“I saw him standing 10 metres from me, shooting at the people who were swimming. He aimed his machine gun at me and I screamed”
Adrian Pracon, BBC News Online, 26 July 2011
On 22 July 2011, the day Breivik has been planning for many years dawns. One of his first actions is to send himself a test email. Contained within it is his manifesto, about to be sent to 1,000 individuals throughout the globe. He also releases a 12-minute film presenting the evils of multiculturalism and Islamic demographic warfare. He hopes to attract like-minded people to his crusade.
Breivik leaves his farm in Rena with a home-made fertiliser bomb in the back of his car. In the afternoon he drives his car into Oslo. He tries to park it in a space he’s carefully selected to ensure his target (the government building) collapses. But a car is already parked in the space he wants, so he chooses an alternative location a couple of hundred metres away.
At 3.26pm the bomb goes off in Oslo killing eight people and injuring hundreds more. The windows of the Prime Minister’s office are blown out and the scene resembles a war zone. Bloodied Norwegians stumble around on the ground unsure as to what has just happened. Crucially the government building is still standing. Allowing for this type of failure in his manifesto, Breivik resorts to Plan B.
One hour and thirty minutes from Oslo is the island of Utoeya. It’s where the Labour Party’s Youth League has gathered for their summer camp. On the island news about the Oslo terrorist attack starts to filter through. Everyone is shocked but it’s decided that the safest place for them is Utoeya. Unfortunately it’s a bad decision; unbeknown to the occupants of the island, they are actually the terrorist’s next target.
Breivik arrives at the lake at 4.57pm. He’s dressed as a policeman and armed with a pistol and automatic rifle. He asks a ferryman to take him across to the island. When the teenagers see the policeman arriving they start to feel a lot safer. Lulling them into a false sense of security, Breivik beckons them to come towards him. But once close enough he opens fire and operates a shoot to kill policy. Everyone he comes across is shot dead. To ensure death an additional shot is fired.
With the terrifying realisation that a gunman is on the loose, the teenagers try to find shelter in rooms, or in undergrowth. They cower in fear but keep silent, frantically texting their parents to alert them to the danger they’re in. They also beg their parents not to call as they don’t want to risk the gunman finding them. Others run to the freezing waters surrounding the island to escape, but they are easy targets for Breivik who fires mercilessly into the water.
At 5.40pm a SWAT team is despatched to Utoeya. They arrive but there is difficulty in finding a boat big enough to carry them across to the island. They arrive on the island at 6.25pm. By this time Breivik has killed 69 and injured 33 others in less than 90 minutes.