Norwegian terrorist mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik visited Malta with his mother in 2004 to conduct “historic research” for his manifesto but told the police he never made any permanent contacts on the island.

The visit came 10 days after Mr Breivik’s 25th birthday, The Times has learnt.

Mr Breivik – who is currently standing trial for killing 77 people at a summer camp organised by the ruling Labour party – gave details about his trip to the island to the Norwegian police when he was interrogated.

This is the first time details of his visit have emerged. In his manifesto, the anti-Muslim funda­mentalist listed 24 countries he had visited, including “exotic” destinations like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia, China, Mexico, Cyprus and Malta.

When the police asked him about his trip to Malta, Mr Breivik initially said he did not remember his stay on the island.

However, when the police quoted flight records showing he landed on February 23, 2004, Mr Breivik confirmed this was a week-long holiday with his mother.

According to sources, Mr Breivik said he paid for the trip, through a Norwegian travel agency, as a gift to his mother and the two stayed at an “apartment-style” hotel close to Valletta.

It was his decision to fly to Malta and investigate how it had been at the forefront of “Europe’s defence from North Africa”.

Although his mother did not share his fascination with history, Mr Breivik saw this as a “historic journey” in which he researched various historical aspects to include in his manifesto.

Sources said he told the police he kept his research secret from his mother and made it a point to spend time alone while in Malta.

Mr Breivik also told the police that he did not make any “permanent contacts” in Malta, even though he shot “several films” from the island.

Mr Breivik has admitted killing all his victims but pleaded not guilty, claiming his Utoya massacre was an act of self-defence and those who died were “legitimate political targets”.

He had posted a 12-minute YouTube video, “Knights Templar 2083” six hours before the massacre, recycling the iconography of the crusades into a vision of the future that sees Christians having to fight Muslims once again. In his outlandish manifesto, Mr Breivik had given a list of anti-immigration or far-right parties that included the Nationalist Party, along with actual Maltese hard-right parties like Imperium Europa, Viva Malta and Azzjoni Nazzjonali.

The PN disassociated itself from this claim.

Mr Breivik was also linked to Malta-based far-right blogger Paul Ray who blogs about his fear of a Muslim invasion in Europe under the pseudonym Lionheart, and was linked by the British press to Mr Breivik.

Mr Ray’s pseudonym was mentioned twice in Mr Breivik’s manifesto but his blog or real name were never cited and Mr Ray has flatly denied any connection.

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