The father of the young man suspected of single-handedly killing 93 people in Norway’s worst post-war tragedy told a newspaper he was in a state of shock.
“I was reading the news on the Internet and suddenly I saw his name and picture,” Anders Behring Breivik’s retired father told Norway's Verdens Gang paper. “I am in a state of shock, it’s absolutely horrific to hear that,” said Jens Breivik, who currently lives in France.
Breivik senior, who is divorced from the suspect’s mother, said he knew nothing of his son’s plans and explained he had not had contact with him since 1995 when he was 15 or 16.
“We never lived together but we had some contact during his childhood,” he said. “When he was younger, he was an ordinary boy but not very communicative. He was not interested in politics at the time.”
The 32-year-old was arrested following the twin attacks, which left 93 people dead on Friday and sent shockwaves through the usually peaceful country.
The suspect confessed to perpetrating a car bomb against Oslo’s government quarters and going on a shooting spree during a Labour Party summer camp on a nearby island.
Breivik, who described in a manifesto released on the Internet how he planned the attacks over years, told police he acted alone in what would be one of the worst acts of violence by a single man in recent memory.
The suspect mentions his father in the tract, who he says was a diplomat posted to London and Paris and who remarried after his birth, while his mother married a soldier who became his stepfather.
He wrote that his biological father and his wife had asked for custody of the boy but were prevented by the Norwegian courts.
“I had a good relationship with him and his new wife until I was 15,” he wrote.
Their contact then ended, with Breivik writing that his father “didn’t much like my graffiti period between the ages of 13 and 16”.
In the manifesto he said his biological parents were both Labour Party supporters.