Anders Behring Breivik, flushed with boastful self-righteousness, claimed yesterday (Tuesday) that "goodness not evil" had caused him to murder 77 Norwegians, declaring: "I would have done it again."
The far Right killer showed no contrition or humility when the court in Oslo allowed him 65 minutes to read a personal statement on the second day of his trial.
Breivik came close to arguing that he killed 67 members of the youth wing of the Norwegian Labour Party, most of them teenagers, out of justified retribution. They were "not innocent", he said, but "young people who were actively working to uphold multiculturalism". Their organisation was comparable "to the Hitler Youth".
Yet the man who said his crimes were designed to save Europe from destruction at the hands of radical Islam came out as an admirer of al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden's creation was the "most successful revolutionary force in the world", said Breivik, and European ultra-nationalists had much to learn from its cell structure and "cult of martyrdom".
He disclosed that his own rampage through Oslo on 22 July last year had been a "so-called suicide attack" that he had not expected to survive.
Yesterday's session consisted of nothing but Breivik stating his views and being cross-examined. As such, this hearing before a hushed and subdued court provided the first public insight into the world view and mentality of one of the worst killers in Europe's modern history. Crucially, it will also help the court to rule on the contested question of his sanity, which will decide whether he goes to prison or a mental institution.
On Monday, Wenche Elizabeth Amtzen, the presiding judge, said that Breivik's statement would take 30 minutes. In the event, he was afforded over an hour. Justice Amtzen interrupted four times to demand restraint, but Breivik was never silenced. Norwegians had to listen as he claimed that a concern for "human rights and international law" had led him to detonate a car bomb in the centre of their capital, before carrying out the Utoya island massacre.
"This was the most sophisticated and spectacular political attack committed in Europe since the Second World War," boasted Breivik. "If one can force the Norwegian Labour Party to change their immigration policy by executing 77 people, that will contribute to holding our values and culture."
Reading a 20-page statement that he had spent months preparing in prison, Breivik looked directly at the judges. "I acted in defence of my culture and of my people and so I ask to be acquitted," he said.
Earlier, he had turned on the media, denouncing "100 per cent of" the world's news organisations for "pumping out multicultural propaganda 24 hours a day". Inexplicably, they were also portraying him as a "pathetic and mean loser without integrity".
With a special tone of indignation, Breivik added: "It has been suggested that I'm a child-killer despite not being indicted for killing anyone under the age of 14."
He would have preferred to bomb a journalists' conference in Oslo, but "unfortunately" that attack had been impossible to organise in time.
Numerous figures from history had inspired his struggle as a "Knight Templar", said Breivik, singling out Sitting Bull, the native American chief who defeated General Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, and Enoch Powell, the late British Conservative politician.
Recalling Powell's infamous speech from 1968, Breivik said: "Enoch Powell predicted that rivers of blood would flow through our streets. Unfortunately no one listened to him, or to the other Enoch Powells in Europe."
Britain came up repeatedly during Breivik's testimony. Luton was a city where the indigenous population "and even emergency vehicles" were unable to enter large areas, allegedly because of the depradations of Muslim immigrants.
"And three out of five Englishmen believe the UK has turned into a dysfunctional society because of multiculturalism," added Breivik, citing an opinion poll which he said had appeared in The Times in 2010.
The "Knights Templar" had been founded in London in 2002, he claimed, although the prosecution believe it to be a figment of his imagination.
Turning to American inspirations, Breivik lamented that Europe had never possessed "an anti-Communist like McCarthy to prevent Marxists from infiltrating universities and schools". He added: "McCarthy was far too moderate. He thought about deporting all American Communists to the Soviet Union, but unfortunately he did not do so."
After venting his phobias unchallenged, Breivik, 33, finally faced cross-examination. Inga Bejer Engh, the softly spoken prosecutor, did not attempt a bruising confrontation in the style of the Old Bailey. Instead, she politely and persistently tied Breivik in knots.
"Who gave you the authority to take the lives of Norwegians?" she asked. Breivik squirmed around this question for the best part of 20 minutes before confessing that he gave himself the "mandate" to kill Norwegians in order to rescue them.
As for Breivik's own past, Ms Engh forced him to admit that all of his various business ventures were hopeless failures until, at last, he set up an internet company selling fake diplomas, yielding a profit of pounds 436,000. Peddling forged certificates was, he admitted, "morally despicable".
Along the way, Breivik had also evaded taxes, dodged Norway's compulsory military service, invented a story about having his nose broken by a Muslim, and lied about gaining a business degree from an American university.
After dropping out of secondary school, the killer claimed to have spent 15,000 hours in private study to remedy his lack of formal education. "And what," asked the prosecutor, "was your main source of information?" Breivik's answer was emphatic: "Wikipedia," he said. "The English articles there contained a lot of information."
When he became an ultra-nationalist, he described himself as rising to be "commander of a cell" of the "Knights Templar". Under questioning, he admitted that he was the sole member of the cell he commanded. There were, apparently, two other "one-man cells" in Norway.
The aim was to defend Christian civilisation from the incoming tide of Muslim migrants. But Ms Engh brough Breivik's flow of rhetoric to an abrupt halt by asking: "Do you consider yourself a Protestant?" After a long pause, he replied: "I have not been a religious person, but there's a proverb that there are no atheists in the trenches. I'm a member of the Church of Norway, but I'm more drawn towards the Catholic church."
Again and again, Breivik returned to the subject of his lack of education. "It's important to signal that one is not without knowledge," he said. "You could see me as a salesman: I sell ideology, a view of life."
Devoid of shame about massacring defenceless teenagers, Breivik appears tormented by his failure to go to university. The case continues.