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ANDERS BEHRING BREIVIK

Danish Breivik play sparks fury in Norway

A Danish theatre group has come in for vehement criticism in Norway after it announced plans to stage a monologue based on the manifesto of confessed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

Ragnar Eikelund, the head of a local victim support group whose son Tore was killed in the July attacks, said Café Teatret’s project was “so objectionable that words fail me”, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.

The theatre’s artistic director, Christian Lollike, told newspaper Politiken the play will feature an actor playing Breivik presenting his manifesto, a document he posted online shortly before setting off a car bomb outside government buildings, killing eight people. Breivik then went on a murderous shooting spree on Utøya island, where he killed a further 69 people at summer camp for young Labour Party followers.

Explaining the rationale behind the play, scheduled to run from August 23rd to September 15th this year, Lollike said understanding Breivik’s mindset was essential in order to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.

In Norway, however, the theatre community was quick to distance itself from the Copenhagen project.

“Breivik’s main aim was to spread the message in his manifesto, and he did that by killing all those people. He actually succeeded in that,” said Erik Ulfsby, head of Det Norska Teatret, a major Oslo theatre.

“Anyone creating more awareness about the manifesto is a useful idiot dancing to Breivik’s tune.”

The proposed play has also come in for criticism in the director’s native Denmark, where politicians from the Liberal and Social Democrat parties expressed serious concerns.

Per Balch Sørensen, a Dane whose daughter Hanne Annette died at Utøya, described the project as “a really bad idea”.

“It comes far too soon after the tragedy, and to me it seems someone is trying to make money off it,” he told newspaper Politiken.  

In the manifesto, which he spent years writing, Behring Breivik describes himself as the "Marxist Hunter."

In the tract , titled "2083 — A European Declaration of Independence," he reveals his admiration for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and calls for adherents to spawn large families of white European 'jihadists.'

"If you are not willing to sacrifice your own life, then I would strongly advise you to make babies and ensure that they will be willing to sacrifice theirs when the time is right," he says at one point.

"I will be labelled as the biggest (Nazi-)monster ever witnessed since WW2," he acknowledged in the document, signed using an anglicisation of his name: Andrew Berwick, with the epithet: Justiciar Knight Commander, Knights Templar Europe, Knights Templar Norway.

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BREAKING

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

Prosecutors in Sweden are now treating the murder at the Almedalen political festival as a terror crime, with the country's Säpo security police taking over the investigation.

Swedish prosecutors upgrade Almedalen knife attack to terror crime

In a press release issued on Monday evening, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, said that the 32-year-old attacker, Theodor Engström, was now suspected of the crime of “terrorism through murder”, and also “preparation for a terror crime through preparation for murder”. 

Engström stabbed the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren last Wednesday as she was on her way to moderate a seminar at the Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland. 

Although he was a former member of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, police said his motive seemed to be to protest against Sweden’s psychiatry services, who he felt had treated his own mental illness badly. 

The release gave no details as to why the 32-year-old was now being investigated for a more serious crime, but terror expert Magnus Ranstorp told the Expressen newspaper that the shift indicated that police had uncovered new evidence. 

READ ALSO: What do we now know about the Almedalen knife attack? 

“The new crime classification means that they’ve either found a political motive for the attack which meets the threshold for terrorism, and that might be a political motive for murdering Ing-Marie Wieselgren,” he said. “Or they might have discovered that he was scouting out a politician, or another target that could be considered political.” 

Engström’s defence lawyer said last week that his client, who he described as disturbed and incoherent, had spoken in police interrogations of having “a higher-up target”. 

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