Norway Attack Suspect Due in Court
Anders Behring Breivik will explain his motive, according to his lawyer.
July 25, 2011— -- Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of the twin attacks in Norway Friday that killed 93 people, makes his first court appearance today. In a closed-door arraignment, he is expected to explain what motivated him to massacre so many of his fellow countrymen, according to his lawyer.
Oslo District Court Judge Kim Heger decided on a closed-door detention hearing on a request from police, according to a statement reported by the Associated Press, denying Breivik the public platform he'd hoped for.
Breivik's attorney, Geir Lippestad, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that his client had requested to appear at his arraignment in uniform but didn't know what kind of uniform, the Associated Press reported.
Breivik, 32, has confessed that he was behind the bombing of a government building in downtown Oslo and the shooting spree at a youth camp on the island of Utoya. Breivik said that he acted alone, and that he wanted to attack Norwegian society in order to change it, according to Acting National Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim. Breivik has told his lawyer that he wanted to transform the Western world, according to reports.
Prosecutors are expected to request eight weeks of pretrial detention for the suspect while they put their case together.
As Norway observed a minute of silence at noon Monday for the 93 people killed in the two attacks, the search continued for four people unaccounted for in the shootings at a summer youth camp run by the youth wing of Norway's Labor Party.
Boats have been plying the waters surrounding the 26-acre island of Utoya, which sits approximately 1,600 feet off the coast in Tyrifjorden Lake, since late Friday, according to the BBC.
"If we find any in the water, we don't expect them to be alive, but we want the parents to have a grave to go to," an official said.
On Monday, it was revealed that one of those killed at the island retreat included Crown Princess Mette-Marit's stepbrother, and an off-duty police officer, who worked at the camp as a security guard, the Associated Press reported.
Echoes of Rightwing Extremism
According to terrorism experts, Breivik's YouTube video and 1,500-page manifesto echoed the sentiments of rightwing extremism in the United States. Large sections of the manifesto, called "A European Declaration of Independence," were copied and pasted from the writings of unabomber Ted Kaczynski and posted by "Andrew Berwick," the Anglicized version of "Anders Breivik," on the website Freak Forum.
Police have confirmed that Breivik posted the 12-minute video titled "Knights Templar 2083" on YouTube hours before the attacks. The video denounces "cultural Marxism" and calls for conservatives to "embrace martyrdom" and fight against the "Islamisation of Europe."
The clip has since been removed from YouTube.
"Rightwing extremism is obviously an issue in the United States," said former FBI agent Brad Garrett. "We probably have had more homegrown violent terrorists than any other country in recent times. It's historically been a problem here and it's a problem today."
"I think this really is in a sense Norway's Oklahoma City bombing," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, referring to the 1995 bombing by Timothy McVeigh that claimed 168 lives and for which McVeigh was executed in 2001.
"What we're seeing is very similar to what the radical right is going through in the United States. Breivik is reacting to the same kinds of massive demographic changes that the U.S. has seen in the last several years," Potok said.
"The Scandinavian countries were essentially white countries. That has changed quite dramatically over the last several years. This is going on in the U.S. as well. We have seen an enormous explosion in the right wing just in the last two years, namely as a reaction to the changing racial demographics of the population," Potok explained.
"This enormous growth of groups very much coincided with Barack Obama on the political scene. Obama is a symbol that the U.S. will not be dominated by the white majority for much longer. By 2050, whites will lose their majority in the U.S. This country for the first time in its history will not be dominated by a white majority. These are massive changes that are happening and they are very real changes," Potok added.
Yet Breivik may have overestimated the ethnic mix in Norway. He claimed in Facebook messages obtained by the Washington Times that 20 percent of Oslo is Muslim.
According to the CIA World Factbook, 94.4 percent of the Norway's population is Norwegian. Pakistanis make up the largest immigrant group in Oslo, and there are less than 20,000 Pakistanis out of a population of almost 1.5 million, according to Statistics Norway.
ABC News Live
24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events