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Intelligence Chief: Norway Terror Suspect Is Lone Wolf

Bomb and terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik leaves the courthouse  in a police car  in Oslo on July 25.
Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen
AFP/Getty Images
Bomb and terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik leaves the courthouse in a police car in Oslo on July 25.

Norway's domestic intelligence chief told the AP that the man suspected of killing 76 people in a bombing and shooting rampage likely acted alone.

"It's a unique case. It's unique person. He is total evil," Janne Kristiansen, the director of the Norwegian Police Security Service told The Associated Press.

Anders Behring Breivik, who admitted to the bombings and shootings, claimed during an initial court hearing that he did not act alone. Police have questioned that from the beginning. Kristiansen said that based on the information they have so far, "we have no indication that he was part of a network or had any accomplices."

The AP adds:

Kristiansen said that Breivik's case presents a new challenge for security services, different from a "solo terrorist" who receives training and instructions from a terror network and is then left to pick out a target and attack it on his own. Breivik appears to be a true lone actor, who conceived and executed his plot without help or coordination from anyone.

"This is a totally different challenge," Kristiansen said. "This is all in his mind."

Judging by a manifesto he released just before the attacks, he started "preparing himself to do something big, shocking and spectacular" some 10-12 years ago, she said. The 1,500-document calls for a revolution that will culminate by 2083 in the expulsion of Muslims from Europe and the elimination of the "cultural Marxist/multiculturalist" politics that Breivik complains facilitated the immigration of Muslims to European countries.

In an interview with Time, Kristiansen called Breivik "a new paradigm." Time explains that for the past year or so, counterterrorism officials have warned about single terrorists that have been trained by organizations but sent to act alone to avoid the detection of "chatter" by intelligence agencies. Breivik appears to break this mold in that he "appears to have no real connection to any organized group..."

"He's not a solo terrorist," said Kristiansen. "He's a lone wolf who has been very intent on staying under the radar of the security services by leading a lawful life."

The AFP reports that police will interrogate Breivik tomorrow. It will be only the second time police talk to him. The king's general prosecutor, Tor Aksel Busch, said Breivik will likely be tried next year.

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.