Beheading the prime minister, year-long video-game marathons and a sick dream to “kill them all.” Day four in the trial of confessed mass murderer Anders Breivik took a weeping courtroom into the very heart of madness.
During the fourth day of testimony before a packed courtroom, Breivik described in graphic detail the full extent of his murderous designs which ultimately left 77 dead last July.
“The plan was to behead [former prime minister] Gro Harlem Brundtland while it was being filmed,'' Breivik chillingly said. He spoke of posting the grizzly decapitation online as “a powerful psychological weapon.”
The 33-year-old Norwegian claims to have been inspired by Al-Qaeda’s use of the tactic, though the rightwing terrorist said “beheading is a traditional European death penalty.”
Twitter user TrygveSorvaag tweeted from the courtroom that Brevik had forgotten “to charge [his] camera,but also realized it would take too long to upload to the Internet.”
Brundtland had already left the Labor Party youth camp on Utoya by the time Breivik arrived to slaughter 69 people, most of them teenagers.
Breivik, who callously derided the victims as “traitors” for supporting immigration and multiculturalism, claimed his plans for the worst massacre in post-war Norwegian had been far more ambitious.
He mechanically recounted that 40 per cent of those he killed were under the age of 18, while he tried to keep the ratio to 25 per cent. The youngest victim of the July 22 rampage was 14.
“The goal was not to kill 69 people on Utoya. The goal was to kill them all,” Breivik told a visibly shaken courtroom. He described how he had wanted to drive the campers into the water, where they would drown in the clutches of “death anxiety."
Breivik also recounted how he had first hoped to target an annual conference of Norwegian journalists, whom he said were “legitimate targets” who "actively work for multiculturalism.” But having failed to get ready in time, he settled on the summer camp.
Hours before the Utoya slaughter, Breivik bombed the government headquarters in Oslo, killing eight. He had initially planned on detonating three bombs in the capital Oslo. However, he found it too difficult to obtain explosive materials, and thus decided that shooting was easier. His other targets included the then ruling Labor Party’s headquarters, as well as the Royal Palace.
Describing himself as a nationalist and a cultural conservative who supported the monarchy, Breivik seemingly defied logic by saying he had “settled on the palace in a setting where the royal family wouldn't be hurt.''
With a view to putting each bomb in a parked car while traveling by motorcycle, Breivik planned on heading to what’s known as a “Blitzhuset,” a city-financed center for mostly anti-racist radical youths. He planned to “kill as many Blitzers as I could,” the Views and News from Norway online daily cites him as saying.
Breivik also said he had hoped to ultimately die in a hail of bullets by finishing his rampage in a downtown shooting spree.
While Breivik fashions himself as a crusader who was fully cognizant when carrying out the horrendous acts, certain aspects of Thursday’s testimony point to an individual who had become increasingly isolated and detached from reality.
Breivik testified he played the first-person shooter “Modern Warfare” for sixteen months straight to get accustomed to using rifle sights.
"I don't really like those games but it is good if you want to simulate for training purposes," Breivik said while discussing Modern Warfare, Reuters cites Breivik.
Saying he had started thinking about his “suicide” mission as early as 2006, he took a year off to virtually play the online role-playing game World of Warcraft non-stop.
"Of course I couldn't tell her [his mother] I was going to take a sabbatical because I am going to blow myself up in five years' time," he said. "During that year I played perhaps 16 hours a day. It was a lot. Only playing for an entire year – playing and sleeping, playing and sleeping….It was a dream I had, and I wanted to do this," the agency reports.
Breivik had also named the rune-inscribed weapons he used in the Utoya shooting after items from Norse mythology.
"The rifle I called Gungnir, which is the name of the magical spear of Odin, which returns after you have thrown it. And the Glock I called Mjoelnir. It is the warrior god Thor's hammer," he said.
Further pointing to potential delusions of grandeur, Breivik claimed to be acting on behalf of a revolutionary anti-Muslim network he called the “Knights Templar.” However, prosecutors expressed doubts the group even exists.
Brevik, who had said his maximum allowable punishment of 21 years was “pathetic,” believes he should "either be acquitted or executed.”
If he is found to be insane, Breivik could be committed to a mental health facility for as long as treatment is considered necessary.
He had previously described an insanity ruling as worse than death. Breivik’s trial is expected to last 10 weeks.