The anti-Muslim extremist accused of killing 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway on July 22 had his first public hearing on Monday. Reporters and spectators, including survivors of the rampage, packed the courtroom to hear Anders Behring Breivik’s first public confession.
Investigators say Breivik set off a fertilizer bomb outside government headquarters on July 22, killing eight people. He then headed to an island retreat, where youth sections of Norway’s governing Labor Party were holding their annual summer camp. On the island, the man carried out a bloody shooting massacre, killing 69 unarmed people.
According to The Associated Press, Breivik claimed to be a commander in the Norwegian resistance movement and said he carried out the attacks as an act of war against Muslim immigrants to the country. As he did previously in closed hearings, Breivik confessed to the crimes but pleaded not guilty to terror charges.
According to the article, an online manifesto attributed to Breivik sheds light on his choice of targets. He lays out a blueprint in it for a multiphase revolution, targeting left-leaning political elites he accuses of destroying their own societies by admitting large numbers of immigrants, especially from Muslim countries.
Investigators have found no evidence linking Breivek to any anti-Islamic groups or resistance organizations, but have not ruled out his claims.