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Instantly, pictures and live footage of his Nazi salute were transmitted to news agencies around the world and shared online.
Like his media-savvy brethren in the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), the 37-year-old Norwegian extremist, who wants to establish a party called the Nordic State, has long known that he needs to shock to get the world’s attention.
“I was wondering how many people I needed to kill to be read,” he said after he had committed his acts of violence in 2011.
He had calculated that he had to kill a dozen people to be noticed.
He waited eagerly for one of the four guards who stood next to him to unlock his handcuffs.
Adele Matheson Mestad, a lawyer for the Norwegian state, told the court Breivik's ideology is especially dangerous right now because the large numbers of refugees entering Europe have given rise to an increase in right-wing activity on the continent.
Were he able to communicate freely, Mestad said, Breivik could encourage sympathizers to commit acts of violence.
The court hearings were agonizing for survivors, for the families of the dead, for most Norwegians—and they raised an unsettling question: In an era of copycat extremist attacks and social media wannabes, would this court appearance make Breivik a greater threat?
‘Our Elites Are Traitors’Europe is becoming increasingly familiar with attacks by extremists, but Breivik’s actions made him the deadliest lone wolf attacker in the continent’s history.Even far from Norway, Breivik’s supporters found comfort in seeing him perform the Nazi salute.