Anders Behring Breivik perpetrated the worst terrorist attack in modern Norwegian history. He is believed to have killed as many as 92 people, according to Norwegian police official Roger Andresen.
He is believed to have set off a car bomb in the capital city of Norway, which damaged several government buildings and killed 7 people. Then, he is believed to have open fired on a youth summer camp on an island near the capital and killed 85 people.
So who is Anders Behring Breivik?
Breivik, 32, is a blond, Christian Norwegian citizen. He sympathizes with right-wing extremism, which is possibly the motivation for his attack.
The Oslo central government buildings he attacked are currently occupied by a coalition headed by Labour Party politician Jens Stoltenberg. The youth retreat he attacked was run by the Labour Party on the island of Utoya just outside of the capital city Oslo.
The Labour Party, which dominates Norwegian politics, supports social-democratic ideals. Like many European social-democratic parties, it’s reasonably supportive of immigration and multiculturalism, although in recent years it has tightened standards for granting Norwegian citizenship.
The party is also fairly supportive of internationalism and Europeanism, although notably less so than some of the other European countries.
For Anders Behring Breivik and the right-wing Progress Party to which he belonged, these policies are not supportive enough of a nationalistic Norwegian society. In particularly, they’re concerned about Muslim immigrants and the Islamization of Norway.
The Progress Party, of course, condemned Breivik’s violence. “This is first and foremost an attack against the entire nation,” said Progress Party leader Siv Jensen to Norwegian TV.
A statement on the Progress Party’s website said “those who knew the suspect when he was a member of the party say that he seemed like a modest person that seldom engaged himself in the political discussions.”
Indeed, several others who had encounters with Breivik said he didn’t seem out of ordinary and didn’t participate much in political discussions.
Online, Brevik posted in discussions of right-wing website Document.no.
He spoke about Norwegians being “robbed, beaten up and harassed by Islamic gangs.”
“When did multiculturalism cease to be an ideology designed to deconstruct European culture, traditions, identity and nation-states?” he said in another posting.
He also expressed frustrations that the Progress Party wasn’t radical enough in its anti-immigration stance.
On his Facebook page (which has since been taken down), Breivik lists his interests as hunting, body building, and video games like Modern Warfare 2.
He’s also a Freemason.