The man blamed for attacks on Norway's government headquarters and a youth retreat that left at least 93 dead said he was motivated by a desire to bring about a revolution in Norwegian society, his lawyer said Sunday.
A manifesto published online — which police are poring over and said was posted the day of the attack — ranted against Muslim immigration to Europe and vowed revenge on "indigenous Europeans," whom he accused of betraying their heritage. It added that they would be punished for their "treasonous acts."
Police have not confirmed that their 32-year-old Norwegian suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, wrote the document, but his lawyer referred to it and said Breivik had been working on it for years.
The treatise detailed plans to acquire firearms and explosives, and even appeared to describe a test explosion: "BOOM! The detonation was successful!!!" It ends with a note dated 12:51 p.m. on July 22: "I believe this will be my last entry."Everybody and his dog was presuming that this was an Islamist thing. Then, when that was ruled out, everybody was presuming that this was just a random crazy. It wasn't that, either. The man is responsible for his own actions, but we cannot ignore the elephant in the room: he's motivated by the same sort of reactionary xenophobic fervor that so much of the American right is.
Here's some elaboration from the Statesman:
A 1,500-page manifesto, posted on the Web hours before the attacks, included a day-by-day diary of months of planning for the attacks, and the author claimed to be part of a small group that intends to "seize political and military control of Western European countries and implement a cultural conservative political agenda."What bothers me—other than the fact that ninety innocent people are dead, mind—is that I doubt the wingnuts will stop to reconsider. They'll probably just point to the guy having played that "Modern Warfare" shooting game and say that this is all video games' fault.
He predicted a conflagration that would kill or injure more than 1 million "Marxists/multiculturalists" and added: "The time for dialogue is over. We gave peace a chance. The time for armed resistance has come."
The manifesto was signed Andrew Berwick, an Anglicized version of his name. A former U.S. government official briefed on the case said investigators believed the manifesto was Breivik's work.
The manifesto, titled "2083: A European Declaration of Independence," claims to explain "what your government, the academia and the media are hiding from you" and warns against "appeasement and anti-European thinking."
Breivik also was thought to have posted a video Friday calling for Christian conservatives in Europe to rise up violently as a modern-day version of the Crusades-era Knights Templar to save Europe from Islamic totalitarianism. In its closing moments, the video depicts Breivik in a military uniform, holding assault weapons.
I do hope that everybody else remembers, though. I hope that people remember that the xenophobic hate infesting places like the Murdoch Press and the right-wing blogs can foment violence just as easily as theocratic Islam. I hope that people are at least skeptical when engaging those sources in the future.
Freedom of expression is the most important freedom of them all—but the consequences of expression are not limited to expression in Arabic.
Edit: Oh, and he had ties to the good ol' English Defence League.