Police questioned a blond 32-year-old suspect over twin attacks on a youth camp and the government headquarters that killed at least 91 people in Norway’s deadliest tragedy since World War II.
As harrowing testimony emerged from the holiday island where scores of youngsters were mown down by a gunman dressed as a policeman, Norway’s premier said the country would emerge stronger from the “cruel act of violence”.
“Never since the Second World War has our country been hit by a crime on this scale,” Jens Stoltenberg told journalists in an early morning press conference as police searched for more bodies on the idyllic Utoeya island.While there was no official confirmation of the suspect’s identity, he was widely named by the local media as Anders Behring Breivik.
Police commissioner Sveinung Sponheim confirmed that the suspect was a 32-year-old Norwegian who had posted anti-Muslim rhetoric online.
According to the TV2 channel, the arrested suspect has links to right-wing extremists and possessed two weapons registered in his name.
Other Norwegian media reported that he described himself on his Facebook page as “conservative”, “Christian”, and interested in hunting and computer games like World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2.
The attacks on Friday afternoon were western Europe’s deadliest carnage since the 2004 Madrid bombings.
While there had been initial fears they might have been an act of revenge over Norway’s participation in the campaigns in Afghanistan and Libya, the focus shifted when it emerged the suspect was a native Norwegian.