The meticulous planning of the Oslo massacre

A timeline of Breivik’s activities prior to the attack

The 1,518-page manifesto posted online by Oslo mass killer Anders Behring Breivik isn’t just a prolix xenophobic screed. It is also a comprehensive how-to guide for the self-made homegrown terrorist. The last pages of “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” originally posted on a white supremacist website and discovered by American blogger Kevin I. Slaughter, describe how Breivik, 32, spent nine years plotting the massacre.

The handbook, written in sometimes tentative but overall clear English, details anything from how the Oslo shooter financed the attacks to the mental exercises he resorted to in order to preserve his karma. Interspersed with emoticons, his narrative reads like the diary of an amateur home renovator—filled with failed experiments, the occasional trip to IKEA, eBay shopping, and lots of unfruitful Google searches.

Below is a succinct account of what it allegedly took to devise Noway’s worst massacre in modern history:

2002: Breivik, who in the document calls himself Andrew Berwick, becomes a founding member of the Knights Templar group, formed at a meeting in London. The purpose of the organization, he says, is to prevent the supposed Islamization of Europe and annihilation of the continent’s cultural patrimony.

2005: Charged with drafting an ideological manifesto for the organization, Breivik says he is trying to raise 3 million euros by investing in stock market options—the money is intended to finance the mass distribution of his pamphlet. After failing to raise the desired amount, he decides to turn to an alternative marketing ploy he calls “plan B,” probably an allusion to the bombing and shooting spree he would carry out on July 22, 2011.

2006: In order to save money and increase his operational budget, Breivik moves from his bachelor’s apartment in Oslo to his mother’s basement. His accommodation expenditures, he says, drop from 1,250 to 450 euro a month.

2006-2008: Breivik focuses his energies on writing the pamphlet.

Fall 2009: He creates prospectuses, websites and business cards for two bogus ventures: a mining company and a small farm. Both, he says, will serve as a cover for the purchase of large amount of fertilizer needed to fabricate explosives.

January 2010: Breivik’s funds have reportedly been depleted to a mere 50,000 euro. He is counting on his 12 credit cards to provide an additional 30K. As a daily recreational activity, he plays Dragon Age Orgins, a fantasy videogame. “It’s important to have fun a few hours every day,” he writes.

July 2010: Breivik buries a Pelican case containing police armour and insignia in a remote location he says he randomly selected on Google Earth. Breivik is in all likelihood referring to the police uniform he would wear during the Utøya shooting rampage.

Fall 2010: After an impractical plan to cozy up to arms smuggler in Prague, Czech Republic fails miserably, Breivik manages to buy a Ruger Mini 14 semi-automatic rifle legally in Norway with a deer-hunter application. On his fourth steroid cycle, he relaxes every day by pumping iron.

January/February 2011: Breivik also obtains a Glock 17 pistol—again, legally. He also buys three cylinder-shaped metal containers he plans to stuff with explosives. One of them is an 80-euro IKEA toilet brush holder. He reluctantly sells his Breitling Crowsswing watch and Montblanc pen to raise an additional 2000 euro in funds.

April 2011: Breivik leases a small plot of land outside Oslo from a farm owner due to serve a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence supposedly for growing marijuana. At the end of the month, Breivik moves out of his mother’s house.

May/June 2011: Breivik successfully purchases three tons of ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer, ostensibly for farming purposes. He spends the next two months turning that fertilizer into powerful explosives he will later use to bomb a government building in Oslo.

July 9: Breivik successfully sets off a test-bomb. In his own words: “BOOM! The detonation was successful!!!:-)”

July 2: Breivik carefully plans travel routes for both the bombing and the shooting attack with a Garmin GPS device.

July 4: He unearths the Pelican case with the police armour he had buried a year before. “As for the content of the case,” he notes, “it was in perfect condition.”

July 5: He replaces his hollow-point ammunition with soft-point bullets that deform into a mushroom-like shape upon hitting a target–to inflict “maximum damage to the vermin,” he writes.

July 16: Breivik transports weapons, armour and explosives to an Oslo motel with an AVIS rental car.

July 22: On the day of the attack:

“I believe this will be my last entry. It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51.

Sincere regards,

Andrew Berwick
Justiciar Knight Commander
Knights Templar Europe
Knights Templar Norway.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.