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Anders Behring Breivik indicted on terror and murder charges
Norwegian rightwing extremist to face charges over killing of 77 people in Oslo bombing and shooting rampage on island
Associated Press in Oslo guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 7 March 2012 13.50 GMT
Anders Behring Breivik has confessed to the attacks but denies criminal guilt.
Norwegian prosecutors on Wednesday indicted Anders Behring Breivik on terror and murder charges for killing 77 people in a bomb and shooting rampage but said the confessed mass killer was unlikely to go to prison for the country's worst peacetime massacre.
Prosecutors said they considered the 33-year-old rightwing extremist to be psychotic and would seek a sentence of involuntary commitment to psychiatric care instead of imprisonment unless new information about his mental health emerged during the trial, due to start in April.
As expected, they charged him under a paragraph in Norway's anti-terror law that refers to violent acts intended to disrupt key government functions or spread fears in the population.
Breivik has confessed to the attacks but denies criminal guilt, portraying the victims as "traitors" for embracing immigration policies he claims will result in an Islamic colonisation of Norway.
Eight people were killed when a bomb exploded in Oslo, and another 69 died in a shooting spree on Utoya island outside the capital, where the youth wing of the governing Labour party was holding its annual summer camp.
Reading from the indictment, prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh said 34 of the victims at Utoya were between 14 and 17 years old, 22 were aged 18-20, six were between 21 and 25 and seven were older than 25.
She said 67 died of gunshot wounds, and two died of fall injuries or drowning. In addition, 33 people were wounded by bullets but survived.
Police spokesman Tore Jo Nielsen told the Norwegian broadcaster NRK that Breivik was "totally calm" when he was read the charges.
The terror charges carry a maximum penalty of 21 years in prison but prosecutors are working under the assumption that Breivik is legally insane and therefore unfit for prison. However, they said that this assessment could change during the trial.
A second, court-ordered psychiatric evaluation of Breivik is continuing after an initial review, which concluded he was a paranoid schizophrenic, met with widespread criticism. Some experts questioned whether someone with a grave mental illness would be capable of carrying out attacks requiring such meticulous preparation.
Member No.: 1
Joined: 25-November 05
Great article, great conclusion from one of the few commentators that tends to get behind the facades and to the essence of stories:
April 24, 2012 The Ideologues of Islamophobia Dealing with the Real Anders Breivik by JEFF SPARROW
How, exactly, could a right-wing terrorist convince liberals he was, in fact, a right-wing terrorist?
It’s a question Anders Breivik no doubt ponders.
Remember, before embarking on his murderous mission, Breivik compiled and distributed a lengthy manifesto, precisely to dispel any mystery about his motivations. Now, he stands in the dock, giving military salutes and explaining, again and again and again, about why he did what he did.
Yet, somehow, liberal pundits and politicians refuse to listen. Breivik talks politics – and then the pop psychologists dredge through his biography for eccentricities to explain his actions away.
That response seems itself almost pathological, an obsessive refusal to acknowledge that Breivik might represent what he claims, that he’s not a weak-minded isolate bewitched by ‘World of Warcraft’ but an experienced far-right activist acting to advance specific political goals.
Most of all, the dime store diagnoses obscure just how widely Breivik’s ideas are shared.
‘This is an unconventional war. We are in a war, we are in a clash of civilisations. The thing I want to leave with you in closing is that we are the soldiers. The soldiers are not in uniform. There are no armies on the field. The armies on the field are there, they’re doing noble work but that’s only one small part. The main struggle is right here. And we are it. This is a battle for the soul of Australia, for the soul of Europe, for the soul of America, for the soul of the west. And its outcome is not at all decided, as dire as it may look, because we have not yet begun to fight. It is up to us.’
The passage might have come, word-for-word, from Breivik’s testimony. But it didn’t.
It’s part of a recent speech by Robert Spencer, a luminary of the Islamophobic Right. Spencer runs the wildly popular Jihad Watch blog. He’s also, with Pamela Geller, the co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America, and an important ideologue in the loose network of bloggers, activists and political groups known as the ‘Counter Jihad’ movement.
In that milieu, as the anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate documents in an important new report, all of Breivik’s theses circulate. Islam poses an existential threat to Western civilisation; seemingly peaceable Muslims are surreptitiously engaged in ‘stealth jihad’; Muslim immigrants represent a demographic time bomb; that multiculturalists are tacitly supporting the Islamic enemy; that the universities and the media are dominated by ‘cultural Marxists’ seeking to legitimise sharia law: it’s all there.
Hope not Hate explains:
“The ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement is the new face of the political right in Europe. The old racial nationalism of fascists and racists are receding but in its place are right wing populist parties and movements which make Islam the issue and Muslims the target. It manifests itself in different ways, in different countries, but its underlying message is the same. Sometimes it is focused around the single issue of Islam, but in other situations it becomes interwoven with wider politics of immigration, culture, loss and identity.”
Naturally, the ideologues of counter jihad denounced Breivik’s murders.
But they never renounced his ideas. Instead, they asserted that the very extremity of his acts proved him insane, with that insanity differentiating his thesis about the necessity of war against the Islamic peril from their own articulation of precisely the same argument.
The liberal refusal to engage with Breivik’s politics works the same way: No normal person could murder kids like that. By definition, Breivik must not be normal – and, therefore, everything he says can be safely discounted.
But in Breivik’s testimony, he explained in detail just how his grim deeds become viable. Because he recognised that a mass killing would be psychologically difficult, he consciously set out to ‘de-emotionalise’ himself via meditation and other techniques.
‘You have to choose tactics and strategies to dehumanise … the enemy … those who I see as legitimate targets,’ he explained.
There’s nothing crazy about that. The modern military does the same thing and for exactly the same reason – to enable ordinary people to kill.
Breivik, in other words, took Spencer’s rhetoric of war seriously. He duly set out to become a warrior, using a homemade version of the training by which recruits prepare for close-quarters combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.
That’s why it’s so dangerous to pretend he’s some psychological anomaly.
Over the last week, the trial has allowed Breivik to propagandise for an Islamophobic program that already enjoys considerable support.
Let’s quote Hope Not Hate again:
“In the United States, three states have already banned Sharia law from being practised. It is being debated by another twenty. In Switzerland, people voted for a ban on Minarets despite the fact that there were only four in the country. In France, politicians of the centre and right are trying to outbid each other in the Presidential elections to prove how hardline they are on Muslim practices and extremism. The fear of Islam is playing an increasingly important role in the political discourse in many countries.”
Psychoanalysing such ideas away doesn’t make them vanish. Instead, it discredits anti-racists, for the simple reason that those sympathetic to anti-Muslim bigotry can recognise, quite plainly, that there’s little to distinguish what Breivik says from the rhetoric of Geert Wilders or Daniel Pipes or Mark Steyn or other number of impeccably mainstream figures.
‘Breivik is no gifted writer,’ says a commenter on Spencer’s blog, ‘but what I’ve read of his manifesto his thinking is far from incoherent. His use of Wikipedia’s entry on The Frankfurt School was an eye-opener to me and well deserving of study to understand how Europe is undergoing cultural repudiation on such a suicidal scale.’
‘In other words,’ says another, ‘Anders Breivik should not be on trial — ISLAM should be on trial. And the verdict — GUILTY.’
In that discussion, we see the terrifying potential for Breivik to emerge as the John Brown of counter jihad: fanatical, excessive and violent, yet lauded as a hero willing to put principles into action.
After Hitler’s defeat, the invocation of the Holocaust helped marginalise would-be fuhrers for decades, as anti-racists said loudly, ‘We’ve seen your ideas before – and they left six million dead.’
The tragedy in Norway provides a similar opportunity to isolate the new crop of bigots and hatemongers. Those who mutter about civil war against multiculturalists and Muslims should be confronted, again and again, with Utoya, for it’s where their rhetoric leads.
It’s well past time to stop kidding ourselves that Breivik can be explained away via mental illness. The far Right is real and it’s growing. We urgently need a political response.
Who is behind the rise of this network of the Far Right in Europe (and the US) that influenced Breivik? It is a question that demands deeper investigation.
Frank Gaffney, one of the founders of The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), is the head of a Neocon think tank called the Center for Security Policy (CSP), of which Christine Brim is Chief Operating Officer. On the advisory council of the CSP are fellow PNAC members, Douglas Feith and Richard Perle. Basically the CSP is a front for the same agenda as PNAC.
Brim founded a group called Center for Vigilant Freedom (CVF). The head of this group in the UK is Chris Knowles (aka Aeneas Lavinium). Accompanying Knowles while representing CVF at far-right gatherings across Europe was a woman under the alias of Dominique Devaux (also thought to be Gaia).
A Sunday Times investigation revealed Knowles and Gaia/Devaux were present at the founding meeting of the EDL. The Times has claimed Gaia is Ann Marchini, a buy-to-let property tycoon. Marchini's name also surfaced on a leaked list of EDL donors.
Marchini – who is also a friend and backer of Paul Weston, formerly of UKIP and now head of the British Freedom Party (BFP), a splinter group of the BNP – was present at the meeting where the BFP and the EDL formed their alliance.
The prominent figurehead who whipped up the outrage against the proposed Islamic Community Centre near the site of 9/11 (provocatively labelled by the right as the 'Ground Zero mosque') was free-market devotee and former financial journalist with the New York Daily News, Pamela Geller. Geller was lauded in the press by Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of The Jerusalem Post, and senior fellow of Middle East affairs at the CSP. Glick also served as assistant foreign policy advisor to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Apparently, the registration of the website of the Coalition to Honor Ground Zero was traced to the CSP. The CSP also produced an ad for the Ground Zero Coalition against the 'mosque at Ground Zero.'
Geller also co-wrote a Neocon (& anti-Obama) book with Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, the foreword of which was written by PNAC associate, John Bolton.
Geller has expressed support for the EDL and advocated ties between the Tea party and the EDL; while Brim, who has direct links with the EDL, has proposed connections with other Far Right factions like Le Pen's National Front on the condition they ditch their traditional anti-semitism. EDL have already met up with Tea Party groups in the US.
Chris Knowles in a US blog radio interview in 2007 unveiled a mission to establish "a network of networks" of Far Right groups across the US and Europe. Also disclosed was the idea of a network of counter-jihad (read Far Right) blogger radio stations. Edward May (aka Baron Bodissey), another director of CVF, also called for "a network of networks." Did this idea originate with CVF head, Christine Brim and her associates at the CSP? Breivik was a contributor to the anti-islamic website, Gates of Vienna, run by Edward May (- a website registered at Virginia, where Brim is a resident). A common feature of the website are calls for lone wolf actions.
So we have a direct link between prominent Neocons in the US, the founding of the EDL, and a network of networks of Far Right groups across Europe and the US.
Behind the counter-jihad front of these shadowy movers is fundamentalist free-market ideology, support for US militarism and pro-Israeli advocacy. The counter-jihad front is aimed not only at Muslim anti-imperialists but at Marxists and Anarchists.
Brim rails against Marxism, Geller’s blog was called 'Atlas Shrugs' in tribute to Ayn Rand, while Breivik told the police he was with the Anti-Communist Resistance Movement. The EDL, who claim to be against Islamification of the UK, have attacked anarchist Indymedia offices, and threatened and harassed Occupy camps (who are radical democrats).
Historical precedents (Operation Gladio, the Pinay Circle etc.) would point to the secret services as the shadowy puppet masters.
The leadership of the EDL have been vigorously pro-Israeli, which has provoked some disapproval among Far Right members who are historically anti-Jewish. From the beginning there have been Israeli flags waved at EDL demos, and in 2010 an EDL Jewish division was set up. The Israeli advocacy is not coming from the rank and file. It is part of a coordinated agenda from a higher command.
I also doubt if it's a coincidence that the EDL was formed around the homecoming parades for soldiers - which are part of a wide-ranging campaign orchestrated by the shadow state to brainwash the public into supporting militarism.
Frank Gaffney, Caroline Glick, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Paul Weston - are all cited by Breivik in his manifesto.
It's useful to go to original sources because in this instance there's been a global news blackout on reporting this ickle factoid:
On 22 April Breivik testified that he used the alleged Al Q fly trap Inspire Magazine as a source for erm "inspiration" which he claims is on the preferred reading list of "other militant nationalists".
This is a bombshell. The political ideology of Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist, includes typically right-wing, anti-Arab Zionism. The writings in his 1,518-page manifesto show he “supports Binyamin Netanyahu” and the rest of the Israel nationalist line-up, Channel 2 TV news reports tonight. Breivik says the same things about left-wing Jews that many, many right-wing Jews say, and that many other right-wing Christian fundamentalists no doubt think but won’t say in mixed company. From today’s Jerusalem Post:
In a jab at left-wing Jews, Breivik writes that pre-war German Jews were disloyal to their country,
“at least the so-called liberal Jews, similar to the liberal Jews today that oppose nationalism/Zionism and support multiculturalism. Jews that support multiculturalism today are as much of a threat to Israel and Zionism (Israeli nationalism) as they are to us. So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists.”
A computer check of the manifesto, 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence, shows he mentions Daniel Pipes 11 times. I couldn’t find out what Breivik says about Pipes, but I’m betting it’s good. He mentions Israel 359 times and Jews 324 times, and we know which Israel and which Jews he likes, and which he doesn’t.
There hasn’t been such a catastrophe, political and moral, for the Israeli and pro-Israeli Right since the 1995 Rabin assassination. This is almost deja vu - when Rabin was killed, everybody was shocked, but no one was surprised. Same thing now. That the Christian Right and Jewish Right have a kinship based on a common enemy – Muslims - was as glaring as could be. That there’s a lunatic fringe on the white Christian Right that hates Muslims and liberal “Arab-lovers” enough to kill them is also understood. That one of these lunatics went off, and that he admires the Zionist Right is shocking as hell, but not at all surprising.
The international MSM that excerpted Breivak’s manifesto, notably Reuters, CNN and Britain’s Daily Telegraph, haven’t published any of the Israel- or Jewish-related passages. These came out on Electronic Intifada and left-wing Jewish blogs Tikun Olam and Mondoweiss. Then they were published in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Then in The Jerusalem Post. (As I write this, an hour after Breivik’s views on Israel were reported in prime time on Channel 2, by far the most-watched news show in the country, this “local angle” still hasn’t appeared on Ha’aretz’s or Yediot Aharonot’s websites.) After the Channel 2 report, though, the floodgates will very soon open, here and everywhere else.
This is a bombshell, pardon the pun – but the problem with bombshells is there’s no telling who will get hurt. It’s a good thing that Zionism’s anti-Muslim Right is going to be badly discredited by this racist mass murderer; in fact it’s a godsend. Unfortunately, according to Channel 2, Breivik also admired Theodor Herzl. Once the manifesto is fully digested, all of Zionism, Israel as a whole, maybe even Jews as a whole, could suffer. But from what we know of Breivik’s political heroes and villains so far, I think this revelation is going to do more good than bad for the long-term health of Israel, the Jewish people, the Middle East and the world.
Whatever, all hell is about to break loose.
This post has been edited by Mark Gobell on Apr 25 2012, 09:25 AM
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Joined: 25-November 05
Thanks for those, Mark. That final article ties in with the way that EDL spectacles now come complete with a barrage of Israeli flags and why their rhetoric could be straight of the Netanyahu/Livni/etc playbooks.
... that he’s not a weak-minded isolate bewitched by ‘World of Warcraft’
Which ABB himself is at pains to repeatedely confirm ...
... after playing it 16 hours each day on his year long "sabbatical" ...