Norway Shooter Will Call Islamic Extremists as Defense Witnesses
(LONDON) — The man who has admitted killing 77 people in last summer’s Norwegian massacre insists he’s not crazy, just a right-wing extremist – and his attorney plans to call Islamic extremists to the stand to prove it.
Anders Breivik does not want to use insanity as a defense at his trial, which begins on April 16, according to defense attorney Geir Lippestad. Lippestad told Le Monde that Breivik wants to be found guilty of the bombing and shooting attacks in Oslo and the nearby island of Utoya. “He wants to be found sane and accountable,” said Lippestad.
Breivik, who says he mounted the attacks to protest Islamic immigration to Europe, has written a 1,500 page manifesto outlining his beliefs. He has demanded a medal for his deeds and a rank in the Norwegian armed forces, and has claimed to be part of a larger organization. Specialists who examined him found him insane, and Lippestad had initially planned to use an insanity defense at trial.
But given his client’s wishes, he will instead portray Breivik as sane, but as an extremist. To bolster his case, he told Le Monde he plans to call Mullah Krekar, an Islamic extremist now resident in Norway, as a witness. Krekar, who once headed Ansar al-Islam, an Islamist group in Kurdish Iraq, has admitted meeting with Osama bin Laden and requesting backing for his group.
Lippestad said he wants to demonstrate that “Islamists also believe that Europe is the setting for a war of religion” and that therefore Breivik’s believe in such a conflict is not delusional.
The attorney said he may also use other Islamists as witnesses, as well as right-wing extremists. He told Le Monde that he plans to call the Norwegian anti-Islamic blogger who goes by the name Fjordman to the stand. Breivik quoted Fjordman, whose real name is Peder Jensen, in his massive manifesto.
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