Friday, the 22nd of July 2011 at 15:25 a car bomb exploded in the Government Quarter of central Oslo. Eight people were killed and nine were severely injured. Nearly 500 people were in the vicinity when the bomb exploded, and many of these people were subjected to physical injuries and psychological trauma. The explosion caused extensive material damage.
Later on the same day, from approximately 17:21, a massacre began at the Workers’ Youth League’s (AUF) annual summer camp on Utøya in Hole Municipality. 564 people were on the island. 69 people were killed, mostly as a result of shooting or gunshot wounds. An additional 33 youths were severely injured and a large number of people suffered psychological trauma.
The perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, was arrested by the Norwegian Police’s Emergency Response Unit on Utøya at 18:34. During both his interrogation and testimony in the Oslo District Court, Breivik stated right-wing extremist and anti-Islamic political motives for the terrorist acts. He justified the attacks as a defence against a politically driven and secret “multicultural project”, believing that ethnic Norwegians had been subjected to abuse in the form of ethnic “deconstruction” since the Norwegian Labour Party opened up the possibility of mass immigration during the 1960s. According to him, all parties in the Norwegian Parliament, but especially the Labour Party, are responsible for this “deconstruction”. The court assessed the accused’s sanity, but did not deem him psychotic during the attacks. The verdict explains the terror attacks as a “combination of fanatic right-wing extremist ideology, an intake of performance-enhancing drugs and possible autosuggestion in combination with pathological or deviant traits in his personality.”
On the 24th of August 2012, he was sentenced to the strictest sentence in Norwegian law: 21 years of preventative detention, with a minimum of 10 years.