Anders Breivik and the far right terror threat
23 April 2012
Defence analyst Anthony Tucker-Jones reports on fears that Anders Breivik was part of an extensive European far-right terror network
The trial of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik raises questions over the extent of the cooperation and threat posed by right-wing anti-jihadist groups operating across Europe.
Breivik states he is at war with Marxist multiculturalism and the threat of Muslim domination. It was this that led him to detonate a massive fertiliser bomb in the heart of Oslo's government district on 22 July 2011, killing eight people.
The military training he underwent as part of his national service had given him a proficiency with firearms. Shortly after the bombing, dressed as a police officer, he travelled to the island of Utoya and shot 69 young people attending the Norwegian Labour Party's summer camp.
Norway is reportedly home to seven anti-Islamic organisations while the UK has 22 such groups, others have proliferated across Europe in response to Islamic militancy. There is an element of 'Walter Mitty' to these organisations, but they do have a propensity for street violence.
While there can be no denying the existence of what has been dubbed the counter-Jihad movement (essentially a re-branded far right) it is hard to gauge the level of threat. The right-wing Norwegian and English Defence Leagues were swift to distance themselves from Breivik's atrocities last year, but suspicion remains that they may have inspired, if not endorsed, his actions.
The EDL campaigns against what it sees as Islamic domination and has links with both the Norwegian and the Danish Defence Leagues. The NDL only came into being in 2010 a year after the EDL.
Breivik's trial has reopened the debate on the dangers posed by political extremism in Norway and more generally in Europe. While some argue that he was a lone wolf, others give credence to his claims to be part of an extensive far right anti-Islamic network. He was a member of the anti-immigration conservative Progress Party, the main opposition party in Norway until 2007. Breivik underwent extreme radicalisation after his departure through contact with such groups as the EDL and even more shadowy organisations.
Breivik has claimed to have extensive links with the English Defence League including 600 EDL members as Facebook friends, and this led to requests for the Maltese police to investigate the activities of Paul Ray, one of the EDL's founding members now living on the island.
It remains unclear if Breivik was ever a member of the NDL, though it has been alleged he joined under the pseudonym Sigurd Jorsalfar (the name of a 12th Century Norwegian king he used for his manifesto) and that he was kicked out of the organisation because of his extremist stance.
He also claims to be a member of the 'Knights Templar' a secret anti-Islamic organisation with a network of cells across Europe. The Norwegian police have found no evidence to support this.
Anders Breivik's trial is due to be completed by the end of June. It will no doubt be a painfully emotional process for all concerned. While the maximum penalty he faces is 21 years imprisonment, if he is considered a threat to society this could be extended indefinitely. The hope is that during Breivik's trial the Norwegian intelligence services will finally clarify whether he was simply a delusional madman or whether he is, as he claims, a foot soldier for more sinister forces.
HAVE YOUR SAY
24 April 2012
While no doubt the Norwegian authorities would love to be able to categorise him as a 'lone wolf', logic dictates otherwise. Given the timeframe between his alleged explusion from NDL and the mass murder he committed in July 2011, it is inconceiveable that he could have planned the event, amassed the necessary weapons and equipment, built the bombs (he allegedly had 3 car bombs ready to use on Norwegian politicians) and recce'd the target areas without help. If any of his associates were aware of his intentions (hence his expulsion from NDL), then they are accessories to his crimes, regardless of whether they were unwitting accomplices or not.
In my opinion, the fundamental questions to answer are: 'how many more people like him are out there' and 'how many are the security services aware of'? I very much doubt the 2 match.
AW Employee - Yeovil
13 June 2012
Paul Ray (Paul Cinato) Lionheart, is the orignal foduner of EDL which when he formed this group was totally non-facist. All though Paul is very radical and fundamental in his Christian view-points, he is by no means a racist and would condone any violence. He withdrew from the EDL membership because of their connections to racist & political groups and football hooligans who make up for the hard-core majority of members of the EDL. Most of the 'Mig Crew' - Luton's football hooligan firm are active members. They are the ones who have completely changed Paul Ray's (Lionheart's) original plans for the English Defence League as a non-racist Christian group into what it has become now - a new BNP!!!
Kilma - RGkJCsJGBYZLcV