Mass killer tells of US diploma racket

Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian far-right extremist who confessed to killing 77 people last year in a bombing and shooting spree, has claimed during police questioning that he earned a net income of more than US$1 million from the falsification of diplomas from élite American universities.

The diplomas were sold over the internet, mainly to customers in the US, he claimed.

Police believe that he used the income to finance his bomb-making and international travel prior to the bomb attack in the centre of Oslo and the massacre on the island of Utøya last July.

Breivik said that the diplomas were made so that everybody could see that they were not real. The purpose was to make something that friends could give to each other for fun, he reportedly told the police.

A young data expert who did not give his full name confirmed in an interview with the Norwegian newspaper VG that he had assisted Breivik in this undertaking during 2004-05, from his home in Asia, and that he was paid promptly for his work. He said he made up to 200 false documents a month for Breivik, VG reported.

The police investigator in Oslo told the Norwegian broadcasting company NRK that he did not want to go into details on how Breivik had made his money, but confirmed that "he had earned millions" of kroner.

This had enabled him to travel to many countries for long periods of time and to buy the chemicals and other materials he needed to produce the bomb that destroyed a large government building in a housing complex in the middle of Oslo.

Norwegians are now preparing themselves for the court proceedings of the mass murder, which is due to start at Oslo district court on 16 April.

Two psychiatrists have written a 234-page report, based on 13 interviews with Breivik. They have concluded that he is a paranoid schizophrenic. Under Norwegian law, he will therefore not be subject to serving his punishment in prison, but in a closed psychiatric ward.

This diagnosis has angered other psychiatrists and other experts and many people in Norway, and a wealth of newspaper articles have been published asking how a sick person could have planned such a major logistical operation over such a long time.

The court has now appointed two other psychiatrists to re-examine Breivik, and give a new expert opinion on his mental state.

Related article
NORWAY: Political massacre demands new research