July 27, 2011 / 7:47 PM / 8 years ago

Norway intelligence boss reckons Breivik a lone wolf

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway has no indication that the confessed killer behind Norway’s July 22 attacks had accomplices or was part of a wider network, the head of the Norwegian Police Security Service said Wednesday.

Janne Kristiansen also said she did not believe Anders Behring Breivik was insane, saying he was too calculating.

“So far we have no indication that he has any accomplices or that there are more cells,” Kristiansen told Reuters.

“When we have finished this stage of investigation, we have to sit down, police and security services all over the world, and consider what we can do differently and what we can do to avoid these lone wolves.”

“This is going to be our main focus in the future.”

Breivik is said to have given varying accounts of his actions when he carried out a bomb and a shooting attack that killed 76 people, first saying he operated alone and then telling a judge he was part of a wider network.

He told a court this week that two cells of collaborators were in his “Knights Templar” group that aimed to “save” Europe from Muslims.

Kristiansen said police had not ruled out that there could be others involved and that they were in touch with police in the rest of the world.

“We are working with the other security services in the rest of Europe, in America and the rest of the world,” she said.

“As long as there is a tiny chance...we have to investigate it — that is our main focus.”

Kristiansen said Breivik’s strategy is to spread fear to make sure he is kept in the limelight, partly achieved by saying he has other cells of sympathizers.

Asked about what Breivik calls the Knights Templar group, Kristiansen said it had existed at some point, but that security services have had no knowledge of it for a few years. She declined to disclose any more information.


Kristiansen said the security services had warned in their threat assessment earlier this year that right-wing extremism is on the rise in Europe and that there were “some in Norway.”

The assessment, however, said that right and left extremist groups will not in 2011 pose a “serious threat” to Norway.

“We see that it can pop up again any time, and that is what we have been warning about for the last half year,” she said.

Kristiansen said she did not believe Breivik was insane, or that he would plead insanity at his trial.

“He is too calculated, too focused. He is not going to plead insanity,” she said. “He wants to be seen as the savior of the world, and you can’t be insane to be that.”

Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said Tuesday that his client appeared to be a madman, but that it was too early to say if he would plead insanity.

Both Norwegian and international media have questioned how it has been possible for Breivik to stay below the police radar for so long, having planned the attack for many years.

“This person’s strategy is to be below the radar,” Kristiansen said, when asked how he had avoided being noticed.

“He has done everything on his own in a way that will make the police suspicious of nothing. He has not broken the law. He has had a strategy, and sorry to say he has succeeded in that strategy.”

Kristiansen added that after the investigation had concluded, police and security services would consider potential steps to avoid similar attacks.

Reporting by Aasa Christine Stoltz

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