x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Breivik wanted to behead former Norway prime minister

Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik also testifies he prepared for his attacks by cutting off contact with the outside world and devoting himself to Call of Duty video game.

OSLO // Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik testified yesterday that he had planned to capture and decapitate a former Norwegian prime minister during his shooting massacre on Utoya island.

Breivik, 33, said his plan was to film the beheading and post the video online. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former premier, had already left the Labour Party's youth camp on Utoya when Breivik arrived on July 22, after setting off a bomb in Oslo that killed eight people.

Sixty-nine people, mostly teenagers, were killed on Utoya, where nearly 600 members of the Labour Party's youth wing had gathered for their annual summer retreat.

"The plan was to behead Gro Harlem Brundtland while it was being filmed," Breivik told the court.

He said he was inspired by Al Qaeda's use of decapitation but noted that "beheading is a traditional European death penalty".

"It was meant to be used as a very powerful psychological weapon," he said.

Breivik also testified that he had prepared for his attacks by cutting off contact with the outside world and devoting himself to two computer games - Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, playing the second one for 16 hours a day.

Ms Brundtland was prime minister for the Labour Party for 10 years. She later headed the World Health Organisation and was appointed as a UN climate change envoy in 2007.

"Gro Harlem Brundtland has no comment on the information provided by Breivik, nor the court case in general," her adviser Jon Moerland said.

On the fourth day of his trial in Oslo on terror charges, Breivik spoke at ease about Norway's worst peacetime massacre, describing the victims as "traitors" and showing no sign of remorse.

"The goal was not to kill 69 people on Utoya. The goal was to kill them all," Breivik said.

The key issue of the trial is to establish whether he is criminally insane. The main point of his defence is to avoid an insanity ruling, which would deflate his political arguments.

In his 1,500-page manifesto he says the "Knights Templar" will lead a revolt against "multiculturalist" governments around Europe, with the aim of deporting Muslims.

If found sane, Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence or an alternate custody arrangement that would keep him locked up as long as he is considered a menace to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to psychiatric care for as long as he's considered ill.