- (Photo: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay)
- (Photo: Reuters / Cathal McNaughton)
The suspect behind the slaughter of dozens in Norway wanted to force a revolution in the country, his lawyer said Sunday.
"He wanted a change in society and, from his perspective, he needed to force through a revolution," Geir Lippestad told public broadcaster NRK, as reported by The Associated Press. "He wished to attack society and the structure of society."
Anders Behring Breivik, 32, confessed to Friday's bombing and mass shooting that killed at least 93 people but denied criminal responsibility, saying his actions were necessary. He claimed he acted alone though authorities are investigating whether others were involved.
"He says that he was alone but the police must verify everything that he said," police chief Sveinung Sponheim said, according to the BBC. "Some of the witness statements from the island have made us unsure of whether there was one or more shooters."
Breivik, who has been reported to have "Christian fundamentalist" and anti-Muslim views, had been planning the attack for some time, according to his lawyer.
A 1,500-page manifesto signed by "Andrew Berwick" and posted online just before the attacks is believed to have been written by the suspect. His lawyer said Breivik spent years writing it.
According to AP, part of the document stated, "We, the free indigenous peoples of Europe, hereby declare a pre-emptive war on all cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites of Western Europe. ... We know who you are, where you live and we are coming for you. We are in the process of flagging every single multiculturalist traitor in Western Europe. You will be punished for your treasonous acts against Europe and Europeans."
In the document, the author claimed to be a follower of the Knights Templar – a medieval Christian organization involved in the Crusades, as reported by BBC.
He also detailed the deadly plot in the manifesto.
On Friday, a car bomb went off at government headquarters in Oslo. Hour later, dozens of young people were shot at Utoya Island where about 600 people were attending the Norwegian Labor Party's annual summer camp.
The death toll may rise as police are still searching for more victims.
The massacre has shocked the country and the rest of the world. Condolences were being sent from church leaders and national leaders, including President Barack Obama.
Oslo Cathedral drew a full house on Sunday, including Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
Elsewhere, mourners have been gathering at churches for prayers and comfort amid what many are calling an incomprehensible tragedy.
"This experience of terror is bringing innocent human beings and their families into trauma and death that is horrible," said World Council of Churches General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, a Norwegian pastor.
"The dimensions of the events are impossible to comprehend. In times like this, we see how important our values of justice and peace are for our nation as Norwegians and for our fellowship of churches.
"Let us share the burdens of the victims and their families. We share our sorrow, and confirm together our commitment to overcome violence and any attempt to attack our values of the kingdom of God, the values of 'righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.'"