Police convinced Norwegian mass killer acted alone
Norwegian police said Wednesday they are confident that confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik acted on his own in terror attacks last year that killed 77 people and that they found no evidence he belonged to a Europe-wide anti-Muslim network.
Breivik insisted a militant group "Knights Templar" exists and repeated a warning that it would attack within 15 months.
"It will be proved within a year and three months because then a new attack will come," he told the Oslo District Court. He did not elaborate.
The 33-year-old extremist, who has made similar threats before, has confessed to the killings but denies criminal guilt, saying the victims had betrayed their country by embracing immigration.
Five officers who testified at Breivik's murder trial said they found no proof of anyone being complicit in his plans or helping him in any way in the bomb attack in central Oslo that killed eight people and the subsequent shooting spree that left 69 dead at a Labor Party youth retreat on Utoya island.
Chief investigator Kenneth Wilberg told the court that police were sure of their findings and that they also found no proof Breivik belonged to Knights Templar, as claimed by the killer.
"Nothing in our investigation supports that Knights Templar exists," he said.
Wilberg said 50 police officers were still investigating Breivik's attacks but that they did not expect to find new evidence that would change their conclusions.
After Breivik surrendered on Utoya, he told police he was a resistance fighter in a militant group modeled after the Knights Templar -- a Christian order that fought during the crusades.
Breivik claimed the group was established in London in May 2002 after he had been introduced to a right-wing group by a Serbian nationalist he met in Liberia.
Follow-up meetings were held in the Baltic countries a few years later where up to 30 right-wing activists from across Europe gathered, some for training courses "for pioneer cell commanders," Breivik wrote in a 1,500-page manifesto he posted on the Internet before his attacks.
Vidar Saether, a police investigator, said they believe Breivik's trips to Liberia and London were connected to the diamond trade and that his fanaticism developed much later.
The first firm evidence of a planned attack dates back to May 5, 2009, when he founded GeoFarm, a company through which he was able to buy fertilizer and other ingredients to build a bomb, according to investigators.
Throughout the six-week trial Breivik has generally appeared calm and defiant, challenging witness accounts and has shown no regrets over his fatal rampage. He has said he wished he had killed more people and that he would do it again if given the chance.
Breivik's mental state is the key issue to be resolved during the trial.
If found guilty and criminally sane, he would face 21 years in prison, though he could be held longer if deemed dangerous to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to compulsory psychiatric care.
Last week, Breivik told the court that he would not appeal the verdict if the court deems him sane. Two psychological examinations carried out before the start of trial reached opposite conclusions on whether he is psychotic.
The trial is scheduled to last until the end of June.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)