Norway Shooter Anders Breivik Gets the Stage at Trial’s Close
(OSLO, Norway) -- After closing arguments today, a Norwegian court will determine the fate of Anders Breivik, the right wing extremist who confessed to killing 77 people -- most of them teenagers -- in a rampage in Norway last July. But the shooter may have already won part of what he wanted all along: a world stage to spread his anti-Muslim message.
At the end of his trial, which began in April, Breivik took the stand to say that he was justified in killing dozens of youths at a summer camp for the country's liberal party and that history would exonerate him, according to local and international media reports. Breivik, who has confessed to the killing, said it was "self-defense," a preemptive strike against Muslims and "multi-culturalism" he believed were taking over Europe.
"History shows that you have to commit a small barbarism to prevent a bigger barbarism," the 33-year-old Norwegian said Friday. "The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people... I therefore demand to be acquitted."
In what was described as a rambling statement, Breivik also decried perceived faults in the world, everything from Norwegians with non-Norwegian roots participating in the Eurovision Song Contest to the flippant attitude towards sex featured in the television series Sex in the City. Breivik claimed that fellow right-wing compatriots were behind a recent bomb scare at a Swedish nuclear plant.
Family members of several of Breivik's victims who were present in the court reportedly responded to the diatribe by walking out.
The court is expected to rule on the issue of Breivik's sanity before passing sentence. He will either be sent to prison or a psychiatric facility. Prosecutors have asked that he be ruled insane, but Breivik has argued that he was sane during the shooting and considered being called insane the "ultimate humiliation."
Regardless of the outcome, Breivik appears to have accomplished a key part of his plan to battle mutli-culturalism, as laid out in a 1,500-page manifesto posted online just before the massacre.
The meticulous manifesto describes a 60-year "war" against minorities in Europe waged by a secret group called the new Knights Templar and says that getting arrested is all part of the plan.
"Your arrest will mark the initiation of the propaganda phase," Breivik wrote. "Your trial offers you a stage to the world."
"In light of your newly acquired status as a living martyr for the cause, this newly acquired influential position will allow you to significantly contribute to further consolidation of either a national or pan-European Overseer organization or the establishment of a national prison movement (preferably political)," he says. "Alternatively: Escape from prison and initiate your 'bonus operation.'"
As of this report, no new right-wing pan-European Overseer organization has been identified.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio