There were fears people may have drowned while trying to swim to safety from their attacker who has confessed to planting a bomb hours before in the centre of Oslo.
Witnesses at the island youth retreat have described the way the suspect, Anders Breivik, lured them close by saying he was a police officer before raising his weapons. People hid and fled into the water to escape the rampage while some played dead.
Police took 90 minutes from the first shot to reach the island – delayed because they did not have quick access to a helicopter and struggled to find a boat once they reached the lake.
Officers said the bomb used in the Oslo blast was a mixture of fertiliser and fuel used to blow up a Government building in the US in 1995. A farm supply store said it had alerted police that Breivik bought six tons of fertiliser, which can be used in homemade bombs.
The attacks began on Friday when a bomb exploded at a high-rise building in Oslo that houses the offices of the prime minister, who was not there at the time.
The gunman then opened fire on young Labour Party supporters at a summer camp on the island of Utoya.
More than 90 people were injured, with at least four or five people missing from the shooting incident.
More came to light yesterday about Breivik who held anti-Muslim views and posted on Christian fundamentalist websites.
A manifesto published online on the day of the attacks ranted against Muslim immigration to Europe. It said the European elite, “multiculturalists” and “enablers of Islamisation” would be punished for their “treasonous acts”.
His lawyer Geir Lippestad said Breivik spent years writing a 1,500-page manifesto entitled, 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence, that police are examining. It was signed “Andrew Berwick.”
The manifesto vowed revenge on those it accused of betraying Europe.
“We, the free indigenous peoples of Europe, hereby declare a pre-emptive war on all cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites of Western Europe. ... We know who you are, where you live and we are coming for you,” the document said. “We are in the process of flagging every single multculturalist traitor in Western Europe. You will be punished for your treasonous acts against Europe and Europeans.”
The use of an Anglicised pseudonym could be explained by a passage in the manifesto describing the founding, in April 2002 in London, of a group he calls a new Knights Templar. The Knights Templar was a medieval order founded to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land after the First Crusade.
A 12-minute video clip posted on YouTube featured symbolic imagery of the Knights Templar and Crusader kings as well as slides suggesting Europe is being overrun by Muslims. Police could not confirm that Breivik had posted the video, which also featured photographs of him dressed in a formal military uniform and in a wet suit pointing an assault rifle.
The video was a series of slides that accused the left in Europe of allowing Muslims to overrun the continent.
One image showed the BBC’s logo with the “C” changed into an Islamic crescent. Another declared that the end result of the left’s actions would be an “EUSSR.”
Police spokesman John Fredriksen confirmed that the essay was posted the day of the attacks. The document signalled an attack was imminent: “In order to successfully penetrate the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist media censorship, we are forced to employ significantly more brutal and breathtaking operations, which will result in casualties.”
In the last 100 pages, the manifesto apparently lays out details of the author’s social and personal life, including steroid use and an intention to solicit prostitutes in the days before the attack.
The treatise ends with a detailed description of the plot, ending with a note dated 12:51pm on July 22: “I believe this will be my last entry.”