The trial of mass murderer Anders Breivik is producing some strange revelations. A correspondent has sent us the following:
Breivik claims he was taught rhetorical strategies as well as military knowledge on a course in Liberia, where his first cover story was that he was working for UNICEF and his second was that he was smuggling diamonds. His passport indicates he did go to Liberia for 2 weeks in 2002.
Norwegian psychiatrists first accused him of psychotically imagining the trip. On the basis of that view, he was declared insane and therefore unfit to stand trial. Then they backtracked and declared him sane.
(For the full report, see the comment from "b" appended to the post titled "Rampage," which you can see if you scroll down a bit.)
Even though Breivik is violent and deranged, we should not presume that his associations are hallucinated. This man had friends. What, then, do we make of his claims to have received aid from a modern version of -- god help us -- the Knights Templar?
Facing scepticism from the prosecution, Breivik insisted that the the Knights Templar (KT) anti-Islam network he claimed to be a member of was real and that he did attend a meeting of the group in London in 2002. But he gave conflicting evidence about the group and his role within it. He described the KT as both a grass roots movement and a series of one man cells. He also said he was a "cell commander" when he came back from the KT meeting in London but later said that that was incorrect. He also failed to explain how he came up with his estimation that there were 15 to 80 members in KT but insisted there were more than 15.
• Breivik talked about the "English protestant host" in London who became his "mentor" but refused to reveal his identity. That man is named in his manifesto, as Richard the Lionheart. Shortly after the 22 July massacre, Paul Ray, who writes a blog under the name Lionheart, said he belonged to an anti-Muslim group called The Ancient Order of the Templar Knights but denied ever meeting Breivik and said he was horrified by the killings
The defendant repeated the claim made to police after his arrest that there were two other cells in Norway ready to attack and said that could happen "any day".
As a result of this odd testimony, certain newspapers have published surveys of the many modern groups that claim to be carrying on the Templar tradition
. Those groups are, I am sure, innocent.
Nevertheless, Breivik is not a lone wolf.
He links up to one of my least-favorite bloggers, Pam Geller. In the following excerpt, SION refers to "Stop Islamization of Nations" while EDL refers to the English Defence League, an anti-Islam movement:
Another development concerns the hardening of links between European and US anti-Islamic organisations. US blogger Pamela Geller is a key figure driving closer transatlantic relations. Geller, who is president of Sion, was mentioned in Breivik’s manifesto and was a vociferous protester against the development of a mosque in Lower Manhattan in 2010.
The co-founder of Sion is Denmark’s Anders Gravers, organiser of Stop Islamisation of Europe. Gravers met Yaxley-Lennon in Denmark last month.
Campaigners are concerned that US neo-conservative and evangelical groups will begin sharing resources with the leagues. Images of EDL demonstrations are already used at Tea Party movement fundraising events, while officials from groups such as the Christian Action Network have met EDL activists. Other US and UK links include the Virginia-based anti-Islamic blog, the Gates Of Vienna, which counted Breivik as a contributor.
Obviously, we are seeing the rise of a new form of fascism in both the U.S. and Europe. In this new strain of the old disease, Muslims (not Jews) are the scapegoats and Christian fundamentalism plays a key role. As we saw in an earlier post, this neo-fascist movement has ties to the drug trade
and Eastern European criminal syndicates.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the Tea Party is just one part of an international fascist movement. And the Tea Party, to a large extent, now controls the Republican party.This just in:
Tellingly, Pamela Geller attempted to wash her hands of any pre knowledge of Breivik’s plans by excising a paragraph from one of his long rants which she posted in 2007. The portion cut out: “We are stockpiling and caching weapons, ammunition and equipment. This is going to happen fast.”
The time may come when we have to deal with fascist monsters like Pam Geller the same way we dealt with the fascist monsters of the 1940s.
Although this new fascist movement does not target Jews now
, the situation may change. Geller is fanatically pro-Israel, but the EDL promulgates crude anti-Semitism. There are also undeniable ties between certain modern fascists and Islamic extremists. The far right has always been a place where unfathomably strange bedfellows hop in the sack.