In a photo taken on August 12, 2011, Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik (centre L, red jumper), the man behind Norway’s July 22 attacks, is escorted by police on a return to Utoeya island, from the ferry port at Utvik. Breivik was taken back to the island to explain the details of his shooting massacre which took the lives of 69 people. Norwegian police will ask for an additional four weeks in solitary confinement for Breivik, an Oslo court said on August 15. Photograph by: TROND SOLBERG, AFP/Getty Images
OSLO – The gunman who confessed to the July 22 massacre in Norway called the police with a view to turning himself in 26 minutes before his arrest, recorded phone calls published Thursday showed.
The first call came from the killer Anders Behring Breivik at 6:01 pm (1601 GMT) from the island of Utoeya, near Oslo, where the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing was hosting a summer camp.
It was on the island that he killed 69 people, many of them teenagers.
A car bomb set off earlier outside government offices in Oslo killed another eight people that day.
“I am on Utoyea. I want to hand myself in,” the 32-year-old rightwing extremist said in the phone conversation, identifying himself as “commander Anders Behring Breivik, of the Norwegian anti-communist resistance movement.”
The call was brief and police subsequently tried in vain to re-establish phone contact.
Behring Breivik’s lawyer Geir Lippestad had earleir told the Norwegian press that his client had contacted the police several times, but said that only two calls were answered.
With no satisfactory response from the police, Behring Breivik then went on to murder more of his victims, according to Lippestad.
The police said Thursday they could neither confirm nor deny whether the killer had made other calls that were not picked up.
More than an hour elapsed between the first messages to police of the ongoing shootings and the eventual arrest of Behring Breivik, prompting criticism from survivors and the media in the aftermath of the deadly rampage.
At the time of the first call, two armed officers were already on the bank of the river in which Utoeya is situated, according to police, however they were unable to get across as there was no boat available.
Police elsewhere were preoccupied by the bombing in central Oslo, and believed at the time that there were several gunmen on the island armed with explosives.
According to the phone recordings made public Thursday, Behring Breivik recontacted the police at 6:26 pm on the day of the killings, 26 minutes after they received the first call from him.
Then he told the police operator, “I have completed my operation and want to give myself up,” before again hanging up without leaving a telephone number.
A minute later he was arrested.