The prime minister of Spain reportedly said Monday that last week's killing spree in Norway requires "a European response" in which Europeans should be called on "to rise up and fight radicalism, to respond against xenophobia."
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made the comments during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron at his No. 10 Downing Street office in London, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported in its liveblog about the Norway attacks.
Zapatero spoke before a Norwegian judge briefed reporters on a court hearing for Anders Behring Breivik, the man who confessed to killing an overall total of at least 76 people in a shooting at an island youth retreat and a bombing at Oslo's government headquarters Friday. Breivik wrote in his manifesto that his plan was to save Europe from Muslims.
"This isn't just another event," Zapatero told reporters. "This is something extremely serious that requires a response, a European response, a shared response to defend freedom, to defend democracy, calling on people to rise up and fight radicalism, to respond against xenophobia."
Cameron told reporters he takes reports of Breivik's ties to British right-wing extremist groups "extremely seriously," according to the Reuters news agency. Breivik told the court Monday that two other cells of his terror network remained at large. The Associated Press reports that authorities were investigating a 2002 meeting Breivik said he attended of the medieval Knights Templar group in London.
Both leaders' countries are more familiar with terrorist attacks than Norway, known more as the country that awards the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2004, bombs detonated on trains in Madrid, killing 190 people in Spain's worst terror attack. On July 7, 2005, suicide bombers killed 52 people in a coordinated attack on London's transit system, commonly referred to as the "7/7" attacks.