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Oslo bomber praises Putin

Anders Breivik, the man behind the sickening terrorist attacks in Norway at the weekend, named Vladimir Putin as one of his inspirations.

In a 1500-page manifesto, entitled "2083: A European Declaration of Independence", which was published online shortly before a double bombing in Oslo and the massacre of 93 people at a youth camp, Breivik reportedly picked out Russia's prime minister as a figure he would like to meet.

And he also highlighted the qualities of Nashi, the pro-Kremlin youth movement long-established in Russia, Vedomosti reported.

Putin and the Pope

Much of the rambling text takes the form of an imaginary interview with the terrorist, who asks himself, among other things, which living people he would most like to meet, according to posts by the blogger avmalgin.

He picked out Putin and Pope Benedict. "Putin seems to be a fair and decisive leader, deserving of respect," Breivik wrote. "At this stage I am not sure whether in the future he will be our best friend or our worst enemy ... but I'd rather not have him as an enemy."

Breivik also admitted that Putin would have no choice but to condemn the attack, adding that he "understood this".

Russia has offered condolences to Norway, and also suggested sharing the experience of its own battles against terrorism. Putin spoke directly with his Oslo counterpart Jens Stoltenberg by telephone, while President Dmitry Medvedev and Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the international committee on the Federation Council, both pledged to give assistance to future Norwegian counter-terrorism operation.

The 'Nashi' model

Breivik was also full of praise for Nashi, urging Norway to establish its own youth group devoted to protecting conservative, patriotic values.

"We much reach a consensus on establishing a modern, 'untainted' conservative patriotic youth movement," Breivik wrote. "This should be an equivalent of the Russian movement Nashi. They are anti-fascists but patriotic conservatives."

Nashi later issued a statement condemning Breivik and his comments.

Fanclub taken offline

As well as his apparent support for Russia, Breivik did not lack for supporters in this country.

A fan-page devoted to the terrorist was created on vKontakte, the leading Russian social network site, but was swiftly removed, RIA Novosti reported.

Breivik, 32, confessed his involvement with both terrorist attacks and was soon labeled a "hero" by some on the website, many of whom identified with his concerns about the "islamization" of Europe.

Vladislav Tsyplukhin, press officer for vKontakte, said that all pages of this nature would be removed from the site, pointing out that advocating terrorism was illegal.

Double attack

Breivik has claimed responsibility for two separate incidents which took place in Norway on Friday evening.

In the first, two explosions rocked central Oslo, with the prime minister's office apparently targeted. Seven people died.

Hours later on the island of Utoeya, 40 km north of the capital, a man in police uniform opened fire, killing 86 and injuring more than 100.

Breivik has since been arrested and confessed to the attacks, adding that part of his plan was to face trial for his crimes.

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