he knew many of the victims of the shooting on Utøya personally.
The Norwegian police charged a 32-year-old man on Saturday, who was identified by the Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik. The photo above is a screen grab from his Facebook page, which has since been blocked. Breivik has been identified as a "Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections," according to the Times, as well as with anti-Muslim views, according to multiple sources.
This is what we do and don't know about Breivik so far:
Religious views: According to the BBC, Breivik has a Facebook and Twitter account that he set up a mere few days ago on July 17, where he identifies himself as a Christian and a conservative. There are several reports of his anti-Muslim views. In a post in Norwegian in an online forum on December 2009, a user named Anders Behring Breivik claims there is not one country where Muslims have peacefully lived with non-Muslims, stating that instead it has had "catastrophic consequences" for non-Muslims.
Political views: The Daily Mail reports that National police chief Sveinung Sponheim told public broadcaster NRK that the suspected gunman'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." Furthermore, the Norwegian daily Verdens Gang quoted a friend as saying Breivik became a rightwing extremist in his late 20s.
Frank Mersland, a journalist with FVN TV, says Breivik has been linked to the anti-immigration Progress party. He wrote to The Guardian via email:
The suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, has been tagged as a former member of the right winged political party Frp (Progress party). It's the second largest political party in Norway and their main issues are lower taxes and a much stricter policy on immigration. The Frp-leader, Siv Jensen, verified his membership on Norwegian TV2 a little while ago.
Apart from his anti-immigration policies, the Daily Mail and Fox News report that Breivik also argued that socialism was breaking down traditions, culture, national identity and other societal structures and that this in turn made society weak and confused.
Interests: Fox reports that according to his recently set-up Facebook page, Brevik claimed to be well read and a fan of Norwegian World War II hero Max Manus. He listed his favorite books as "The Trial" by Franz Kafka and "Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell, and his favorite television show as the serial killer show "Dexter." Among his other interests he listed founding and developing organizations, freemasonry, working, gaming, partying, and fitness.
The Guardian also notes that he was a fan of violent video games who, as some former neighbors told the Norwegian media, had sometimes been seen in "military-style" clothing. The sole tweet on his Twitter account was one by philosopher John Stuart Mill, that said, "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests."
Education and employment: The BBC reports that Breivik is believed to have grown up in Oslo, and studied at the Oslo School of Management, which offers degrees and post-graduate courses. He later appears to have moved out of the city and established Breivik Geofarm, a company Norwegian media is describing as a farming sole proprietorship set up to cultivate vegetables, melons, roots, and tubers. However, The Guardian posts that Breivik's earlier businesses were not much of a success, each one of them being dissolved after a short while after making a loss until he established his farm business in 2009 and moved out of Oslo.
Personal life: Breivik described his relationship status as single, according to Fox. The Daily Mail writes that media reports in Norway described Breivik as a "loner," who lived with his mother in a wealthy suburb of west Oslo.
Access to weapons and training: According to The Guardian, Breivik was a hunter with two registered weapons, a Glock pistol and an automatic rifle, although CNN reports he also had a shotgun. The BBC adds that a supply company has come forward to say that it delivered six tons of fertilizer to Breivik's company in May -- an ingredient used in bomb-making. As for training, Breivik had no military background except for ordinary national service. According to CNN, he was exempt from Norway's mandatory military service and has not had any special military training. Additionally, he has no criminal record other than traffic violations, apparently.
Motive and method: What we don't know about Breivik is motive. The Guardian reports that one target of Breivik's anger was former Norwegian prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland -- a member of Norway's Labour Party -- who had spoken to the youth camp on Utøya the day before the massacre. However, it is unknown whether or not that led him to the youth camp. Reports are that Breivik is cooperating with police and wants to explain himself.
It is also unknown whether he had accomplices. Norwegian daily VG has interviewed witnesses of the Utøya shooting who believe there was a second gunman. According to Norwegian media sources, a second man was arrested who had a knife on him. The Guardian translates that when asked by reporters why he was armed, the man said, "because there are so many weird people here. I do not trust anyone. " He had dark hair and smiled as he was led into the police car, according to TV2.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.