Were downtown Oslo and the Labour Party retreat on Utøya the only possible targets considered by the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik?
Not according to an article published last week in Dagbladet about ABB’s alternative terror targets. In an parallel universe, July 22 might have come out quite differently — Mr. Breivik actually considered blowing up 50,000 Muslims.
Many thanks to our Norwegian correspondent The Observer for the translation:
Breivik planned to organize a large event for Muslims in Oslo Spectrum
During several long police interrogations, Anders Breivik Behring explained how and when he developed his radical views. According to his court-appointed public defender, Geir Lippestad, Breivik was already fully radicalized as a 21-year-old.
The terror plans came later
In interrogations Breivik has stated that he was looking for ways to shape society according to his own beliefs as early as 2001. He considered both nonviolent and violent alternatives.
Bury a bomb under Oslo Spectrum
He has told police interrogators in great detail about a grotesque plan he came up with in his early twenties. He wanted to earn enough money to enable him to rent the Oslo Spectrum indoor stadium in downtown Oslo. He would then organize an event for Muslims which he hoped would draw a crowd of up to 50,000.
His plan was to bury a bomb under the building and set it off at some stage during the event. Breivik himself has described the plan as unrealistic. He has told investigators that he eventually came to the conclusion that this would be a strategic error as it would generate massive sympathy for the Muslim community.
He also believes that it is unwise to attack Muslims, as he doesn’t see them as Norwegians, and hence not capable of being traitors.
Wanted four bombs
Breivik talked about several potential targets.
Ideally he would have preferred to use four vehicles packed full with explosives, which he would then park outside the government building, the Gunerius shopping mall in the city center, the Labour Party headquarters, and outside the royal castle.
He has told investigators that if he survived these attacks he would then seek out the Blitz House (AFA activists), Dagsavisen, and the headquarters of the Socialist Left Party (SV).
However he decided to scrap these plans as he realized it would be difficult to produce enough explosives. He also contemplated attacking the NRK headquarters, the TV2 headquarters and the journalists’ conference SKUP. Which target he considers to be most important varies slightly from interrogation to interrogation.