Who is Anders Behring Breivik?
Anders Behring Breivik, also known as Andrew Berwick, killed eight people by detonating a bomb in the ‘Regjeringskvartalet’ government complex in Oslo in July 2011. Later the same day, he shot and killed a further 69 people participating in a ‘Workers’ Youth League’ summer camp on the island of Utoya. In August 2012, Breivik was convicted of mass murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Norway. He is currently serving his 21-year sentence at ‘Ila Prison,’ about 30km northeast of Oslo. In February 2017, while in prison, Breivik legally changed his name to “Fjotolf Hansen.” Thus, all legal papers related to him and all his custodial terms are now in that name. However, throughout Norway and around the world, he is still known as Anders Behring Breivik, the man who murdered 77 people on July 22, 2012. Breivik has been described as a far-right terrorist, but it seems more likely that he is a psychologically damaged individual who used the attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utoya to advertise his chaotic personal views, rather than furthering any purely political agenda. On the day of the attacks, he electronically distributed his treatise, ‘2083: A European Declaration of Independence.’ In this rambling document, he called for the deportation of all Muslims from Europe and blamed feminism for some kind of “European cultural suicide.” Originally diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, he was later described as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
Childhood & Early Life
Although Anders Behring Breivik was born in Oslo, his first year was spent in the UK, where his father, Jens Breivik, was an economist at the Norwegian embassy in London. However, his parents split when he was just a year old, and his mother, Wenche Behring, brought him back to live in Oslo. There, he attended the ‘Smestad Grammar School,’ the ‘Ris Junior High,’ and the ‘Hartvig Nissens Upper Secondary School,’ before joining the ‘Oslo Commerce School.’
As a child, Breivik frequently attracted the attention of psychologists, who were worried about the state of his mental health. His mother, too, was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
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Breivik claimed during his trial that in 2002, he had formed a 9-year plan to finance his racist agenda. This plan involved him setting up his own IT services company while still being employed as a customer service representative at a local company. However, Breivik’s company was later declared bankrupt, and he was reported for several breaches of Norway’s commercial regulations.
After this setback, Breivik moved back to his mother's house to save money. He became withdrawn and isolated. In May 2009, he founded a sole proprietorship farming company under the name ‘Breivik Geofarm.’ He used the company as a cover to legally obtain large amounts of artificial fertilizer and other chemicals for manufacturing explosives. He was also able to legally purchase guns in Norway through his membership of a gun club. He acquired a semi-automatic ‘Ruger Mini-14’ rifle through a hunting license.
Prior to the attacks, Breivik pushed his so-called treatise, ‘2083: A European Declaration of Independence’ out on to the web and through social media. This 1,500-page document contained many strange ideas, but the most startling of them was probably his tirade against his half-sister and his mother. In a section of the treatise, titled ‘How STDs ruin people’s lives,’ he stated that "My half-sister Elisabeth was infected by chlamydia after having more than 40 sexual partners (more than 15 of them Chippendale strippers who are known to be bearers of various diseases.)…" He also claimed that his mother was forced into early retirement by genital herpes and further complained, "Both my sister and my mother have not only shamed me, but they have shamed themselves and our family, a family that was broken in the first place due to secondary effects of the feministic/sexual revolution." None of this seemed to have any foundation in truth.
On July 22, at approximately 3:25 in the afternoon, Breivik detonated a very large fertilizer bomb concealed in a van parked outside the offices of Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, in Oslo. The explosion killed eight people and injured hundreds more. After the explosion, Breivik escaped detection and, disguised as a police officer, was able to catch a ferry to the small summer resort island of Utoya.
There, Breivik began indiscriminately shooting many young people who were enjoying the weather during their summer camp on the island. The first shot was fired at 5:22 pm. Breivik was confronted by the police at around 6:28 pm, and he surrendered without resistance. By then, he had killed 69 young people on the island and wounded 66 more.
A crime like Breivik’s is always surrounded by controversy, usually centered around who knew what and who should have known what. However, in this case, the controversy revolved around Breivik. He once claimed that his human rights were being abused by the conditions in which he was held in prison. He claimed that being held in solitary confinement for a long time breached his human rights, even though this was being maintained to protect him from inmates who would have attacked him. His appeal was rejected, but he has threatened to take his case to the ‘European Court of Human Rights.’
Family & Personal Life
Fjotolf Hansen was born Anders Behring Breivik, in Oslo, February 13, 1979. He was the only son of Jen Breivik, an economist, and his wife, Wenche Behring, a nurse. He has a half-sister named Elisabeth Breivik, from whom he is estranged. He is currently serving his sentence at ‘Ila Prison’ in southeast Norway. He never married and has no children.