18. Lone Wolf: Who becomes a far-right terrorist?

18. Lone Wolf: Who becomes a far-right terrorist?

By BBC Radio 5 Live

When far-right terrorist Anders Breivik murdered 77 people, many of whom were children, court-appointed psychiatrists declared him insane. Many Norwegian members of the public were angry that a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder would mean he would not be held accountable for his crimes and might even be freed early. He told doctors that he was the leader of a military group at war with Norway, committed to racist, anti-Muslim ideas.

Breivik himself rejected the "insanity defence", insistent that he committed the mass murders with the aim of achieving high-profile media coverage at his trial. This episode of Bad People wrestles with the problem of giving media platforms to terrorists, radicalised by the internet

A second evaluation found him to be sane. This time psychiatrists said that his symptoms were due to a severe narcissistic personality disorder combined with pathological lying and therefore he was accountable for his actions.

22 July 2011 forever changed Norway's relationship with homegrown extremism and it's hoped that the knowledge gained by psychiatrists about such terrorists will help to prevent future attacks.

Warning: This episode contains descriptions terrorism, extreme violence and death, including the death of children.

Archive credits: This episode includes audio from the United Nations, TEDx Talks and BBC News

Presenters: Dr. Julia Shaw and Sofie Hagen Producer: Paula McGrath Assistant Producer: Simona Rata Music: Matt Chandler Series Editor: Rami Tzabar

Commissioning Producer: Hannah Rose Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps

Bad People is a BBC Audio Science Production for BBC Sounds


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