RENA, Norway — A right-wing zealot who has confessed to killing 93 people in Norway seemed a polite "city man" out of place in a small rural town where he leased a hideaway farm to plot his attacks.
"He said he was a farmer," said Trine Stetten, a 22-year-old hairdresser, who had stood next to Anders Behring Breivik while her partner in a local salon clipped his hair a month or so ago.
"He had a PC bag with him and nice clothes ... we thought it was really weird that he was a farmer," she said.Story: Doubt cast on Norway gunman's claim of more cells
Breivik, the 32-year-old Norwegian who has admitted to shooting dead 86 people and planting a bomb that killed seven others Friday, leased a farm in the municipality of Rena, about 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Oslo, this spring.
In the small town, he brushed elbows with locals, including at a pub called the Cuckoo's Nest frequented by soldiers from the elite Telemark Battalion whose 2,000-strong base is in Rena.
Breivik said in a May 12 entry in his Internet-posted diary: "It's quite ironic being situated practically on top of the largest military base in the country. It would have saved me a lot of hassle if I could just 'borrow' a cup of sugar and 3kg of C4 (explosive) from my dear neighbor."
People in Rena said he could not help but stand out.
"He asked for a receipt and paid with cards -- nobody here asks for a receipt for a beer, and we just throw them away," said Hanne Skavern, 20, who works at the pub and some days at a petrol station.
Svein Meldieseth, a burly 61-year farmer who made a deal with Breivik this spring to cut and buy the hay that grows at the leased farm in the village of Aasta, said Breivik appeared to be a "city man."
"He told me I could 'clip' it -- we say 'cut' in farming, so that tells a little about what he knew about farming," Meldieseth said.
Rena residents who talked to Reuters said they had only ever seen Breivik alone. He has told police he carried out the attacks alone.Story: Norway rescuer had to make life or death choices
On Sunday, Breivik's father said he was in shock and only learned of his son's involvement via online newspapers, a Norwegian daily said.
"I was reading the online newspapers and suddenly I saw his name and picture on the net,'' the father told the daily Verdens Gang of his son, Anders Behring Breivik. It said the man was interviewed "somewhere in France."
"It was a shock to learn about it. I have not recovered yet,'' he said. The man is a pensioner who lives in France and said he had had no contact with his son since 1995.
Breivik was arrested after Friday's massacre — mostly teens — on a tiny forested holiday island that was hosting a summer camp for the youth wing of Norway's ruling Labor party. Breivik was also charged in the bombing of Oslo's government district, which killed seven people hours earlier.
People who knew Breivik said he was quiet and intense.
"He was rather introverted at school, even though he was a good student," said Michael Tomola, who knew Breivik from the age of 13 to 16 at the school they went to in an Oslo suburb.
"I'm very surprised by this (attack). I had a good impression, although he became very engaged in subjects he cared for. He got very extreme about things he cared for," Tomola told Reuters.
The Facebook page set up last week included a variety of interests such as hunting and political and stock analysis. His tastes in music included classical and trance, a hypnotic form of dance music.
A Facebook profile for an Oslo man of that name and age was removed early Saturday. It included a profile photo identical to the one being used by Norwegian media. In the profile, he listed himself as "single," "Christian" and "conservative" and says he is director of Breivik Geofarm. It had listed interests including bodybuilding, conservative politics and freemasonry. The account had no posts.
Fringe group bars suspect
A fringe European anti-Islamist lobby group said Saturday Breivik had tried to join their Facebook group 18 months ago but had been rejected over his apparent neo-Nazi links.
Breivik said in an Internet posting in December 2009 he had had discussions with Stop Islamization of Europe, but the organization had no record of this, founder Anders Gravers said.
"He has never been in contact with us and he has never given us any advice," Gravers told Reuters.
But he said it was possible Breivik had attended one of its demonstrations.
He said an SIOE member in the Faroe Islands had checked Breivik's Facebook "friends" on the social media site when he tried to join and discovered one who used a picture of Danish neo-Nazi leader Jonni Hansen as his profile picture.
"He advised us not to allow this guy to join or be able to post on the Facebook wall (message page)," said SIOE co-founder Stephen Gash.Story: Norway attacks shine light on right-wing extremism in Europe
SOIE, which says it has 30,000 followers on Facebook, was founded by Gravers and Gash in 2007 with the aim of "preventing Islam becoming a dominant political force in Europe."
His turn to extremism
The Norwegian daily Verdens Gang quoted a friend as saying he became a right-wing extremist in his late 20s. It said he expressed strong nationalistic views in online debates and had been a strong opponent of multiculturalism.
Norwegian journalist Liss Goril Anda, writing for the BBC, said Breivik had left "racist, extremist right-wing comments along with fellow anti-Muslims" on the websites. She also said there were attempts to set up groups allied to the English Defence League in the U.K.
"These all represent, with varying degrees of extremism, a section of the Norwegian population which feels that the country's immigration policies are too lax," Goril Anda wrote. "They feel disenfranchised despite Norway's attempts at distributing fairly its immense oil wealth. Norway might now be forced to deal head-on with this undercurrent of nationalism and anti-immigration sentiments."Story: Norway attack: Right-wing extremism emerging?
A Twitter account apparently for Breivik used the same profile photo and has but one tweet, dated July 17: "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100000 who have only interests."
The 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill, known for his theory of utilitarianism, once said, " One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests."
The authenticity of the online accounts could not immediately be verified, but government business records list a man of the same name and age as sole director of Breivik Geofarm.
In the records, the company says its business is the "growing of vegetables, melons, roots and tubers" and reports that it has 790 employees.
A farm supply firm said Saturday that the suspect had bought 6 tons of fertilizer in May. Some kinds of agricultural fertilizer have been used in the past to make explosives.
The suspect placed the order through his company, the supplier said.
"It was 6 tons of fertilizer, which is a small, normal order for a standard agricultural producer," Oddny Estenstad, a spokeswoman at agricultural supply chain Felleskjoepet Agri, said.
Police were earlier reported to be trying to determine whether the farm could have provided the chemicals needed to build a large bomb like the one that exploded Friday in Oslo.
'Under the radar'
Lasse Nordlie, owner of the Gjoekeredet Pub -- the Norwegian word for Cuckoo's Nest, a reference to a film starring Jack Nicholson as a patient in a psychiatric hospital -- said he did not remember seeing Breivik but said Rena was the perfect place for someone who wanted to avoid attention.
"It's easy to get under the radar here, and there's no view of the farm from the road," said Nordlie, age 34.
On a good Saturday night, Nordlie said, 150-200 soldiers from the Rena Camp drink at his pub, whose wall bears a banner from the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and dance in the basement disco dubbed the Psych Ward Nightclub.
The bartenders in the nightclub, which is decorated with photographs Nordlie took at the abandoned Lier psychiatric hospital near Drammen, wear white doctor's coats.
"I am going to have to lie low with this psychiatric ward stuff for a while, maybe keep the disco shut for a while," Nordlie said.
Down the Rena main street from the Cuckoo's Nest, Breivik dined at the Milano Rena Restaurante five or six times, the two Turkish owners said.
"He sat with his hands-free (mobile phone earpiece) and wrote in a notebook," said Eyup Ali Aykut, adding he never heard Breivik talking to anyone on the phone.
"He ate shrimp as a starter, beef a la Rena and apple pie for desert. He drank soft drinks - a cola."
"He was exceedingly nice," said Bilal Guclu, co-proprietor of the restaurant, which shares a two-storey white building with the local police department.
Msnbc.com's Alex Johnson and Reuters contributed to this report.