Murderer Breivik, not a lone wolf

This video from Norway is called Breivik Trial: More Survivors Testify.

By Jordan Shilton:

Norwegian government report whitewashes Breivik terror attacks

23 August 2012

The report of the 22 July Commission, the official body set up by the government to review the events of Anders Behring Breivik’s twin terrorist attacks on July 22, 2011, has concluded that authorities could have prevented the slaughter from taking place.

But in all respects, the report is still a whitewash.

The commission, whose investigation lasted almost a year, released its findings on the eve of the announcement of Breivik’s sentencing, due Friday.

The 500-page report seeks to cover over the political character of the attack, ignoring any consideration of the motives behind Breivik’s actions. In the opening section the commission declares, “We have foregone issues related to the perpetrator’s motive, childhood and state of health, and we have not explored the measures society puts in place for the early prevention of radicalisation.”

This offers a political amnesty to the Labour-led government, along with the other establishment political parties, by ruling out any discussion of the ideological outlook which guided Breivik’s act. There is no reference made as to how openly fascistic conceptions have emerged ever more clearly in recent years, and the considerable evidence that Breivik was merely one representative of an international far-right movement. There was also no reference to the fact that Breivik drew many of his anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic positions from views expressed within the political establishment, both in Norway and throughout Europe.

The report goes out of its way to insist that Breivik acted alone, and that his motives were basically irrelevant. His terrorist attacks are described alternatively as “evil acts”, “evil deeds” or “shocking and incomprehensible acts.” The effect of such language is to turn what was a political crime of horrific proportions into an inexplicable act of “solo terrorism.”

This latter claim was again undermined this week when Czech police announced that they had arrested a man who was a Breivik sympathiser and who had been preparing a “copy cat” attack. The regional director of the Czech police commented, “We are working with the idea that this 29-year-old man probably sympathises with known murderer Anders Breivik from Norway.”

Information which emerged in the immediate aftermath of Breivik’s attacks revealed extensive ties with known extremist groups, including the English Defence League (EDL). Breivik attended meetings in Britain with leading members of this organisation, and also claimed to have been the founding member of a group calling itself the Knights Templar in 2002. Included in this group were right-wing nationalists from across Europe and a convicted terrorist from Germany.

On the day of the attacks, Breivik sent his 1,500-page “manifesto” to over 1,000 contacts online, many of whom were EDL members. The extent of the knowledge the British authorities had of Breivik’s involvement with the EDL remains an open question, particularly given the widely-known presence of intelligence operatives within this neo-fascist organisation.

Shortly after his attacks, several individuals were found living at a flat Breivik owned, but were subsequently released. As well as being heavily active in internet chatrooms and right-wing forums, evidence pointed to Breivik travelling abroad to purchase equipment and meet with contacts to discuss preparations for his attacks.

Avoiding discussion of these issues is an effort to minimise the damning conclusions which even the authors of the official report are compelled to acknowledge. The report finds that the bomb attack on the government buildings could have been prevented, that there were fundamental flaws in the response of the authorities to the massacre on Utoeya, and that there were serious problems in communication between state institutions. It admits that Breivik’s attacks did not come out of the blue, stating, “With better ways of working and a broader focus, the Police Security Service could have become aware of the perpetrator prior to 22 July.”

This devastating indictment of the police, government and security services is followed by the extraordinary and contradictory assertion that “Notwithstanding, the Commission has no grounds for contending that the Police Security Service could and should have averted the attacks.”

The Norwegian and international ruling elite are complicit in fostering forces like Breivik and the ideological conceptions upon which they thrive. Given the evidence which has now come to light, the question should not be if authorities could have detected Breivik, but rather why did they not?

The report dealt with some of the most well known failings of the police and security services, including the identification by Norwegian customs officials of Breivik’s suspicious purchases of explosives from a firm in Poland. Although this information was passed on seven months prior to July 22, no further action was taken by the police or intelligence services. The police also failed to investigate Breivik’s purchase of a farm on the outskirts of Oslo where he made preparations for his attack, even though local residents had reported unusual activity.

National broadcaster NRK reported in January that Breivik had then contacted police in March 2011, informing them of his preparations for an attack, but apparently this was not passed on until after July 22.

Breivik was a member of the far-right Progress party for over a decade, holding local positions within the organisation before he left in 2007. He made attempts in 2010 to obtain membership lists from the government for the youth organisations of political parties, which was denied.

During the attack on July 22, the report revealed flaws in the emergency preparedness of the police, an inability to respond to tip-offs from members of the public identifying Breivik, as well as a failure to issue a nationwide terror alert. The report was critical of the length of time it took forces to reach Utoeya island, describing it as “unacceptable.”

From the New Statesman in Britain:

When the trial was over, at the end of June, he finally found time to sit down to read the 600 letters he had received from around the world, most of them from right-wing extremists in Germany, Sweden, Britain and Russia. VG got hold of two letters that Breivik recently sent; they were exact copies of each other; only the names differed.

In the letters, Breivik explained how he plans to keep fighting against the values of Norwegian society. Those same values that gave him a fair trial, lax treatment in prison and even the right to keep spreading his message. He writes in the letters that he plans three books: the first about the attack, the second about his ideology and the third about the future.

He is also forming a think tank named “Conservative Revolutionary Movement” and in a letter to a Russian follower he writes: “My goal is to develop a pan-European prison network consisting of European, patriotic martyrs and other politically motivated prisoners.”

Breivik’s 21st Century Fascist Manifesto, by Richard Seymour: here.

32 thoughts on “Murderer Breivik, not a lone wolf

  1. Pingback: Murderer Anders Behring Breivik not a lone wolf, merely one representative of a far right movement « toolwielder

  2. Appalling. This raises several issue: can you imagine an accused al Qaeda member smiling and chattingin court like the killer in the film? Everything is different in this case.
    I did a MA in International Terrorism, Organised Crime and Threats to International Security last year and told anti-terrorist officers on the course I was concerned about right-wing extremism and the EDL. They chuckled and said there was nothing to worry about as these guys were clowns. Since then I’ve come to the conclusion that some EDL people are from the army and security services. The same for some so-called anarchists at demos.


    • I have blogged about this.


      and other blog entries.

      If you say Breivik is insane, then basically you have to say that semi-establishment xenophobic politicians like Geert Wilders, Vlaams Belang, etc., and, in another category, Osama bin Laden are insane as well.

      To say that Breivik is just insane makes people forget his network (Norway’s “Progress Party”, EDL, etc.). It depoliticizes.


      • I’ve checked your blogs on this already for background.
        I take your point, but still disagree. Mass murder is not sane behaviour. Geert Wilders is objectionable but hasn’t killed dozens of teenagers.
        If Berivik’s premises are fantasy – even if so-called respectable politicians agree – then his conclusions are insane. That’s what the term means. This is not politics.


        • Mass murder is indeed not sane behaviour.

          But quite some NATO countries’ politicians waged and wage war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya; which is mass murder, even bigger than Breivik’s.

          Insane? Yes. But it helps the profits of Big Oil, weapons corporations, etc. which might contribute financially to politicians’ campaigns. So not totally clinically insane, maybe.

          Geert Wilders has indeed not killed anyone. But he has said that if there would be violent pogroms against Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands, that would not be objectionable. He has said that the political Left (like Norwegian Social Democrat teenagers) are traitors.

          Breivik bases himself on Wilders’ ideas, very explicitly in his manifesto. He goes one horrible step further in practice.

          Breivik is not really comparable to some apolitical military veteran with PTSD who starts shooting people at random. Such a veteran would not write an extreme Right political manifesto of hundreds of pages, like Breivik did.


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