Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Anders Behring Breivik: Norway’s Homegrown Terrorist

One Big Unhappy Family

At about the same time that Breivik was caught tagging up on buildings in Oslo, he became estranged from his father, who would never speak to this son again. Even a decade later when his son tried to get in touch with him, the father would avoid contact with him.

Anders Breivik, younger

Anders Breivik, younger

Breivik feigned not to take his estrangement from his father too personally, though; Breivik noted in his manifesto that his father had also cut off contact with his three other half-brothers –and sisters. “He has four children but has cut contact with all of them so it is pretty clear whose fault that was,” Breivik wrote. “I don’t carry any grudge but a couple of my half siblings do. The thing is that he is just not very good with people.”

Breivik also expressed ambivalent feelings towards the rest of his family in the manifesto. He described his mother as a “moderate feminist” and noted that both his father and mother supported the Norwegian Labor party, which sponsored the summer camp where Breivik went on his shooting spree. He expressed resentment towards his mother for his “super-liberal, matriarchal upbringing,” which he says, “lacked discipline and has contributed to feminize me to a certain degree.”

Breivik depicted his army officer stepfather, Tore, as a “very primitive sexual beast,” who spent much of his free time with prostitutes in Thailand. He also explained, in sordid detail, how his stepfather infected his mother with herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases.

But despite Tore’s alleged bad behavior towards his mother, Breivik wrote that Tore remained a “very likable and good guy.” “I can’t say I approve of that lifestyle although I can’t really blame him when I see today’s Marxist social structures.” Breivik wrote.

Anders Breivik, from his manifesto

Anders Breivik, from his manifesto

Breivik described his stepmother, Tove, as “intelligent” and said that they remained close after she and his father divorced. In his manifesto, he wrote that he was “really impressed” with her knowledge of Islam. He even said that he cared “for her a great deal.”

But then, in the same paragraph, he applied the same twisted logic that he used to justify the atrocities he would later commit as a moral justification for his stepmother’s possible murder, saying “Although I care for her a great deal, I wouldn’t hold it against the KT (Knights Templar) if she was executed during an attack.” Breivik accused Tove of having committed “treason” by working for a government agency that he claimed helped foreigners, mostly Moslems, get their visas approved to live and work in Norway. By working at this agency, Breivik wrote that Tove was furthering the cause of the “Norwegian multiculturalist regime” and was contributing to the “direct genocide of Norwegians through the continued Islamisation of Norway.”

Breivik was convinced that all of his family members were byproducts of a Marxist regime that had infiltrated Norway’s political system under the façade of democracy. Yet, despite all of the wrongs he believed that his parents and stepparents had committed, he claimed that he harbored no ill will against them and that he had grown up in a happy environment.

“So all in all, I consider myself privileged and I feel I have had a privileged upbringing with responsible and intelligent people around me,” Breivik wrote.

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