Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dangerous lunatic or savvy terrorist? Anders Behring Breivik planned his actions meticulously.



Dangerous lunatic or savvy terrorist? Anders Behring Breivik planned his actions meticulously. In a manifesto of more than 1,400 pages the Norwegian bomber and gunman described the reasons for his attacks. The Netherlands plays a prominent role.

The manifesto, written under the pseudonym Andrew Berwick, is one long accusation aimed at political parties and the media for failing to do anything to prevent the Islamisation of Europe. He sets out a complete scenario for a revolution in three phases to bring down what he calls the ‘Marxist multiculturalists’ in Europe.

Demographic warfare
The Norwegian Labour Party and its relatively liberal immigration policy is his immediate target, but he also fulminates against Dutch parties like the conservative VVD, the Christian Democrats and the Dutch Labour Party whom he accuses of being "traitors".

Breivik praises Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Geert Wilders and the late Pim Fortuyn, three Dutch politicians known for their criticism of Islam. However, he believes that the Netherlands too will fall prey to the ‘demographic warfare’ of Islam as he terms it. He predicts that the Netherlands will be 55 percent Muslim in the year 2070.

Beet farmer
The Norwegian terrorist says he would like to meet Geert Wilders and Radovan Karadzic. He expresses sympathy for the Serbian’s war crimes, since he was supposedly attempting to stop Islamisation in Bosnia. Geert Wilders has responded by calling Breivik “a violent psychopath”.

Breivik describes the careful planning behind his attacks. Even his best friends had no idea what he was doing. He started a beet farm as a cover enabling him purchase the 6,000 kilograms of fertiliser he used to make explosives. Terrorism expert Bibi van Ginkel points out that it is difficult for the authorities to track down ‘lone wolf’ terrorists like Breivik:

“It is extremely difficult for the authorities to identify these people beforehand. With terrorist organisations you generally have cells and networks. There are far greater opportunities to spot the movements of a network at an early stage and intercept them. It’s much more difficult when it’s just an individual, as in this case. It’s a real nightmare for authorities.”

Terrorist network
Breivik suggests that he was an independent cell of a much larger European network of revolutionary activists known as the PCCTS Templars. The name is a reference to the Knights Templar, a mediaeval religious order which fought Islam during the crusades. Terrorism expert Beatrice de Graaf says she has never heard of any such movement.

In the United States, Theodore Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, who sent 16 letter bombs between 1978 and 1995, and Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, also wrote manifestos claiming to be part of larger networks.

Lone wolves
De Graaf rejects claims that secret services are too concerned with Muslim terrorists and not enough with right-wing extremists:

“In fact it’s a striking fact that intelligence services, including our own, have regularly stated that Jihadist networks are reasonably well under control. They have repeatedly warned about ‘system haters’, lone wolves or right-wing extremists. Those warnings have not really been listened to. The fear of terrorism is largely culturally determined. The immediate reaction to the early reports of the attacks in Norway was that it must be an al-Qaeda type organisation.”

Comparisons with Dutchman Tristan van der Vlis who went on a shooting rampage in a shopping centre in Alphen aan den Rijn in April don’t hold up. Bib van Ginkel notes:

“That wasn’t someone with a political agenda motivating him to commit acts of violence. Those people are essentially alienated from society. The violence is not directed at specific people or groups of people. And they’re not trying to get any kind of message across.”

Breivik, on the other hand, clearly did have a message. In his manifesto he refers to himself as a knight of cell 8. Elsewhere in his lengthy diatribe he mentions that he has to make contact with ‘cell 8b and cell 8c’. Even a lone wolf with delusions of grandeur can scare the living daylights out of the security services.


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