- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2012

OSLO (AP) — A police official on Tuesday described the chaos that reigned in Oslo after a bomb exploded outside the government headquarters on July 22, allowing the attacker to slip away and carry out a youth camp shooting massacre.

Eight people were killed by the bomb and 69 were killed on Utoya island in twin attacks that jolted Norway. The confessed attacker, right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, has said he thought he would be killed by police before reaching Utoya.

Testifying in Mr. Breivik‘s trial, police operations leader Thor Langli said the initial reports he received after the blast suggested there were two suspects and two other bombs about to explode.

Mr. Langli recalled standing next to the head of an anti-terror squad in Oslo when he received a call about the second attack at the Labor Party’s youth camp on Utoya, some 25 miles from the Norwegian capital.

“I saw on his face that it was something serious,” Mr. Langli said. “And while I was watching him, he said out of the corner of his mouth, ‘Shooting on Utoya.’”

Another report came in that about 50 people had been shot on the island. The anti-terror unit was dispatched to Utoya. By the time it arrived, some 70 minutes after the first reports of Mr. Breivik‘s rampage, 100 people had been shot.

Mr. Breivik has said the victims had betrayed Norway by embracing immigration.

The self-described militant nationalist testified last week that he had expected to be shot by police after the bombing, but no one stopped him as he walked to a getaway car parked near the bomb site and then drove to Utoya.

“I estimated the chances of survival as less than 5 percent,” Mr. Breivik said Thursday.

Mr. Langli said he first got a report of a suspect with a “non-Nordic” appearance leaving the scene. He then got another report of a Nordic-looking suspect, which made him believe there were two suspects.

When he heard about the Utoya shooting, he started thinking the bomb and the massacre were the actions of the same person.

“I thought there was a connection, but I didn’t have any evidence for that,” Mr. Langli said. Turning to Mr. Breivik, he added, “I could not imagine there being two people with so many crazy ideas.”

Two psychiatric examinations conducted before the trial reached opposite conclusions on whether Mr. Breivik is psychotic — the key issue to be resolved during the trial.

A security guard who was in the Norwegian government high-rise struck by the car bomb testified Tuesday he had barely focused a security camera on the license plate when the vehicle exploded. Tor Inge Kristoffersen described the scene in downtown Oslo as a “war zone.”

Svein Olav Christensen, an explosives expert working for a defense agency, showed pictures of the bomb site to the court. The 2,000-pound fertilizer-and-diesel bomb ripped holes in the concrete platform underneath the vehicle and also in the subterranean floor below.

Mr. Breivik has said he was disappointed when he found out that the building had not collapsed. Mr. Christensen said the bomb would have had to be “much larger” to bring down the structure.

The trial is scheduled to go on for nine more weeks.

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