OSLO (Reuters) - Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik’s favorite writer, a right-wing blogger previously known only as “Fjordman”, denounced the attacks in a newspaper interview as a wave of funerals took place across Norway on Friday.
Norwegian daily newspaper VG identified the blogger as Peder Jensen, a 36-year-old who claims Islam is over-running European culture and who was praised by Breivik in a 1,500-page manifesto.
“He showed an extreme brutality that’s completely incomprehensible, and he must have believed he was part of a computer game where he was the superhero,” said Jensen in an interview with the newspaper, two weeks after the attacks.
Breivik has confessed to setting off a bomb in central Oslo and gunning down people at a Labor Party youth camp on a nearby island on July 22, killing a total of 77 people in what he saw as the start of a culture war to defend “Christendom”.
Since the attack, police and Norwegian media have been trying to find the author of the anonymous “Fjordman” blog. He was questioned by police as a witness on Thursday, before meeting with reporters from VG in a central Oslo cafe.
“CASTLE IN THE SKY”
Jensen said Breivik had sent him a number of emails seeking personal contact, but he declined -- “not because (Breivik) talked about violence, but because I thought he seemed boring -- like a vacuum cleaner salesman.”
“‘Castle in the sky’, I thought to myself when I read the emails,” said Jensen.
He did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
Breivik wrote in his manifesto “Fjordman” was his favorite “contemporary author” and quoted his writing at length.
“Our views are quite similar with the exception of me being an actual armed resistance fighter,” Breivik wrote.
Jensen told the Norwegian daily the two had never met. Shown in newspaper photos wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and glasses, the blogger said he had come forward to clear his name and would now go into hiding in fear of his safety.
“I don’t wish to be associated with Breivik and his horrible actions,” he said.
Jensen ran his “Fjordman” blog for less than a year in 2005 but continued to write on other sites critical of Islam and has called the religion an “irrational cult based on fear”. He said in a blog he has never called for violence and told VG he would never write under the “Fjordman” pen name again.
“I have read about the unspeakable things Anders Behring Breivik did at Utoeya,” he wrote in a blog posted on July 26. “Any person doing such a thing is a monster.”
Political leaders on Friday fanned out to speak at more than 30 funerals for victims aged 14 to 51. Television stations covered the ceremonies continuously, with more than a dozen others set for next week.
At a ceremony in Drammen, 40 kilometers (23 miles) west of the capital, hundreds of mourners gathered in honor of 14-year-old Sharidyn Svebakk-Boehn, who was killed on the island.
“Losing you is the hardest thing I have ever experienced,” the victim’s mother, Vanessa Svebakk, said at the funeral.
Additional reporting by Walter Gibbs and Terje Solsvik; Editing by Sophie Hares