Norway's Anders Breivik, The Inspiration Behind Munich Attack?

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Norway's Anders Breivik, The Inspiration Behind Munich Attack?

The Munich shooter, David Ali Sonboly, committed suicide after his killing spree.


Paris, France:  German police on Saturday said there was an "obvious" link between the actions of a teen gunman who killed nine people in a rampage in Munich, and those of Norwegian far-right mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

Following is a reminder of Breivik's massacre of 77 people, which took place exactly five years before the Munich attack and was the worst violence to strike Norway since World War II.

How Did The Attack Unfold?

On July 22, 2011, Breivik killed eight people in a bombing outside a government building in Oslo and gunned down another 69, most of them teenagers, at a Labour Youth camp on the island of Utoya.

Just before committing the massacre, he published a 1,500-page anti-immigration manifesto online.

Who Is Andres Breivik?

Tall, blond and with piercing blue eyes, the right-wing extremist was 32 years old when he committed his massacre.

Fuelled by hatred for multiculturalism and Islam, he confessed to the killings, branding them "a preventive attack against state traitors".

Born on February 13, 1979, in tranquil and affluent Norway, Breivik said he had an unremarkable childhood with a diplomat father and a nurse mother who divorced when he was just one year old.

"I have had a privileged upbringing with responsible and intelligent people around me," he wrote in his manifesto.

How Did Norway Respond?

Breivik was found to be legally sane and handed a 21-year sentence, which can be extended if he is still considered dangerous. In contrast, the Munich shooter, David Ali Sonboly, committed suicide after his killing spree.

While elsewhere in Europe the talk has been of ratcheting up security in the aftermath of bloody attacks, Norway has made it a point to stand by its open society principles.

"The country is identical in many ways today (compared to before the Breivik attacks) -- and that is a good thing," says Eskil Pedersen, former leader of the Labour Party's youth wing, who managed to flee the Utoya carnage.

Breivik himself has complained about the isolation he has faced in prison, which he says violates his human rights. In a verdict that stunned observers, an Oslo court agreed with him in April that his solitary confinement constituted "inhuman" treatment. The Norwegian state intends to appeal the ruling.

Lone Wolf

Breivik claims he began his ideological crusade in 2002 and started putting his plan into action in late 2009, preparing in minute detail the bloody attack.

He became a textbook example of the "lone wolf" who lived a reclusive life in an apartment with his mother before renting a farm, a move that enabled him to acquire the fertilisers he needed to build his bomb.

In a sign the Munich shooting was likely also premeditated, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Saturday that Sonboly had hacked a girl's Facebook account and used it to lure victims to the McDonald's outlet where he began his rampage.

Breivik too had sought to gain his victims' trust by wearing police uniform as he methodically shot at anyone he could spot, not hesitating to finish off the wounded.

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