When Anders Breivik admitted to an Oslo court on Monday that he had killed 77 people on July 22, but then pleaded not guilty on the grounds of “pre-emptive self defence,” it sounded to many like a random burst of insanity.
But the self-styled anti-immigration terrorist was acting out a drama he had precisely scripted a year before, right down to the Hitler-style salute he used to punctuate his declaration.
In the days before Mr. Breivik set off a truck bomb outside Norway’s national government building and then killed scores of teens and young adults in a shooting spree at a youth camp for members of the governing Labour Party, he wrote the script for his own court defence.
This script was included in his 1,518-page manifesto, titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, which is meant to be the founding document of an anti-multiculturalism terrorist movement opposed violently to the immigration of Muslims and the politicians who support them.
In his “closing statement – last day of trial,” Mr. Breivik describes the words he hopes to say to the court. They are uncannily similar to those he spoke on Wednesday.
“The individuals I have been accused of illegally executing are all category A and B traitors,” he writes.
By his definition, such traitors are the politicians who tolerate immigration and the “suicidal humanists” and “capitalist globalists” who tolerate the presence of religious minorities in Europe. The children at the youth camp, he suggested, were prime targets because they would have future careers devoted to tolerance.
“They are supporters of the anti-European hate-ideology known as multiculturalism, an ideology that facilitates Islamisation and Islamic demographic warfare,” he wrote in his script. “The category A and B traitors I executed were killed in self defence through a pre-emptive strike. They have been found guilty of high treason and condemned to death… I must be allowed to prove that I executed these traitors in order to prevent them from continuing to contribute in the ongoing processes of cultural and demographical genocide and extermination.”
It is now for the court to decide whether these are the calculated words of a lucid madman or the determined utterances of a political terrorist. (Mr. Breivik’s manifesto expresses admiration for Osama bin Laden, who he sees as a mirror-image activist in the Clash of Civilizations.)
The court will use Mr. Breivik’s statement to determine if he should be sentenced to a mental institution or a penitentiary, should he be found guilty. He is attempting to be found criminal and not insane, he says, so that he can be respected as a political figure. The trial continues.