— The suspect in the
twin attacks Friday that killed dozens of people in Norway was identified early Saturday as a 32-year-old Norwegian farmer.
TV2, the country's largest broadcaster, and the newspaper Dagbladet identified him as Anders Behring Breivik, 32, describing him as a member of right-wing extremist groups. Shortly thereafter, The Telegraph newspaper of London
reported the same information, citing Norwegian Justice Minister Knut Storberget.
TV2 also said Behring Breivik had an automatic weapon and a Glock pistol registered in his name.
Behring Breivik was still being questioned early Saturday and had not been charged, authorities told Dagenblat.
A Facebook profile for an Oslo man of that name and age was removed early Saturday. It included a profile photo identical to the one being used by Norwegian media. In the profile, he listed himself as "single," "Christian" and "conservative" and says he is director of Breivik Geofarm.
The account had no posts. A
Twitter account apparently for Behring Breivik used the same profile photo and has but one tweet, dated July 17: "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100000 who have only interests."
The 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill, known for his theory of utilitarianism, once said, "One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests."
The authenticity of the online accounts could not imm
ediately be verified, but
government business records list a man of the same name and age as sole director of Breivik Geofarm. In the records, the company says its business is the "growing of vegetables, melons, roots and tubers" and reports that it has 790 employees.
Police said the attacker may have had accomplices, The Telegraph reported. Police were reported to be trying to determine whether the farm could have provided the chemicals needed to build a large bomb like the one that exploded Friday in Oslo.
Terrorism experts had cautioned against assuming that the violence — the explosion that killed seven people in Oslo, followed by a shooting spree at a political youth conference on Utoya island in nearby Buskerud, which police said killed at least nine more — was the work of al-Qaida or another international terrorist group. Hours before the suspect was identified, they said the attacks could simply have been the actions of a disturbed individual.
Magnus Ranstorp, a specialist in militant Islamic movements and research director at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College, said it was natural for people to initially conclude that the attacks were the product of a terrorist plot.
"Intuitively, the bombing is al-Qaida-related," Ranstorp told the Norwegian Nettavisen news service. But the new information about the suspected gunman — especially his nationality — "points to an internal rather than external extremist," he said.
"With this attack on Utoya, this could just be a crazy person," Ranstorp said.
Tore Bjorgo, a professor at Norwegian Police University College — which state broadcaster NRK reported is working with police on the investigation — said the fact that the second attack was directed at a political youth organization suggested the involvement of local or European right-wing extremists.
Exclusive Analysis, a risk consultancy in London, said reports "could indicate the involvement of a far-right group rather than an Islamist group."
But it added: "It is also the case that the Labour Party would be a favorable target for Islamist groups due to its role in authorizing Norwegian military deployments in Afghanistan."
Police security officials, meanwhile, told the newspaper Dagbladet that they had picked up no information indicating an imminent terrorist attack before Friday.
"Threats against Norway have been considered low for a long time, and there were no changes in this situation before the terrible incident today," said Trond Hugubakken, a security spokesman.