The brutal act of Norwegian terrorists Anders Breivik shocked Europe and the world last summer, but a statement from Oslo police revealed that they too were unprepared for the savagery of the attack.
On Thursday, police apologized for not responding sooner to the deadly July 22 attacks.
“On behalf of the Norwegian police I want to apologize that we did not arrest Anders Behring Breivik sooner,” Norwegian national police commissioner Oeystein Maeland said at a press conference from the capital.
“Every minute was a minute too long... It is hard, knowing that so many lives could have been spared if the perpetrator had been arrested sooner.”
The statements came after the Norwegian Police Security Service announced the results of an investigation into the attack. The intelligence agency concluded that there was no way of knowing about the attack beforehand, and that the police acted to the best of their ability.
They made sound tactical assessments based on the information available to them in real time, police inspector Anstein Gjengedal said.
The commission finds that the police carried out their duties as promptly as possible under the circumstances.
On a Friday in late July, Breivik detonated a large bomb outside of Norwegian government headquarters in Olso, killing eight people.
Breivik then moved to nearby Utoya island, where he was able unleash his homicidal fury at a youth summer camp for 75 minutes before police arrived. Dressed as a police officer himself, Breivik shot 100 people at the camp, killing 69 people, including 56 who were shot in the head.
After the attack, police were criticized for deciding to rush to Utoya in a rubber dinghy, which Maeland admitted was overloaded and broke down on the way to the island.
Additionally, neither extra officers nor helicopters were available.
“We can establish in all certainty that the police did not have the capacity to handle all the aspects of such an event on a regular Friday in July,” the police commissioner said.
Sissel Hammer, the police chief in charge of Utoya and the surrounding district, that the response could have ‘‘theoretically’’ been 16 minutes shorter if done perfectly, according to the Sydney Morning Harold.
In a 1,500-page manifesto personally released by Breivik online, the terrorist said that he was committing his attacks in the name of European racial purity. The far-right wing killer said that he was waging a war against Islam and immigration into Europe.
Breivik has admitted to killing 77 people, but has pled not-guilty to terrorism charges, claiming that the murders were done during a state of war.
Breivik's trial is currently underway in Oslo, where a judge has asked for a second psychological evaluation of the 33-year-old.
The defendant has committed extremely serious offenses on a scale that has never previously been experienced in our country in modern times, prosecutors Svein Holden and Inga Bejer Engh said in the indictments.