Norway police chief resigns after failing to stop Breivik massacre last year


A drawing of terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik during a hearing at the Oslo courthouse, on November 14, 2011. The Norwegian gunman killed 77 people in twin attacks on July 22, 2011, explaining that his massacre was a 'preventive attack against state traitors.'


Roar Lund

The police chief of Norway has resigned, BBC News reported. Police Chief Oeystein Maeland's resignation comes after he was criticized for his role in Norway's tragic massacre last year. In July 2011, mass killer Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 people in a bombing and gun attack. A police report about the tragedy concluded that the police did an adequate job.

But just three days ago, an independent commission had a much harsher take on the police response, the BBC said. The commission said that police took an "unacceptable" time to respond, and determined that the police could have in fact prevented the bombing if they were better prepared.

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"The attack on the government complex on July 22nd could have been prevented through effective implementation of already adopted security measures," the commission said, according to the AFP

Maeland announced that the "confidence of the justice ministry is of course decisive for me to remain in my job," in a statement to the NTB news agency. "If the ministry and other political authorities do not clarify this matter unequivocally, it will become impossible for me to continue." 

Maeland became the police chief just weeks before Breivik's attack, and was soon after criticized for failing to own up to any problems with the police response, Reuters reported.