Norway killer in plot to trigger ‘European civil war’

Oslo flowers.jpg

A court in Norway will decide today (25 July) if the first proceedings against Anders Behring Breivik, the mass murdered who threw Norway in shock on Friday, should be open to the public. Meanwhile a 'manifesto' published online by Breivik suggests that he wants to inspire followers to wage a "crusade" against Muslims and "cultural Marxists".

The Norwegian courts must decide today whether to hold a hearing of Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the worst peacetime massacre in Norway in modern times (see 'Background'), behind closed doors.

The hearing will be about custody and Breivik will not be required to plead guilty or innocent. It is up to the judge to decide whether to hold it behind closed doors, a police prosecutor is quoted by Reuters as saying.

Breivik's lawyer Geir Lippestad said his client had admitted carrying out Friday's shootings at a Labour youth camp and planting a bomb that killed seven people in Oslo's government district, but added that he denies any criminal guilt.

According to Lippestad, Breivik recognises that his acts were "atrocious" but insisted that they were "necessary".

Against Muslims and 'cultural Marxists'

A 1,500-page 'manifesto' published by Breivik on the Internet, which contains photos and a 12-minute video as well as text, the 32-year old mass murderer unveils what appears to be his strategy.

The document and video are entitled '2083: A European Declaration of Independence', a date that the author explains is the year that he believes a European civil war will end with the execution of cultural Marxists and deportation of Muslims.

This 'civil war' will come in three phases, he predicts. The first runs until 2030 and includes "open source warfare, military shock attacks by clandestine cell systems [and] further consolidation of conservative forces".

Between 2030 and 2070, he calls for "more advanced forms of resistance group [and the] preparation of pan-European coups d'état".

The final stage features the deposition of Europe's leaders and "implementation of a cultural conservative political agenda".

Breivik slams the Norwegian government's involvement in 1999's NATO strikes during the Kosovo campaign, which he claims wrongly targeted "our Serbian brothers [who] wanted to drive Islam out by deporting the Albanian Muslims back to Albania".

He also criticises the Norwegian authorities for their "cowardly handling of the Muhammad cartoon issue" – a reference to the Norwegian government's apology for the nation's private newspapers having repeatedly published controversial cartoons. In fact, experts consider Oslo to have handled the "cartoon controversy" better than other EU countries, especially Denmark.

According to CNN, parts of Breivik's 'manifesto' use the same wording as the 35,000-word anti-technology manifesto written by 'Unabomber' Ted Kaczynski and published in the Washington Post in 1995. The 'Unabomber' engaged in a terrorist mail-bombing spree in the US between 1978 and 1995, killing three people and injuring 23 others. He was arrested in April 1996 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In one passage, the document published online last week features the same wording as the Unabomber's manifesto, but it uses 'cultural Marxist' where Kaczynski's used 'leftist', and it says "Muslims" where Kaczynski's refers to 'black people'.

Debate over multiculturalism?

In Norway and throughout Europe, the Oslo attacks are likely to fire up debate over multiculturalism, the integration of Muslim minorities and the threat of far right-inspired terrorism.

Norway is a country that is relatively open to immigration by EU standards. Its immigrant population nearly tripled between 1995 and 2010, reaching half a million in a population of 4.8 million.

The sense that many were drawn by Norway's generous welfare handouts helped spur the growth of the right-wing Progress Party, which became Norway's second biggest in parliament after a 2009 election on a largely anti-immigration platform. From 1999 to 2006, Breivik was a member of the Progress Party.

A Progress Party spokesperson strongly condemned Breivik's terror acts and insisted that her party had no way of knowing that one of its members would eventually become a mass murderer.

While Islamist cells are supposedly being monitored by law enforcement services across Europe, it is less certain what exactly is being done to control right-wing extremism.

EU counter-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove was quoted as saying by Euronews that the his services were going to organise meetings and highlight "best practices" in Europe in dealing with the threat of far right-inspired terrorism.

At 15:26 local time on Friday 22 July, a huge blast rocked central Oslo, just outside the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. Seven people were killed. At first, the attacks were seen as similar to 2005's bombings of London underground trains and buses, which killed 56, or the 2004 Madrid train bombing, which took 191 lives.

But soon after it became known that a bigger tragedy was unfolding on Utoeya island, about 50km from Oslo. Reportedly a gunman had been shooting indiscriminately at youths from Stoltenberg's Labour Party who were holding there a summer camp.

When the police arrived an hour or so later, the gunner Anders Behring Breivik was apprehended, having already killed at least 86 people. He surrendered without a fight and said he was the author of the blast, and that no other accomplices were involved.

It became known that Breivik had made the bomb using fertiliser and know-how available on the Internet.

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