Oslo terrorist a right-wing fundamentalist?

posted at 10:30 am on July 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When news first broke yesterday of the bombing and massacre in Norway, several analogies came to mind: Madrid. Mumbai.  Of course, in the US, we always think of 9/11.  According to the latest from Oslo, however, the better analogy might be Oklahoma City.  Police have arrested a 32-year-old described as a Christian fundamentalist and a right-wing extremist for the murder of 91 people in yesterday’s attacks:

The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center here and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead.

The police said they did not know if the man, identified by the Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik, was part of a larger conspiracy. He is being questioned under the country’s terrorism laws, the police said, and is cooperating with the investigation of the attacks, the deadliest on Norwegian soil since World War II.

“We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised news conference. “What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist.” So far Mr. Breivik has not been linked to any anti-jihadist groups, he said. …

Even as the police locked down a large area of the city after the blast, the suspect, dressed as a police officer, entered the youth camp on the island of Utoya, about 19 miles northwest of Oslo, a Norwegian security official said, and opened fire. “He said it was a routine check in connection with the terror attack in Oslo,” one witness told VG Nett, the Web site of a national newspaper.

The police said the suspect had used “a machine pistol” in the attack, but declined to provide additional details.

A jihadist group did take credit for the attack yesterday, but that could just as easily have been a way to exploit the tragedy for a little PR.  According to the reports, Breivik had been seen in Oslo as well as on Utoya yesterday, which means he might have been acting alone.

Further evidence that domestic politics might have been the motive was the target selection.  One of Utoya Island’s youth camp is sponsored by the Labour Party, and a Labour official had given a speech on the island “hours” prior to the attack.  The terrorist killed at least 84 people in his “machine pistol” attack on Utoya, but there were at least a few survivors.  CNN has this heartbreaking report from one wounded victim who pretended to be dead after being shot in the shoulder — and then sent out messages on Twitter to alert people to the carnage:

On a rural island some 20 miles from Norway’s capital, hundreds of young members of the country’s Labour Party gathered each summer to discuss politics and democracy and enjoy each other’s company.

Utoya island, which can only be reached by boat, has been used by the Labour Party for its youth conference for decades, as well as a destination for family camping trips.

All that changed Friday when a gunman dressed as a policeman went on a shooting rampage there, leaving at least 84 confirmed dead and many wounded of the roughly 600 people who’d been attending the camp — most of them teenagers.

Survivors of the attack told of running terrified through the tiny island’s wooded areas, seeking a place to hide as the sound of gunshots rang out for well over an hour.

An hour? Just from a logistical standpoint, that’s terrifying.  Breivik would have had to repeatedly reload, and he must have been carrying a lot of ammunition, wich would have slowed him down somewhat. No one else on the island was armed, apparently, a point underscored by my friends at Power Line. Incidents like this are exceedingly rare, which is why they get so much attention, so people should be wary of drawing any particular lesson from a single data point. In general, though, when malefactors determined to commit violence do appear (whatever the context), a thoroughly disarmed victim set only helps them succeed.

Let’s offer prayers for the victims and for the nation of Norway, and a speedy and comprehensive resolution to this case.

Update: Jesse Walker at Reason looks at Breivik’s online track record:

Breivik reportedly left a host of comments on the Norwegian website document.no, and they have been collected here. The Norwegian-American libertarian Lene Johansen has been posting useful summaries of those statements on her Twitter feed; there is also Google’s translation of the page, which is fairly clear though not necessarily reliable in every detail. Breivik appears to be deeply opposed to Islam, immigration, and multiculturalism, and he believes libertarians are soft on the multicultural menace.

 

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allowed “him” to think…

hawkdriver on July 24, 2011 at 1:46 PM

charles johnson of littlegreenfootballs leaped into action to distribute the meme that the oslo bomber was a fan of anti-muslim bloggers, pamela geller, robert spenser and fjordman, neglecting to note that each of these figures sprung from his blog as commenters he graduated to the the figures they are today.

also unmentioned is that charles johnson himself is quoted approvingly in the terrorist’s manifesto at least twice and the manifesto contains more than twenty affirmative references to johnson’s site, littlegreenfootballs.

nonetheless, by getting out in front of the story with his finger pointed steadily at the bloggers he spawned and nurtured, johnson has obscured his own role in fomenting the sickening mindset of the oslo terrorist. in one case so far, he used threats of legal action to intimidate a columnist at forbes magazine to redact his name from her piece on the oslo terrorist’s motivations.

i think it would be an appropriate use of this website’s reach to prevent this malefactor from doing what he has been doing with this story.

eh on July 24, 2011 at 1:54 PM

So you had no real point. A vague insinuation that the Hot Air “conspiracy site” was in denial maybe that he was a Conservative? Or a Christian? And then unless someone took you to task, it required no extra brain power to defend; which you can’t anyways because he sounds more like a Nazi than a Conservative.

If you like, I’ll offer this though. If it is truly discovered that he has strong Christian beliefs, I condemn him and his interpretation that allowed his to think that such barbarism against children was in keeping with The Bible. As it stands, he sounds very anti-religion of any make.

You realize what you engage in is something very much like propaganda?

hawkdriver on July 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM

HA is not a conspiracy site and I never insinuated that. People are posting links to conspiracy sites.

According to his lawyer, the terrorist will be speaking from his own mouth on Monday. I suspect it will contradict a lot of the nonsense I’ve read.

fastestslug on July 24, 2011 at 1:55 PM

HA is not a conspiracy site and I never insinuated that. People are posting links to conspiracy sites.

fastestslug on July 24, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Really? Where are they doing so? Certainly not on this thread.

I just went thru all 6 pages of comments on this thread, and the only link I found going to a “conspiracy site” was the one I posted yesterday, linking to the Leftist blog firedoglake’s sad attempt to link this tragedy to Sarah Palin.

Can you cite specific comments in this thread that link to what you describe as “conspiracy sites”?

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Young Lenin, as all good Communists well remember, had an older brother hanged for terrorist activities. “We will take a different path”, resolved Vladimir, renouncing quickie assassinations of czars and such in favor of the long, systematic development of the revolutionary consciousness of the proletariat. The tragedy is that this idiot has likely destroyed highly promising beginnings.

dhimwit on July 24, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I looked too. There isn’t one. I really have no idea what she was inferring then if my take on her comment isn’t actually what she meant.

Whatever. She might have pulled it back a bit when his Nazi and anti-religious comments came to light.

hawkdriver on July 24, 2011 at 7:14 PM

But today’s Protestant church is a joke. Priests in jeans who march for Palestine and churches that look like the minimalist shopping centers. I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic.”

His rants on document.no over the past 2 years are directed against multiculturalism and in particular Muslims.

Far from being a Christian Fundamentalist, I believe he was first and foremost a mentally ill soul who absorbed nothing about Christianity in his Confirmation classes.

sclemens on July 23, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Doesn’t sound like any Christian Fundamentalist I’ve ever known. Most likely, the police use the term as loosely as a lot of people use it: to refer to anyone who is not happy with “modern” Christianity.

If there’s any truth to it, that truth will come out eventually. Until then, he’s probably no more a Christian than Timothy McVeigh or Hitler were. Which is to say, not at all.

There Goes The Neighborhood on July 24, 2011 at 11:32 PM

It’s not a question of Christianity or gun control.

It’s a question of mental illness and what to do with the mentally ill.

joshlbetts on July 25, 2011 at 7:57 AM

Breivik instead hails Charles Darwin, whose evolutionary theories stand in contrast to the claims of the Bible, and affirms: “As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. Europe has always been the cradle of science, and it must always continue to be that way. Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe.”

The terrorist also candidly admits he finds no support within either the Catholic or Protestant churches for his violent ideas.

“I trust that the future leadership of a European cultural conservative hegemony in Europe will ensure that the current Church leadership are replaced and the systems somewhat reformed,” he writes. “We must have a Church leadership who supports a future Crusade with the intention of liberating the Balkans, Anatolia and creating three Christian states in the Middle East. Efforts should be made to facilitate the de-construction of the Protestant Church whose members should convert back to Catholicism. The Protestant Church had an important role once, but its original goals have been accomplished and have contributed to reform the Catholic Church as well. Europe should have a united Churc

mankai on July 25, 2011 at 8:52 AM

mankai on July 25, 2011 at 8:52 AM

This post should have been in quotes.

mankai on July 25, 2011 at 8:53 AM

I’m so sick of people saying that this murderer is Christian.

I could say I’m the Empress Dowager of the Holy Roman Empire, but that wouldn’t make it true.

The question would be, does anyone else say that’s who I am? If so, what authority or standards are used to determine my identity?

Actually, I am the Empress Dowager. Just don’t tell anyone, please.

KyMouse on July 25, 2011 at 11:33 AM

But today’s Protestant church is a joke. Priests in jeans who march for Palestine and churches that look like the minimalist shopping centers. I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic.”

His rants on document.no over the past 2 years are directed against multiculturalism and in particular Muslims.

Far from being a Christian Fundamentalist, I believe he was first and foremost a mentally ill soul who absorbed nothing about Christianity in his Confirmation classes.

sclemens on July 23, 2011 at 2:05 PM

You left out some of his quote.

I myself am a Protestant and baptized / confirmed to me by my own free will when I was 15. But today’s Protestant church is a joke. Priests in jeans who march for Palestine and churches that look like the minimalist shopping centers. I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic. In the meantime, I vote for the most conservative candidates in church elections.

fastestslug on July 25, 2011 at 12:37 PM

This supposed “anti-Muslim” didn’t attack any mosques or Muslims.

His web site was altered DURING HIS ATTACK to say he was Christian and conservative.

His “manifesto” largely plagiarized that of leftist wacko the Unibomber. He admits in it that he doesn’t attend church, and only vaguely believes in God.

He is looking like an agent provacateur.

Akzed on July 25, 2011 at 1:35 PM

His mind wasn’t fomented. It was deranged.

Responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the individual who loaded the gun, aimed the gun, and pulled the trigger. Period.

joshlbetts on July 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM

fastestslug on July 25, 2011 at 12:37 PM

The first line was just setting up his bona fides. I do the same when I address the Catholic Church.

“As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. Europe has always been the cradle of science, and it must always continue to be that way. Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe…”

“I trust that the future leadership of a European cultural conservative hegemony in Europe will ensure that the current Church leadership are replaced and the systems somewhat reformed. We must have a Church leadership who supports a future Crusade with the intention of liberating the Balkans, Anatolia and creating three Christian states in the Middle East. Efforts should be made to facilitate the de-construction of the Protestant Church whose members should convert back to Catholicism. The Protestant Church had an important role once, but its original goals have been accomplished and have contributed to reform the Catholic Church as well. Europe should have a united Church.”

A theologian, he ain’t.

mankai on July 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

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