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20 Jun, 2023 14:00

Police arrest Norwegian plotting ‘Breivik-style mass murder’

The suspect reportedly planned to “outdo” the infamous neo-Nazi’s killing spree
Police arrest Norwegian plotting ‘Breivik-style mass murder’

Police in Hungary have arrested a Norwegian man accused of plotting a series of terrorist attacks aimed at outdoing Anders Behring Breivik’s infamous 2011 massacre. In a series of videos, the man allegedly threatened to target airports and railway stations, declaring that he would “destroy the innocent.” 

The unnamed 45-year-old was detained at his apartment in Budapest on Wednesday and was formally arrested on Saturday, police told Hungary’s 24 news site. Counter-terrorism officers raided the apartment after the suspect posted a series of videos to an unnamed video-sharing site in which he threatened to “outdo” Breivik’s killing spree, which left 77 people dead.

“I can attack anywhere,” he reportedly warned in one video. “Airplane, airport, railway station, nothing is a problem for me… I will destroy the innocent.”

The man, who is currently being held in a mental institution, has a history of violent and sexual crimes in his native Norway, police said.

On July 22, 2011, Anders Breivik killed eight people with a truck bomb in Oslo and shot another 69 dead at a youth camp organized by a liberal political party on the island of Utoya. On the day of the massacre, Breivik distributed a 1,500-page manifesto in which he described the years of preparation before his attack, railed against liberal politics, and demanded the expulsion of all Muslims from Europe.

Breivik, who referred to himself as a “Knight Justiciar” of a Templar order, expressed no remorse for his acts and displayed a Nazi salute in court on numerous occasions. He was sentenced in 2012 to 21 years in prison, the maximum term allowed under Norwegian law. Breivik was denied parole last year, with a district court ruling that he “appeared to be devoid of empathy and compassion for the victims of the terror.”

It is unclear whether the man arrested in Budapest shared any of Breivik’s political leanings, or simply wanted to kill as many people as possible. 

Breivik’s rampage has, however, inspired copycat attackers before. An academic dubbed “Poland’s Breivik” was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2015 for plotting to ram an armored vehicle packed with explosives into the parliament in Warsaw and kill President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Four years later, white supremacist Brenton Tarrant shot 51 people dead at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Tarrant posted a manifesto to social media before his attack in which he decried the “Islamic occupation” of the Western world and described Breivik as a role model.

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