Dual attacks in Norway
July 23rd, 2011
01:27 AM ET

Norway attacks: Suspect reportedly said assaults 'necessary'; at least 92 dead

[Update: 7:45 p.m. Saturday ET, 1:45 a.m. Sunday in Oslo] Anders Behring Breivik, a man charged in connection with Friday's bombing and mass shooting in Norway, "is ready to explain himself" in a court hearing Monday, a man who identified himself as Breivik's lawyer told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.

Geir Lippestad also told TV2 that Breivik believed the terrorist attacks were "horrible," but "in his head (they) were necessary."

CNN was attempting to contact Lippestad to independently confirm his statements on behalf of Breivik.

[Update: 7:26 p.m. Saturday ET, 1:14 a.m. Sunday in Oslo] The suspect in Friday's bombing and mass shooting in Norway believed the terrorist attacks were "horrible," but "in his head (they) were necessary," a man who identified himself as the suspect's lawyer told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.

Geir Lippestad told TV2 late Saturday that he represented Anders Behring Breivik, who was arrested Friday after twin terror attacks that left at least 92 dead.

[Update: 6:14 p.m. Saturday ET, 12:14 a.m. Sunday in Oslo] Vivian Paulsen, a spokeswoman for the Norwegian Red Cross, said survivors of Friday's attacks that killed at least 92 people in Norway are in varied emotional states - with some "very vocal" and others more guarded.

"Many of them are in shock, and they will need help for a long time," Paulsen told CNN on Saturday.

Also Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talked with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg  to extend their condolences and, in the case of Obama, to offer assistance, those two leaders' offices said in statements.

[Update: 12:34 p.m. ET, 6:34 p.m. Oslo] At least four people are still missing after Friday's twin attacks that killed at least 92 people in Norway, police said Saturday.

Investigators were still searching for bodies of victims of the bomb attack in downtown Oslo, police said.

"We know that there are remains of bodies in the ruins of the buildings. And it's a bit of a jigsaw puzzle and a very difficult search. There are body parts in the buildings. We have confirmed seven dead, but there may be more," said Sveinung Sponheim, chief police officer.

At least 85 others were killed in a shooting at a youth camp.

[Update: 12:24 p.m. ET, 6:24 p.m. Oslo] Investigators are uncertain whether only one suspect was involved in twin attacks in Norway that killed at least 92 people Friday, Norwegian police said Saturday.

"We're not sure it's just one person ... based on statements from witnesses, we think there may be more," said Sveinung Sponheim, chief police officer.

One man is in custody.

"It's very difficult at this point to say whether he was acting alone or whether he was acting as part of a larger network," he added.

[Update: 10:30 a.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. Oslo] The total death toll from Friday's attacks has risen to 92 (85 from the shootings on Utoya Island, seven from the Oslo bombing), Norwegian police said.

[Update: 9:08 a.m. ET, 3:08 p.m. Oslo] “Not since the Second World War has the country experienced such an atrocity,” Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said in a press conference Saturday.

Survivor: Victims tried to swim away (video)

"At least 80 young people have been killed on Utøya. We have also lost some of our colleagues in the government offices," he said.

"It is incomprehensible. It is like a nightmare. A nightmare for the young people who have been killed. For their families. Mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who have been brutally confronted with death," Stoltenberg said.

[Update: 8:46 a.m. ET, 2:46 p.m. Oslo] Norway's foreign minister Saturday described the twin attacks that killed at least 91 people as "politically motivated violence."
"I think what we have seen today is that politically motivated violence poses a threat to society and I commend the police for carrying out a very swift and effective investigation, but that is still ongoing," Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store told reporters.

In Pictures: The dual tragedies in Norway

[Update: 7:38 a.m. ET, 1:38 p.m. Oslo] Norway police said a person has been arrested at a hotel in Sundvollen where the prime minister was due to meet the families of victims of Friday's attacks inOslo and Utoya. He had a weapon in his pocket, a police spokesman told CNN. State broadcaster NRK reported that the suspect had a knife.

How Labour Party's paradise in Utoya 'turned to hell'

[Update: 7:33 a.m. ET, 1:33 p.m. Oslo] Oddmy Estenstad, who works for the Norwegian agricultural cooperative Felleskjopet Agri, said the man identified in media reports as the suspect in the bombing and mass shooting in Norway bought 6 tons of fertilizer from her company in May.

She did not think the order was strange at the time because the suspect has a farm, but after the bombing she said she called police, knowing the fertilizer can be used to make bombs. "We are very shocked that this man was connected to our company," said Estenstad. "We are very sad about what happened."

[Update: 7:16 a.m. ET, 1:16 p.m. Oslo] The mass shooting and bombing suspect arrested on Utoya Island near Oslo had purchased six tons of fertilizer from a farm supply company in May, an employee for the Felleskjpet Agr company told CNN.

Anders Behring Breivik[Update: 7:09 a.m. ET, 1:09 p.m. Oslo] Norwegian television and newspaper reports have identified the suspect in the attacks as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik.

Police have not released the identity of the man, telling reporters Saturday they detained a 32-year-old Norwegian man who is being questioned in both the Olso bombing and the shooting attack at the youth camp on Utoya island, about 20 miles from the Norwegian capital. Police spokesman Are Frykholm told CNN Saturday that authorities are investigating further, based on information provided by the man in custody.

Video: Close-up view of Oslo blast

A victim who was shot during the attack on the island told CNN Saturday that he had seen pictures of Breivik taken from what is believed to be his Facebook page and shown on television stations NRK and TV2. The victim said he recognized the man from news reports as the gunman.

[Update: 6:45 a.m. ET, 12:45 p.m. Oslo] Police are still searching for bodies at the site of the mass shooting on Utoya island, CNN's Diana Magnay  reported Saturday morning.

[Update: 3:21 a.m. ET, 9:21 a.m. Oslo] A man believed to be the gunman in a mass shooting on Norway's Utoya island Friday is also suspected in an explosion in Oslo earlier Friday, police said during a press conference Saturday.

[Update: 3:09 a.m. ET, 9:09 a.m. Oslo] The death toll from a mass shooting on Norway's Utoya island Friday has risen to 84, police said Saturday. The death toll from an explosion in Oslo on Friday remains at seven.

[Update: 2:37 a.m. ET, 8:37 a.m. Oslo] Norway's prime minister did not rule out the possibility that there was more than one person involved in the bombing and shooting attack that left at least 87 people dead.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Saturday that police have not concluded whether there was more than one person behind the attacks a day earlier.

"They have so far arrested one person," Stoltenberg said. "They have not  concluded whether there is one or more than one person behind the  attacks."

[Update: 1:57 a.m. ET, 7:57 a.m. Oslo] Norwegian television stations and newspaper reports have identified the suspect in Friday's attacks as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, though authorities have not released the identity of the man they have in custody.

A victim who was shot during the attack on the island told CNN Saturday that he had seen pictures of Breivik taken from what is believed to be his Facebook page and shown on NRK and TV2. The victim said he recognized the man from news reports as the gunmen.

[Update: 12:15 a.m. ET, 6:15 a.m. Oslo] A young man who survived the shooting attack on a Norway's Utoya Island Friday said he is alive after playing dead near the gunman.

"I was maybe 5, 7 meters away from him," Adrian Pracon told CNN Saturday. "He pointed the gun at me but didn't pull the trigger."

At some point though, the gunman did shoot him in the shoulder, Pracon said.

Pracon said he and others also jumped into frigid water and tried to swim away from the island to escape the chaos.

Adrian Pracon also posted on his Twitter page, "I am so happy to be alive. I got shot in my sholder at Utoya, but this is nothing compared to the proper who have lost their love ones."

[Update: 10:20 p.m. ET, 4:20 a.m. Oslo] At least 80 people are dead as a result of a rampage Friday on Norway's Utoya Island, police said Saturday.

Norwegian authorities say the attack, which occurred at the ruling Labour Party's youth camp on an island outside the capital, was linked to a bombing earlier Friday in the heart of Oslo.

The death toll from the bombing still stands at 7, Norwegian Police spokesman Are Frykholm told CNN.

A 32-year-old Norwegian man is in custody, he said.

"For now we have arrested one person and he is being held in custody and we are investigating further based on information we're getting from him," he said.

Q&A: Why Norway?

[Update: 8:15 p.m. ET, 2:15 a.m. Oslo] The scene after a bomb exploded in the center of Oslo on Friday reminded New Yorker Ian Dutton of what he witnessed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

The scale of the Oslo explosion was smaller than that of 9/11, but the stunned feeling and confusion in the aftermath were eerily similar.

"Seeing the emergency response gives me that same feeling in my spine of being in someone's crosshairs," Dutton said.

Read more witness accounts of the blast in Oslo

[Update: 6:54 p.m. ET, 12:54 a.m. Oslo]The official death toll as a result of Friday's explosion in Oslo stands at 7 and 90 people have been hospitalized, a spokesman for the city's mayor said.

Police have finished searching damaged buildings for dead and injured, spokesman Erik Hansen said. One of the city government's chief concerns overnight is finding shelter for the numerous elderly people whose homes were damaged in the blast, Hansen said.

[Update: 5:40 p.m. ET, 11:40 p.m. Oslo] Undetonated explosives were found on Utoya Island, where a gunman opened fire earlier in the day on a Labour Party Youth Camp, Oslo, Norway, acting Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim said late Friday night.

Authorities believe the man traveled to the island from Oslo, where at least seven were killed in a bombing in the city center. The suspect, a 32-year-old Norwegian, was taken into custody after he killed or wounded an unknown number of people, Sponheim said.

[Update: 5:07 p.m. ET, 11:07 p.m. Oslo] A Norwegian man was arrested Friday in connection with attacks in Norway, officials said at a press conference Friday.

Norwegian Justice Minister Knut Storberget said Friday that he was not familiar with "any threats connected to these attacks," a reference to a large explosion in Oslo and a mass shooting on Utoya Island.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg added that it is "too early to say anything about motives."

soundoff (309 Responses)
  1. tanzola

    Are Western Media reporting about Christian Terrorism? Where are the analysis about Christian terrorism networks? Is NATO going to invade Norway in order to fight a global war against Christian terrorism there?

    No, off course, because we are the society of hypocrates. No believer could kill an innocent human being and no religion should be EVER blamed for such individuals. I hope this catastrophe made it more clear for us Westerners!

    July 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. False Flag

    Story has all the hallmarks of a false-flag terror operation. Only, question is who or what country benefited?

    "'All we know is what happened and who benefited , EVERYTHING else is propaganda. Whomever benefited is the cause." President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    July 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I would say that the Muslim nations benefited, as they will now argue that those rushing to judgment that the attack was Islamic terrorism have been tarnished. However, I doubt it was a false flag operation and take the reasons given at face value.

      July 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. femo

    well i was simply shocked to see what happend the other day simply because i never thought anything like that can ever possibly happen in such a peaceful country like norway whereva innocent civilians die i always came up in this cnn blogs and condemned it and always saw ppl here cursing muslims and islam even when so many ppl died in bomb blasts in pakistan from last many years ppl always cursed the religion and the people of pak but now we can see such madness and insanity is found even in such peaceful country in the world the governments should keep high alert all the time rather havin a cup of coffee and doing nothing in their offices

    July 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. femo

    you are simply racist mb ur talking abt those people who are part of history we are talking abt innocent ppl who were killed here all u talk abt jews and israel u piece of a..... all u care is abt israel and jews not the world thas why u ppl will always be hated by the whole world yer simply sick for sure

    July 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Neo

    I am muslim and this terrorist attack is condemned with the highest degree possible. now that the news are talking about a christian extremist who did this massacre, i surely will not generalize this to all christians in the world, and i would expect that christian and other non-muslims start to do the same. terrorism has no religion

    Muslims want peace

    July 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mourning Norwegian

    The suspect himself has in great detail explained both his motivation and methods in a 1500 pages manifest which he sent to Finnish nationalist politicians just before the attacks. The manifest also includes a detailed diary of his actions up until the terrorist attacks which he supposedly spent two years planning. He claims to be part of a group of like-minded people declaring war on both Muslim influence in Europe and the political ruling of the "cultural-Marxian elites"...

    July 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alan

    This is only very lossely connected to the Middle East, the man arrested is a classical right-wing extremist, a member of a gun club, a loner. Many people know his name but nobody claims to know him. A stereotype started by the Oklahoma bomber and continued in the UK at the Dunblane school massacre and other similar incidents.

    July 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Audun Melaas

    He posted this film before the slaughter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OlyVFCGi2g
    Sick christian fundamentalist...

    July 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John S.

    Should we say Charles Manson was a Liberal Democrat Extremist, just because he was a hippie? I would love to have someone explain how they are different. In an earlier report, CNN claimed he was a "Right wing Extremist." CNN doesn't need to get political about this, it and try to blame everyone who has a conservative political view. Obviously CNN slants news with a liberal bias.
    This guy obviously had no clue about Christ's teachings. He is not a Christian, despite what he claims.

    July 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • PattiK

      It is the killer himself who claims he is a fundamentalist christian and supporter of right wing views. It isn't CNN making a decision on his politics and religious views .He thinks of himself as Christian and no doubt will try to justify his murders as in some way trying to save Norway from muslim migrants and non believers. Whats is worryingis he claimed to be part ofa pan european movement.

      July 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tobbe

    As a scandinavian I feel all fingerpointing towards islamic extremists are not listening to facts. This was a right-wing extremist. Attacking the ruling party in the most awful way possible. Reading about it from Sweden I felt that the M.O was more inspired by the Oklahoma city bombing and perhaps in a way the terrible indian Mombai masssacres than anything else. Through all of it, especially when I heard of the secondary attack I felt that this was Norways Oklahoma City.

    I feel terrible for my friends and relatives in Norway. But I don't feel it is Islamic in nature and as I said, more like the bombings in Oklahoma with a terrible twist were the bombing was a distraction.

    July 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wes

    I seem to remember a similar event occurred several years ago in Norway but I can't find it on the internet or on the news. Is there a cover up? This attack appears to be a copy cat. First one happened several years ago, then a couple of years later the brother of the first attacker copied him, and now it has happened for a third time. I don't believe I am crazy.

    July 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. secutor

    No, Lily. Clifford is no animal.

    July 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bribarian

    I wonder how the leftist media will spin this. Probably will censor everything he says.

    July 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    truly amazing how they handle this crisis.

    "revenge is not an option, if one man can create that must hate, you can only imagine how much love we together can create. Violence create violence, hate create hate, revenge will not be a good solution"

    "We will meet these attacks on democracy with more democracy and openness."

    If only Bush reacted this way..

    July 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. s kel

    khalid your statment that the right wing nut in az would have been more left wing is a clear indication how far from normal america you and the tea party members are. but ill deal with your partys hatred of america later on. early in this blog a person named phil stated he was 5 miles away from the pentagon on sept 11. that brought back bad memories of that day. i was in the pentagon that day as a first responder/firefighter and the horror norway went thru.

    July 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
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