Anders Behring Breivik
Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of a killing spree and bomb attack in Norway, sits in the rear of a vehicle as he is transported in a police convoy leaving the courthouse in Oslo on July 25, 2011. A judge ordered eight weeks detention on Monday for Breivik who has admitted to a bombing and shooting massacre that killed about 90 people and who claimed in court to have two more groups of collaborators. Custody, in line with prosecutors' request, will allow them to investigate the case against Breivik, 32, an anti-Islamic zealot who has previously claimed sole responsibility for Friday's attacks. Reuters

The lawyer of a Norwegian who killed at least 76 people in a bombing and a shooting spree said on Tuesday his client appeared to be a madman.

Friday's attacks by Anders Behring Breivik traumatized normally peaceful Norway, which has been struggling to come to terms with its worst peace-time massacre of modern times.

"This whole case indicated that he is insane," Geir Lippestad said of the 32-year-old Breivik, who has confessed to "atrocious but necessary" actions, but denies he is a criminal.

The lawyer said it was too early to say if Breivik would plead insanity at his trial, adding that his client might oppose this as he felt that only he "understands the truth".

Lippestad said Breivik had stated he belonged to an anti-Islam network that has two cells in Norway and more abroad.

But police believe Breivik probably acted alone in staging his bloody assaults, which have united Norwegians in revulsion.

"He hates all Western ideas and the values of democracy ... he expects that this is the start of a war that will last 60 years. He looks upon himself as a warrior. He starts this war and takes some kind of pride in that," Lippestad said.

Lippestad, a member of the Labour party whose youth wing was the target of shooting rampage on an idyllic island, said he would quit if Breivik did not agree to psychological tests.

"He has a view of reality that none of the rest of us share," said Lippestad.

He was previously best known for defending a right-winger who in 2002 got 17 years in prison for the racially motivated murder of Benjamin Hermansen, 15, whose father was African.

Justice Minister Knut Storberget deflected criticism that police had reacted too slowly to the shooting massacre, hailing as "fantastic" their work after the attacks.

"It is very important that we have an open and critical approach...but there is a time for everything," Storberget told reporters after talks with Oslo's police chief.


An armed SWAT team took more than an hour to reach Utoeya island, where Breivik was coolly shooting terrified youngsters at a Labour Party youth camp. He killed 68 there and eight in an earlier bombing of Oslo's government district.

Storberget also denied police had ignored threats posed by right-wing zealots in Norway, saying: "I reject suggestions that we have not had the far-right under the microscope."

Many Norwegians seem to agree the police do not deserve opprobrium for their response. At a march of more than 100,000 in Oslo on Monday night, people applauded rescue workers.

The streets were full of red and white roses left after the rally, Norway's biggest since World War Two.

Norwegian newspapers published pictures and names of some of those killed on the island northwest of Oslo. The youngest was 14. Many were teenagers or in their early 20s.

Norway has felt some relief that Breivik seems to have acted alone in trying to save Europe from "cultural Marxism" and a "Muslim invasion" by striking at the ruling Labour Party.

Storberget told Reuters television that Norway had received a "hard lesson" but would remain an open and free democracy, even as it made unspecified changes to improve security.

There would be, he said, "more openness, more political activity, a better democracy, more safety for the people, but we have to come back to the concrete measures for that".

Raymond Johansen, general secretary of the Labour Party, also said Norway should remain an open society. "I see it as a quality within Norwegian society that politicians are still close to the people," he said. "I don't think society can fence itself in, but to be open and transparent is the response."

Police defended themselves from suggestions that some alarm bells should have rung about Breivik. The PST security police say Breivik's name appeared only once, on an Interpol list of 50 to 60 Norwegians, after he paid 120 crowns ($22) to a Polish chemicals firm on a watch list. They found no reason to react.

Researchers doubt Breivik's claim that he is part of a wider far-right network of anti-Islam "crusaders", seeing it as bragging by a psychopathic fantasist who has written that exaggeration is a way to sow confusion among investigators.


Yngve Ystad, a Norwegian forensic psychiatrist and adviser to the police, said it was unlikely that Breivik would be found to be psychotic and thus unaccountable for his actions, or would even be able to claim diminished responsibility.

"He had planned the crime and he was not in that way disturbed by psychotic or delusional ideas because this has been going on for a very long time and, according to the press, he has not been disturbed or suffered severe disturbances."

Prosecutors will consider whether Breivik's acts fall under a 2008 law on crimes against humanity, said Staale Eskeland, professor of criminal law at Oslo University.

"To kill a group of civilians systematically is the basic criteria" for charges of crimes against humanity, he said, adding that the maximum penalty for this offence was 30 years in jail, rather than 21 years under the anti-terrorism law.

In both cases the sentence can be extended for up to five years at a time if there is risk of repeat offences.

So far Breivik has been charged with "destabilizing or destroying basic functions of society" and "creating serious fear in the population". Police attorney Christian Hatlo has said Breivik expects to spend the rest of his life in jail.

In signs that police are skeptical that Breivik was part of a wider network, border controls imposed on July 22 were lifted late on Monday. Norway has not asked other countries to launch probes, nor has it raised the threat level for terrorism.

Even the final entry in Breivik's own 1,500 page manifesto says on July 22: "The old saying: 'if you want something done, then do it yourself' is as relevant now as it was then."

"Intuitively, it feels like he is alone when you read the document. It's like he's lost in this made-up world and can't distinguish between fantasy and reality," said Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College.

"They (mass killers) are usually alone," he said.

Ragnhild Bjoernebekk, a researcher at Norway's police school, said Breivik was disconnected from his victims.

"He has no empathy, he is indifferent to the people he kills, he has no conscience and no remorse."