(OSLO, Norway) — A right-wing extremist bent on ethnic cleansing was judged sane by a Norwegian court on Friday for last year’s shooting and bomb deaths of 77 people.
The conviction on charges of terrorism and premeditated murder means that Anders Behring Breivik will spend a minimum of 21 years in prison rather than a mental institution, and could possibly wind up behind bars for the rest of his life.
Norway, like other European countries, does not have the death penalty.
Breivik, 33, was hoping not to be deemed insane. He defended his actions in court, based on the premise that Norway and the rest of the continent were becoming increasingly contaminated by allowing Muslims and other emigres to settle there and mix with Europeans.
Breivik also claims he’s the leader of a movement to crush multiculturalism, which he blames for the loss of Norway’s national identity. Many of his beliefs were detailed in a 1,500-page manifesto.
His killing spree unfolded on July 22, 2011 when a fertilizer bomb exploded outside government offices in Oslo, killing seven people.
The explosion was meant to be a diversion that enabled Breivik to board a ferry to Utoya Island, a 26-acre island that hosts a youth camp catering to the children of members of Norway’s Labour Party and other prominent families.
Dressed as a police officer, Breivik proceeded to gun down 69 people, many of them teens. When a Norwegian SWAT team finally arrived on the island and confronted the killer, he surrendered and was taken into custody.
During the trial, Breivik rejected being labeled a child murderer, claiming his victims were also to blame for multiculturalism.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Georgia McCafferty and Junko Ogura, CNN
James Griffiths, CNN
Steve Almasy, CNN