It is an unbelievable moment of horror for a country of less than 5 million people, with Norway left reeling not only from the death of 93 people but also the implications of a home-grown terrorist intent on killing innocent citizens to fight against the “multiculturalism” of Europe.

After setting off a car bomb that killed seven people in downtown Oslo on Saturday, a man dressed as a police officer arrived at the Utøya island summer camp and opened fire at the campers. For more than an hour the gunman stalked the island, shooting and killing 85 people. Many of those killed were in their teens or early twenties and were shot as they attempted to swim away from the island or run from the gunman. The death toll for the two events stands at 93, with an additional 96 left injured.

But why do such a thing? The accused gunman, Anders Behring Breivik (who claims to have worked alone), was a right-wing extremist and nationalist, infuriated by the liberal Norwegian government and its immigration policies.

The Utøya island summer camp was organised by the ruling Labor Party and government buildings were targeted in the Oslo bombing, with the Norwegian Prime Minister’s office situated just a few hundred metres from the blast.

Breivik left behind a 1500-page “manifesto” that he dubbed “The European Declaration of Independence”, which included his anger at what he saw as the “Islamisation of Europe” in recent years and his encouragement of smaller fringe parties such as the English Defence League and the Stop Islamisation of Europe party. It also included a creepy interview where he asked and answered the questions regarding his motives.

What tipped the scales for you? What particular things pushed you to plan the attack?

For me personally it was our government’s involvement (engagement) with/in the attack on Serbia (NATO bombing in 1999) several years ago. It was completely unacceptable the way the US and Western European regimes bombed our Serbian brothers. There have been many other cases that have strengthened my resolve. Among them, my government’s cowardly handling of the Muhammad cartoons, and their decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to an Islamic terrorist (Arafat). There have been dozens of other questions. My government and our media capitulated to Islam years ago, after the Rushdie incident. Since then it has snowballed. Thousands of Muslims stream in each year through the asylum, institutions, or family connections in Norway.

What motivates you? How have you managed to stay focused and motivated for more than eight years? Is it bitterness and hatred against the so-called “cultural Marxist/the multiculturalism wonderful elites,” or maybe towards Islam?

No, not at all. If they (the cultural Marxists) against all odds, gave up on multiculturalism tomorrow, if they stopped all Muslim immigration and started the deportation of all Muslims, I would forgive them for their past crimes. If they refuse to surrender until 2020, there will be no turning back. We will eventually wipe out every single one of them. I do not hate Muslims at all. I acknowledge that there are magnificent Muslim individuals in Europe. In fact, I have had several Muslim friends over the years, some who I still respect. This does not mean that I will accept an Islamic presence in Europe. Muslim individuals who are not assimilated 100% by 2020, will be deported as soon as we manage to seize power. Although I admit that I am sick of the current development, I would say I’m driven by my love for Europe, European culture and Europeans. This does not mean I’m against diversity. But valuing diversity does not mean you support the genocide of your own culture and people.

As papers, including  the Financial Times, reported this may be the high-profile beginning of the rise of right-wing extremism in Europe.

Experts and Norwegian politicians say Anders Behring Breivik in many respects typifies a new breed of conservative extremists who have risen in prominence in recent years, in Norway and across Europe, supplanting longer-established but often withering groups of mostly white supremacists.

“He’s representative of a new type of right-wing extremism. Rather than the old neo-Nazis they are pro-Israel and driven by radical anti-Islam,” says a senior Norwegian Conservative politician. “This is a clear trend across Europe, which has been gaining ground and becoming more mainstream in many countries.”

For too long the West has been concentrating on Islamic terrorists and let this right-wing extreme nationalist sentiment develop unattended, writes Matthew Goodwin in The Guardian:

It would be easy to denounce Breivik as a Norwegian exception, but this would be a mistake. While he is distinguishable by his actions, it is important to note that some of Breivik’s core concerns have also played a prominent role within Norwegian and European politics more generally. I spent four years interviewing far-right activists, many of whom rejected political violence. Yet what became clear during this research was that there is, unquestionably, a culture of violence within the broader far right-wing subculture. Many of the ideas that were voiced during this research have also come to light over the past 48 hours: the perceived threat posed by Muslim communities, a belief that mainstream parties are incapable of dealing with this threat and strong emphasis on a “clash of civilisations” between members of the majority population and minority groups.

The political issues of Muslim immigration, have been burning away in recent years in countries such as Germany, the UK, Denmark and France, notes Nicholas Kulish in the New York Times. As Kulish reports:

A combination of increased migration from abroad and largely unrestricted movement of people within an enlarged European Union, such as the persecuted Roma minority, helped lay the groundwork for a nationalist, at times starkly chauvinist, revival.

Groups are gaining traction from Hungary to Italy, but it is particularly apparent in northern European countries that long have had liberal immigration policies. The rapid arrival of refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants, many of them Muslims, led to a significant backlash in places like Denmark, where the Danish People’s Party has 25 out of 179 seats in Parliament, and the Netherlands, where Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom won 15.5 percent of the vote in the 2010 general election.

Over at Crikey‘s Pure Poison blog, Dave Gaukroger writes on the damaging language bandied around by commentators when the terrorist attacks were first reported:

The tragedy in Norway has shocked the world. Sadly, some elements of the media were quick to use it as an opportunity to push their own ideological barrows.

Andrew Bolt:

Once the identity of the attackers becomes known, the consequences for Norway’s immigration policies could be profound.

When details were made available “a man detained by police was aged 32 and ethnic Norwegian” the tune changed slightly.

Even so, the history of Islamic violence in Scandinavia suggests Muslim immigration there has been a bad deal for the locals:

Meanwhile, a blogger at the Daily Telegraph hasn’t yet bothered to update his initial glib contention that “The group suspected of the atrocities is said to be motivated by cartoons”.

From that post’s comments:

BBC still seems to want very badly to believe that it’s a right-wing domestic terrorist …

No comment.

In the UK, News International’s The Sun is playing a similar game.


Perhaps Oklahoma City would be a better comparison?

Europol has just set up a 50-person taskforce to study non-Islamic extremists and threats in Scandinavian countries.