Norway police end Utoeya search

Suspect to be interogated on fresh leads as country's chief prosecutor says he will not face trial until 2012

    Norwegian investigators said they would question Anders Behring Breivik again this week amid what they said was a flood of new leads relating to his killing spree as police ended a search for his victims on Utoeya island.

    Friday's interrogation will be only the second interview after police quizzed Breivik on Saturday, the morning after his shooting rampage on Utoeya island and the bomb blast in Oslo that killed 76 people.

    As questions grew over claims he had carried a walkie-talkie during his rampage and his own assertion that he had accomplices, the country's chief prosecutor also said the 32-year old suspect would not face trial until 2012.

    Police official Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said officers would question Breivik on "the information received over the last few days - which is a lot," although he did not reveal the nature of the information.

    Meanwhile, Johan Fredriksen, the police Chief of Staff, told a news conference: "The search at Utoeya has been completed."

    A search for bodies in the surrounding Tyrifjord lake was continuing. Police had received a number of bomb threats but these were not considered credible, Fredriksen said.

    Police were trying to help Norwegians get back to normal after the trauma of the worst attack in their modern history. "In general we are trying to be visible to the public to try to contribute to the sense of security," he said.

    Network unlikely

    Dressed in a police uniform, Breivik massacred youths trapped on the island and shot at those who tried to swim to shore about 500m away, leading authorities to believe that a number may have drowned.

    Breivik told police he was part of a network in his self-styled "crusade" against Islam and multiculturalism.

    But the possibility that the killer had been working with anyone else "has become weaker over time," police spokesman Henning Holtaas told the AFP news agency; although "we are checking all his communications," he added.

    Holtaas recalled that "earlier, witness accounts indicated that there were several shooters, but nothing in the evidence we found on the island backs that up".

    Breivik boasted before the attack in a 1,500-page manifesto that he was one of up to 80 "solo martyr cells" recruited across Western Europe to topple governments tolerant of Islam.

    Al Jazeera's Harry Smith reporting from Oslo said:"Police and intelligence from across the world are interested in questioning Breivik because they want to know whether he has contacts with an international network, he has claimed that there are two other cells that are active and could carry out further attacks.

    "However, the Norwegian police are very skeptical about this. This still believe that he acted alone."

    'Lonely wolf'

    Norway's intelligence service has been liaising with counterparts across Europe and in the United States, but has found nothing so far to verify the gunman's claims of active cells forming a terror "organisation," made during a court hearing and in the tract.

    And "if we do have a lonely wolf, that is a totally different matter" when it comes to going back over the suspect's tracks, Janne Kristiansen, head of Norway's intelligence services, said in an interview with AFP.

    "He has done this very carefully and meticulously and so far he has succeeded in avoiding any radar, or radar of the secret services."

    The risk of copycat bombings remains low, police said, even though the attack comes amid a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe.

    As European counter-terrorism experts met in Brussels to review current alert mechanisms and see wider lessons from the attacks, an Oslo gun club said Breivik had been a member since 2005.

    The Norwegian king's general prosecutor Tor Aksel Busch - the country's highest legal officer - also said time would be required to sift through the case-load.

    "We hope that we can conduct the court trial in the course of next year," he said, adding that Breivik's indictment "will not be ready before the end of the year."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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