Police have identified the man who killed at least 91 people in twin attacks in Norway on Friday as Anders Behring B., a 32-year-old Christian with conservative and nationalistic views. B., who had a gun permit for a Glock pistol and an automatic rifle, apparently lived with his mother in a nondescript four-story brick building in the west of Oslo.
A special police unit raided B.'s apartment around 11 p.m. on Friday. According to investigations by Norwegian media, B. was a right-wing extremist who had repeatedly made anti-Islamic statements on Internet forums. Six days before the attacks, he sent his first and only message from his Twitter account. It read: "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests" -- a quote from the British philosopher John Stuart Mill.
B.'s Facebook page, which was taken offline late on Friday evening, featured a photograph of the suspect, who has wavy blond hair, a square jaw and blue eyes, looking off into the distance. B. apparently played the computer game "World of Warcraft" and was a member of a shooting club in Oslo. A childhood friend of the suspect told the Norwegian tabloid VG that B. had begun to talk about right-wing extremist ideas when he was in his late 20s. B. also maintained a racist profile on Facebook, the friend said.
B. had served in the Norwegian army but had no other known connections to the military. He had also not come to the attention of the police, apart from a minor traffic offense 10 years ago, VG reported.
The suspect wore a blue uniform similar to a police uniform during his attack on the youth camp, but had never been a police officer, said Oslo's deputy police chief Sveinung Sponheim. According to tabloid VG, B. had presented himself on the island as a policeman who wanted to carry out checks relating to the attack in Oslo.
Deputy police chief Sponheim said that the suspected shooter had also been seen in Oslo shortly before the bomb went off. The newspaper Dagbladet quoted a witness who claimed to have seen the suspect in Oslo two minutes before the explosion.
Not on the Radar
In 2009, B. had founded a company in the quiet town of Rena, a few hundred kilometers north of Oslo, to produce vegetables, roots and tubers. There is speculation that the farming business could have allowed B. to gain access to large amounts of fertilizer, an ingredient used in making explosives.
The suspect apparently had no known links to the right-wing extremist scene. "He just came out of nowhere," a police officer, who did not want to be identified, told the Associated Press. "He hasn't been on our radar, which he would have been if was active in the neo-Nazi groups in Norway. But he still could be inspired by their ideology."
"It's strange that he didn't kill himself, like the guys that have carried out school shootings," the police officer said, adding that the fact that B. was alive meant the police "might get some answers" about his motivation. The officer described the man as "cold as ice."