Norwegian terrorist had suspected ties to British radical groups, say police
While Norwegian police officials and prosecutors believe suspected bomber and gunman Anders Breivik was a "lone wolf" terrorist,law enforcement officials from New Scotland Yard in London were contacted by Oslo detectives and asked for information about extremist groups based and operating in the United Kingdom.
Oslo police officials investigating Norway's bomb attack on a government building and mass shooting of teenagers are probing the suspect's possible links to like-minded groups that espouse violence against governments and segments of a countries population.
After questioning Breivik and examining his background, police stated that the suspect claimed he was recruited by two English right-wing extremists at a meeting in the U.K. in 2002. According to the Norway officials, Breivik said two British extremists led the meeting and he attended it with about six others.
Breivik's attorney, Geir Lippestad, said during a press conference that his client wished to help revolutionize Norway's society and had "confessed to the factual circumstances" of the atrocities but denied criminal responsibility. While knowing what he did, Breivik believed he was right in doing it, said a law enforcement officer.
Meanwhile Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, said he and the U.K.'s top security officials will discuss Britain's vulnerability to a similar terrorist attack Monday morning. A source told the Law Enforcement Examiner that Scotland Yard was in almost constant contact with their Norwegian counterparts and Scotland Yard police inspector was already in Norway to offer help with the follow up investigation.
A U.S. law enforcement source said that Breivik had published a manifesto online on Friday decrying Muslims living in his country and other Western nations and threatening "indigenous Europeans," whom he accused of betraying their heritage, with violence. He spoke of a British leader named "Richard" in the more than 1,500-page diatribe.
Asked by reporters if the Norwegian police were considering possible links to British far-right groups, a police spokesman said: "They [the police] are following every lead and they're checking out everything he might have been associated with." It was too early to tell which groups might be implicated," he said.
Reports in the U.K. mentioned Breivik's possible connections and sympathies with the right-wing English Defense League (EDL). But the EDL denied that the suspect had any links with it and said it "vehemently" opposed his actions, according to the BBC.
A law enforcement source, who spoke with Oslo police, told the Law Enforcement Examiner that the first victim of Breivik's Utoya massacre was an off-duty Oslo cop who was hired by the Labor Party to provide private security during the event attended by about 600 people.
The attacker arrived dressed as a policeman causing some campers to be shot when they approached the Breivik thinking he was part of a rescue operation.
Tags: Norway , Terrorism , Law Enforcement
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