Norway Cops 'Could Have Stopped Breivik'

Investigation fiercely criticizes police response
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2012 10:41 AM CDT
Norway Cops 'Could Have Stopped Breivik'
Police escort Anders Behring Breivik to court in Oslo, June 22, 2012.   (AP Photo/Heiko Junge/pool)

Police could have caught Anders Behring Breivik before he was able to set off a bomb in central Oslo, and should have responded faster to his massacre at the Utoya Island youth camp, an independent inquiry has concluded. The damning report, released today, says that Norway's cops could have stopped the bombing with "effective implementation of security measures that were already in place," and that getting to Utoya faster "was a realistic possibility," the BBC reports.

Just 10 minutes after the bombing, a witness gave police a good description of Breivik, but police waited roughly two hours to follow up, investigators said. Police also failed to issue a nationwide alert, set up roadblocks, or mobilize helicopters. Once the shooting began on Utoya, it took police an "unacceptable" 35 minutes to get there. Many Norwegians have also asked why intelligence services didn't catch Breivik ahead of time. The report says that would have been possible, but stops short of condemning the agency's failure. (More Anders Behring Breivik stories.)

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