'You failed' survivor tells Breivik

'... You are Norway's most hated man.' Ivar Benjamin Oesteboe wrote to Breivik. Photo / AP
'... You are Norway's most hated man.' Ivar Benjamin Oesteboe wrote to Breivik. Photo / AP

A 16-year-old survivor of Norway's shooting rampage has written a heartfelt open letter to his attacker, telling him: "You failed."

"You describe yourself as a hero, as a knight. You are no hero," Ivar Benjamin Oesteboe, who lost five friends in the shootings, said in the letter addressed: "Dear Anders Behring Breivik."

"But one thing is certain, you have created heroes. On Utoya on that warm July day, you created some of the greatest heroes the world has seen, you united the people of the world," the teenager wrote.

"We are not responding to evil with evil as you wanted. We are fighting evil with good. And we are winning.

"Maybe you think you've won. Maybe you think you've destroyed the Labour Party and people around the world who stand for a multicultural society by killing my friends and fellow party members.

"Know that you failed," said the letter posted on Facebook and published yesterday in Norway's Dagbladet newspaper.

On July 22, the day of the attacks, Oesteboe hid with others on the island's shore when he heard the first gunshots. They thought Behring Breivik, who was dressed in a police uniform, was there to help them.

"We called out to him, waving our arms. He was there, trying to reassure those around him. All of a sudden, without batting an eye, he turned around and started shooting at people in the water," he said.

The young man survived by running towards police who arrived on the island at 6.25pm, about 80 minutes after the shooting rampage started.

"You have united us ... You have killed my friends, but you have not killed our cause, our opinion, our right to express ourselves. Muslim women have been hugged by Norwegian women in the street in sympathy ... Your act has worked against its purpose. We have created a community," he told his attacker.

"You deserve to hear how your plan worked. A lot of people are angry, you are Norway's most hated man. I am not mad. I am not afraid of you. You can't get to us, we are bigger than you."

Behring Breivik, a far-right extremist, has confessed to carrying out the twin attacks.

He set off a car bomb in Oslo's government quarter that killed eight people, and later went on a shooting rampage on the Utoeya island near Oslo, where the ruling Labour Party was holding a youth camp, killing 69 people, most of them teenagers.

The gunman stopped short of entering a guilty plea, deeming his actions "cruel" but "necessary".

He said in a 1500-word manifesto published on the internet that he was trying to change the multicultural policies of western European governments that he believed encouraged Muslim immigration.

- AFP

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