Anders Behring Breivik has been convicted of terrorism and premeditated murder for bomb and gun attacks that killed 77 people and sentenced to a special prison term that would allow authorities to keep him locked up for as long as he is considered dangerous.
Breivik, a self-styled anti-Muslim militant, looked pleased as Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen read the ruling, declaring him sane enough to be held criminally responsible for Norway’s worst peacetime attacks.
Lawyers for the 33-year-old Norwegian said before the decision that Breivik would appeal any insanity ruling but accept a prison sentence.
Anders Behring Breivik sits beside his lawyer Geir Lippestad, left, in the courtroom, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Oslo, Norway.
Going against the recommendation of prosecutors, who had asked for an insanity ruling, Arntzen imposed a sentence of "preventive detention", a special prison term for criminals considered dangerous to society.
She set the minimum length of imprisonment to 10 years and the maximum at 21 years, the longest allowed under Norwegian law.
However, such sentences can be extended under Norwegian law as long as an inmate is considered dangerous.
Wearing a dark suit and sporting a thin beard, Breivik smirked as he walked in to the courtroom to hear his sentence and raised a clenched-fist salute.
Breivik, 33, confessed to the attacks during the trial, describing in gruesome detail how he detonated a car bomb at the government headquarters in Oslo and then opened fire at the annual summer camp of the governing Labour Party’s youth wing.
Eight people were killed and more than 200 injured by the explosion.
Sixty-nine people, mostly teenagers, were killed in the shooting massacre on Utoya island. The youngest victim was 14.
Breivik said he regarded himself as a successor to the medieval Knights Templar, a Christian Zionist group that sought to reclaim Jerusalem from Islamic occupation.
Signing the document as “Andrew Berwick”, an Anglicised version of his name, Breivik boasts of 80 “solo martyr cells” having been recruited throughout Western Europe who were ready to follow his example of trying to overthrow governments tolerant of Islam.
Breivik specifically mentioned meeting members of the English Defence League, and urged “them to use conscious strategies.” However, he dismissed the group as “naive fools” for refusing to sanction violence.
Not to mention the perverse attempt to get Breivik classed as ’insane’ one of the strangest things about the trial is the Norwegian police’s hamfisted attempt to paint Breivik as acting alone.
This evil man quite clearly had a lot of friends - on Facebook 5000 when the attacks happened
And as a Freemason had at the very least a dozen or so fellow secret lodge or coven members.
Paul Ray says he never met Beivik and the Norwegian police simply believed him.
This trial absolutely stinks to high heaven of a masonic cover-up.
Anders Breivik has insisted at his trial that he attended a meeting in London in 2002 in which his violent right-wing group, the so-called “Knights Templar,” was founded.
EDL member Paul Ray in Malta, left. He noted similarities between his blog and the manifesto written by Anders Breivik, right
When prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh challenged him on whether the meeting had taken place at all, Breivik told her: "There is nothing that is made up, but you have to see what is written in a context. It is a glorification of certain ideals.”
Three days after the Norway attacks, the Daily Telegraph identified and tracked down a British man calling himself Paul Ray, who admitted that he could have been the inspiration for Breivik, although he denied ever meeting him.
British and Norwegian investigators are convinced that Breivik’s Knights Templars do not exist but say it is possible that he was inspired by information he found on the internet. If he was, Ray appears to be the man he modeled himself on.
In his 1,500 page manifesto, Breivik wrote that his “assigned mentor” at the founding meeting was “referred to as Richard (the Lionhearted).”
Ray, who blogged under the name “Lionheart,” wrote in 2007: “God will revive the ancient order of the Knights Templar and count me worthy to die amongst them in service of my God in protection of the Christian and Jewish world.”
He described himself as one of the “founding fathers” of the right-wing English Defence League, which he later abandoned – similarly Breivik wrote: “I wonder sometimes if one of the EDL founders was one of the co-founders of [the Knights Templar], I guess I’ll never know for sure.”
Ray went on to become a member of a group calling itself Order 777 that appeared to advocate a violent struggle against Muslims.
Order 777 posted videos online featuring a depiction of a Templar Knight and footage of a variety of armed gangs, including Serbian nationalists and Liberian fighters such as Charles Taylor.
Breivik wrote that he had attended the founding meeting of the “Knights Templar Europe” in London “after visiting one of the initial facilitators, a Serbian Crusader Commander and war hero, in Monrovia, Liberia.”
Both the videos and the manifesto featured a man called Milorad Ulemek, a former commander of a unit of the Serbian security services who was arrested in 2004 and convicted of the assassinations of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic.
Mr Ray, who later moved to Malta, is originally from Luton, Bedfordshire, a place that Breivik referred to repeatedly in court.
Lastly, the videos featured a thumping trance music soundtrack, exactly the kind of music Breivik listened to obsessively as he prepared his attacks.
Despite the similarities, Ray pointed out that the right-wing anti-Muslim movement did not begin in Britain until 2006 – which by coincidence is the same date Breivik claims to have started writing his manifesto.
Ray told the Daily Telegraph last July: “I am convinced that I have never met him and I can clear my name, but it does worry me that he got inspiration from my blog and it does look that way.
“I do worry that he has taken what I say and overreacted to it. I worry about that. That is my main worry.”
Mr Ray said he had been “racking my brains about this guy” and that Breivik may have approached him on the Facebook social network site but that he could not be sure.
“He has just taken stuff off the videos and used it for his own gain,” he added.
The court didn’t believe Mr. Breivik’s claims of belonging to a secretive network of “Justiciar Knights,” or “Knights Templar.” Investigators say it doesn’t exist.
The trial could not answer whether the network was a delusion — Mr. Breivik insisted it exists — or an attempt by him to inspire like-minded to form such a network.
“When incarcerated, the Justiciar Knight should do everything in his power to escape from prison,” he wrote. If successful, the “knight” should plot between three to five assassinations as a “bonus operation.”
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