Norway Suspect a 'Conservative Extremist?'

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The confessed killer behind two devastating attacks in Norway will be held in jail for the next eight weeks, four of which will be spent in complete isolation.

Anders Behring Breivik appeared in court Monday on charges of terrorism. Prosecutor Christian Hatlo told reporters that the suspect was very calm and "seemed unaffected by what has happened."

The 32-year-old admitted to the Friday bombing of the prime minister's office in the capital city of Oslo and to the shootings at a nearby youth camp, but denied criminal responsibility.

Hatlo said during the hearing, Breivik read from a personal manifesto in which he said Europe must be saved from "Muslim colonization."

Meanwhile, authorities have lowered the death toll in the twin attacks from 93 to 76. Police said the initial 86 young people thought to have died in the massacre outside Oslo now stands at 68.

CBN News Senior Reporter Dale Hurd just returned from Norway.  Click play for his analysis on the suspects beliefs, and why he feels Breivik is incorrectly being labeled a "Christian conservative" and "conservative extremist."

Breivik had asked for an open hearing in order to explain his actions, but an Oslo district court judge denied his request.

"Based on information in the case the court finds that today's detention hearing should be held behind closed doors," Judge Kim Heger said in a statement.

"It is clear that there is concrete information that a public hearing with the suspect present could quickly lead to an extraordinary and very difficult situation in terms of the investigation and security," Heger concluded.

A Time to Mourn

Many who attended a memorial service this weekend to mourn the victims of Friday's attacks were reduced to tears, including Norway's King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja.

One young man who survived the shooting rampage at the summer camp was at a loss for words.

"I have no words. The feeling of I am soon going to die, and the fear and that I heard so many shots of his gun  -- he never stopped shooting," Lars Martin recalled.

Many in the country are still in shock.

"I'm sad to say I'm not really surprised because we take part in things that happen in the world as well and I guess it can happen anywhere," one mourner said.

"But of course I'm shocked at the extent of it and that it was one of our own," the person added. "That was a big surprise."

A Born Again Christian?

Meanwhile, police are still investigating the motive for Friday's massacre.

"This is a Norwegian person, born and grow up in Norway.  He's 32 years old.  He's not known by the police before so we have not arrested him before or anything like that," Acting Police Chief Roger Andresen said of Breivik. 

"On his website, as you've probably seen, he describes himself as Christian and going to the right," he added.

Fred Gjestad, staff reporter for Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, told CBN News the suspect ended his church membership several years ago and that Norway's Christian community does not share his beliefs.

"I don't think there is any Christian in Norway who would read his perspective and say this fits in our church. There's no church like that in Norway," Gjestad said.

"He identified himself with the Crusades.  He wants new crusade.  He a Freemason," he continued. "For some people, they could say he a Christian because he identify with all these people and extreme view."

"But in Christian landscape in Norway today he is outside," he said.

Motive Unknown

Police are investigating a 12-minute-long video posted by Breivik on YouTube along with a 1,500 page manifesto posted online on the day of the attack.

Investigators say he was opposed to the growing influence of Islam in the country and wanted to preserve Norway's' European heritage.  The YouTube video included warnings against the high rate of Muslim immigration.

Norway's prime minister cautions it is too soon to know the motive for the attacks.  But he admits police are aware of some extremist groups in the country.

"Compared to other countries, I would not say that we have a big problem with right-wing extremists in Norway," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI has renounced the attacks, calling them acts of madness.  He has urged people to pray for the dead and the wounded.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at