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Bomb scare rattles Oslo as Norway says attacker was alone

OSLO – (AFP) – Norway’s intelligence chief said Wednesday there was no evidence the self-confessed author of the attacks that killed 76 people had links to other cells, as a bomb scare underlined the country’s anxiety.

Intelligence head Janne Kristiansen said that investigators had found no evidence that Anders Behring Breivik was linked to other extremists, either in Norway or abroad, and rejected a claim by his lawyer that he could be insane.

“I can tell you on a general basis that so far we don’t have any evidence of other cells, neither in Norway nor in Britain,” Kristiansen told the BBC.

“We are having the highest focus on this question (of other cells) and we have had this focus since Friday but so far after four days we don’t have any evidence,” she added.

Media reports this week citing a manifesto written by Breivik said he had links to the British far-right and claimed to have been in touch with the English Defence League (EDL).

Kristiansen said possible meetings with the group were “something that we are looking closely into and that of course British MI5 is looking closely into.”

The EDL has denied it had any contact with Breivik.

Breivik’s lawyer Geir Lippestad told journalists on Tuesday that the case indicated his client was insane, adding that a medical evaluation would be carried out to establish his client’s psychiatric condition.

Kristiansen rejected the suggestion.

“I have been a defence lawyer before and in my opinion this is clearly a sane person because he has been too focused for too long and he has been doing things so correctly,” she said.

“In my experience of having had these sorts of clients before, they are normally quite normal but they are quite twisted in their minds, and this person in addition is total evil.”

Norwegian authorities have indicated they may charge the suspect with crimes against humanity, a crime that carries a maximum 30 years in prison.

Meanwhile, police said early Wednesday that they had found and detonated explosives found at a farm rented by Behring Breivik while declining to specify the size or nature of the cache.

A bomb scare at Oslo’s main train station unsettled the Norwegian capital Wednesday.

Police partially evacuated the train station and sent in bomb-sniffing dogs after a suspicious bag was discovered on an airport shuttle bus.

The station was given the all clear about two hours later but the city remained on edge after Friday’s twin bombing of Oslo’s government district and shooting attack on a nearby island, claimed by Anders Behring Breivik.

“It’s normal, the police are on the alert. We’re not afraid but we’re being careful,” medical assistant Randi Roe told AFP as she waited with around 200 other people for the police cordon at the train station to be lifted.

Norwegian media also published the photo of a man they said was unstable, dangerous and identified with Behring Breivik, but police were quick to dismiss any link to the man behind the worst bloodshed in Norway since WWII.

“We sent an internal memo to different services to say we were going to arrest this man today with a view to having him see a doctor but there’s no link to Friday’s attacks,” said police spokesman Per Thomas Omholdt.

“He’s psychologically unstable and he just named Anders Behring Breivik after seeing the media,” Omholdt said. “It’s a non-story.”

The police have received a lot of tips from the public in the last couple of days.

“I’m not sure I could call all of them nervous calls, but there have been several incidents where police have acted on tips regarding suspicious persons or activity,” Oslo police spokesman Sturla Henriksboe told AFP.


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