Report on Breivik shooting says rampage should have been stopped earlier

After public tragedies come government commissions with their lessons learned and should haves.

In Norway, a year after a horrific murder spree that killed 77 people, a government commission has delivered a 482-page report detailing the mistakes that permitted the July 22, 2011, tragedy to occur. The report concludes: “the perpetrator could have been stopped earlier on 22 July.”

Last year, Anders Behring Breivik set off bombs in Oslo and shot children at a nearby island. The report on the incident includes the following retrospective assessments, Reuters reports:

  • The government building that was bombed should have been better protected;
  • Months before the shooting, Breivik was suspected of dubious activities, but was not put on a watch list due to intelligence failures;
  • A witness description of Breivik, seen at the site of the bombing, took too long (20 minutes) to reach officers in the field.
  • The emergency response was dismal: police could not locate a helicopter or find a suitable boat to bring special forces to the island where the shooting took place.

Breivik’s trial wrapped up in June, and the court’s verdict will be released Aug. 24. Breivik denied his guilt and claimed his actions were justified in response to the ruling party’s support of Muslim immigration.


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