OSLO // The anti-Muslim extremist who confessed to a bombing and shooting massacre that killed 77 people in Norway tried to declare himself a resistance leader yesterday.
Anders Behring Breivik made the claim at his first public court hearing but was quickly cut off by the judge.
He was escorted by guards into an Oslo courtroom packed with dozens of reporters and spectators, including survivors of his rampage at a youth camp near the capital, who were seeing him in person for the first time since the July 22 attack.
"I am a military commander in the Norwegian resistance movement," Breivik said before the judge interrupted him and told him to stick to the issue at hand - his further detention.
The court extended his custody for 12 more weeks until February 6 but decided to gradually lift the restrictions on his media access, visitors and mail.
Breivik is being held pending his trial on terror charges. At the end of the hearing, the 32-year-old Norwegian asked the judge, Torkjel Nesheim, if he could address survivors and victims' relatives but was turned down.
Investigators said Breivik set off a fertiliser bomb outside the government's headquarters on July 22, killing eight people, before heading to an island retreat, where youth sections of Norway's governing Labour Party were holding their annual summer camp.
Disguised as a police officer, he opened fire on scores of panicked youths, shooting some as they fled into the lake. Sixty-nine people were killed on Utoya island before Breivik surrendered.
Like he did in previous closed hearings, Breivik on Monday confessed to the attacks but pleaded not guilty to terror charges.
He has denied criminal guilt, saying he was in a state of war to protect Europe from being taken over by Muslim immigrants.