Oslo - Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last July, told an Oslo court on Friday that he actually was a very nice person but that he had trained himself to block out his emotions.
"I am a very likeable person under normal conditions," the 33-year-old right-wing extremist said on the fifth day of his trial, adding that he had spent years meditating and training to "de-emotionalise" himself before he was prepared for his massacre.
"I was rather normal [emotionally] until 2006 when I started my training," he insisted, describing himself as a "caring person".
"You have to choose tactics and strategies to dehumanise... the enemy ... those who I see as legitimate targets," he said.
"If I hadn't done that ... I wouldn't have managed to do it," he said of his rampage on 22 July, when he bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, before heading to a nearby island and shooting at hundreds of people gathered there for a youth camp, killing 69.
Breivik acknowledged that the bombing and shooting spree were "gruesome, barbaric actions", and that he had had to "work on [his] psyche for many years" to do something like that, stressing: "You can't send an unprepared person into war."
Incensed by censorship
The confessed killer has explained to the court that he sees himself as a militant nationalist "knight" heroically fighting to defend "ethnic Norwegians" from being wiped out by a "Muslim invasion" caused by the Labour government's generous immigration policies.
He reiterated on Friday that he especially blames Norwegian and European media for making his attacks "necessary", since they "systematically censor" ultra nationalists like himself, excluding them from democracy.
He said he would not have carried out his attacks if he felt that Norwegian media had provided fair coverage of the populist, immigration-sceptical Progress Party ahead of 2009 parliamentary elections, and that he had been disappointed when that, in his opinion, didn't happen.
Breivik, charged with "acts of terror", has entered a plea of not guilty, saying his actions were "cruel but necessary".