A far-right extremist killed 77 individuals in Norway. A decade on, ‘the hatred continues to be on the market’ however attacker’s affect is seen as low


In a nationwide memorial tackle at Oslo Cathedral simply two days after the assaults, Stoltenberg known as for “extra democracy, extra openness, and extra humanity.”

Talking with CNN’s “Amanpour” present in an interview to mark the anniversary, Stoltenberg — now NATO secretary-general — repeated that message and applauded the best way Norwegians had responded. However, he warned, the “hatred continues to be on the market.”

Final month, the College of Oslo’s Heart for Analysis on Extremism (C-REX) revealed a series of analyses taking a look at Breivik’s long-term affect.

The writer of one of many studies, Dr. Jacob Aasland Ravndal, advised CNN it appeared extra restricted than media protection would counsel. “There was in fact plenty of concern after the assaults that they’d generate copycat assaults,” he stated. However “considerably surprisingly,” he stated, there have not been many clear-cut circumstances of direct inspiration from Breivik.

One of many extra obvious hyperlinks is to the shooting attack in Munich, Germany on July 22, 2016, through which an 18-year-old German-Iranian man killed 9 individuals. The rampage was carried out on the fifth anniversary of the Norway assaults and the attacker had been “speaking quite a bit about Breivik,” Ravndal stated. “However he was additionally deeply impressed by many different figures,” Ravndal stated, a few of them school-shooters.
The opposite apparent case is that of Brenton Tarrant, the Australian far-right terrorist who live-streamed an assault through which he killed 51 Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019.

However though Tarrant claimed to have been impressed by Breivik, investigators discovered that he had began his planning a while earlier than he learn Breivik’s manifesto. “So even there, you possibly can query how a lot of an influence Breivik had,” Ravndal stated. Tarrant’s personal manifesto may be very completely different from Breivik’s, together with in its politics, he added.

Rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik arrives in court on April 16, 2012 for the start of his trial.

The Counter Extremism Mission (CEP), an NGO that combats extremist teams, stated in an announcement Thursday that survivors of Breivik’s assaults had voiced concern relating to his “standing as an inspirational determine amongst far-right extremists.”

“[This status] underlines the necessity for larger motion to focus on the dissemination of recognized extremist propaganda with clear hyperlinks to violence on on-line platforms,” stated David Ibsen, CEP government director. “The continued presence of far-right views on-line, together with larger publicity to extremist content material over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, is of explicit concern.”

In keeping with Ravndal, analysis signifies that inside Norway the far proper has not gained a lot attraction general because the assaults and has been unable to end up supporters in any numbers on the streets.

“In fact in Norway, as in all places else, on-line exercise has grown over these 10 years,” he stated. “However whether or not that displays a considerable improve of far-right exercise or just mirrors the expansion of social media on the web, that is very tough to say.”

Taking pictures spree

On that quiet summer season day in 2011, Breivik drove a van filled with a home made fertilizer bomb into Oslo and parked it outdoors a authorities workplace. A couple of minutes later, it exploded, killing eight individuals, injuring many extra and damaging a number of buildings.
Firefighters work at the site of the explosion near government buildings in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on July 22, 2011.

Breivik, in the meantime, had set off by automobile on the 25-mile journey to Utoya Island, the place a Labour Celebration summer season youth camp was going down. Posing as a police officer who was checking on safety following the Oslo assault, he caught a ferry to the island and carried out a capturing spree through which 69 individuals died — most of them youngsters. Many others had been critically wounded.

During his trial, Breivik boasted of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to combat multiculturalism in Norway, saying he acted out of “necessity” to forestall the “Islamization” of the nation beneath the ruling center-left Labour Celebration.
A court docket ruling meant his testimony was not televised, denying him an opportunity to broadcast his views to a large viewers. However Breivik believed his writings would encourage right-wing terrorists to comply with in his footsteps.
Police and emergency services gather following the massacre at a summer youth camp on July 22, 2011 on Utoya Island, Norway.
Whereas elements of his three-book manifesto had been lifted from other sources, such because the writings of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski in the USA, Breivik additionally detailed his meticulous, years-long planning and gave strategic and operational recommendation.

In keeping with Professor Matthew Feldman, director of the UK-based Centre for Evaluation of the Radical Proper (CARR), Breivik’s doc can nonetheless “simply” be discovered within the darker reaches of the web regardless of efforts to take away it.

That manifesto was “paradigmatic,” Feldman stated, “not simply because it confirmed what one particular person can do when it comes to the horrific lack of life” but additionally in its concentrating on of Muslims and what Breivik known as “cultural Marxism.”

Much more importantly, Feldman stated, Breivik’s case confirmed the risks posed by lone-wolf actors who self-radicalize on-line by way of networks of like-minded people and perform their preparations for violent assaults on-line, making them very laborious to detect.
Ad hoc extremist groups come into focus in post-January 6 criminal charges
On the identical time, Feldman stated, there was the “gradual rise, some would name it mainstreaming, of right-wing extremism,” helped partly by publicity on right-wing media platforms. “For some it was laid naked on January 6 in the United States [in the assault on the Capitol] but it surely’s one thing that is been gathering tempo slowly however steadily in current many years,” he stated.

Regardless of this backdrop, Breivik’s actions and manifesto have gained restricted traction, in response to Ravndal.

His evaluation for C-REX signifies that “at first the far-right throughout the board rejected him,” stated Ravndal. A web based assist community that was established for Breivik later collapsed. It was solely with the emergence of on-line boards like 4chan and 8chan that Breivik as soon as once more began to get optimistic mentions, Ravndal stated.

“The principle discovering, all in all, each in relation to ways but additionally for political, ideological assist, is that it has been surprisingly little,” he stated. “It has been doable to search out assist, however happily lower than one might need fearful about initially contemplating the excessive demise toll and all the eye these assaults obtained globally.”

Societal influence

Right now, the controversy has shifted in elements of Norwegian society to broader ideological questions, Ravndal stated.

Some — significantly within the youth wing of the Labour Celebration — really feel that there has not been a reckoning with the nation’s far-right motion, the largest participant through which is the populist, right-wing Progress Celebration, he stated.

Breivik had been a member of the Progress Party when he was youthful however the celebration distanced itself from him after the assault.
In a joint statement revealed on the celebration’s web site earlier this month, celebration chief Sylvi Listhaug and deputy leaders Ketil Solvik-Olsen and Terje Søviknes pushed again towards any suggestion that the Progress Celebration was not united with different Norwegians in rejecting Breivik’s attitudes and actions.

“We should all stand collectively towards violent extremism — no matter whether or not it comes from the ‘far proper’, ‘far left’ or excessive interpretations of faith,” the assertion stated. “Solely the extremists will win if we exclude one another from the grief after July 22 and weaken the unity across the battle for democracy, freedom of expression and equality.”

Labour has promised that if it wins energy in elections this September, it’ll arrange a brand new fee to take a look at radicalization.

There may be additionally debate about whether or not the assault needs to be interpreted as an assault on Norwegian society as a complete, or as an assault on the Labour Celebration particularly, Ravndal stated. “Right now, some throughout the Labour Celebration maybe really feel that that a part of the story has been uncared for a bit.”

Leader of the youth organization of the Labour Party (AUF) Astrid Hoem, left, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, center, and leader of the Norwegian Labor Party Jonas Gahr Store, right, lay flowers at a memorial on Utoya island, on July 21, 2021.

Feldman considers that Norway’s response was formed by the sense that the perpetrator was “one in all their very own,” as had been the victims, with no sense of “otherness” to power a extra multicultural response.

“Norway primarily requested itself this query, and it is a very legitimate one … ‘How did Norwegian society produce such a monster?'” he stated. “It is a very inward-looking query.”

In contrast, he stated, New Zealand took a way more international method because it checked out what led as much as the Christchurch assaults. This was partly as a result of Tarrant, an Australian, had focused worshipers at mosques, a lot of whom had been foreign-born.

On the identical time, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s response, together with sporting a hijab to fulfill survivors and family members of these killed, was central in bringing all New Zealanders collectively in assist of the victims as fellow residents, he stated.
Simply weeks later, New Zealand collaborated with France to provide the “Christchurch Call” — a dedication by governments and tech firms to remove terrorist and violent extremist content material on-line — and subsequently labored with the USA and United Nations to maintain the difficulty on the agenda, Feldman stated.

He hopes to win additional commitments to counter extremist content material on-line at an occasion he’s concerned with in Bergen, Norway, subsequent month.

Members of the public pay their respects near Utoya Island on July 24, 2011 in Norway.

Breivik’s ideology ‘continues to be on the market’

Talking to CNN earlier this month, Stoltenberg spoke of the shock he felt as he realized the size of the horrors perpetrated by Breivik — and the non-public unhappiness it introduced, since he knew most of the victims.

He additionally stood by the message he delivered to the nation because it was nonetheless reeling from the July 22 assaults.

Norway's then-Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, left, embraces Eskil Pedersen, leader of the Norwegian Labour Youth league and a survivor of the Utoya attack, on July 23, 2011.

“I nonetheless consider that our reply was the appropriate one,” Stoltenberg advised CNN. “[Breivik] needed to assault our free, open democratic societies. So the most effective response is extra openness, extra democracy, as a result of then we show that he’s not profitable, we’re profitable.

“He demonstrated hatred. One of the best response to hatred is love. So … I actually welcomed the robust message from the individuals of Norway, as (we) have seen additionally in lots of different international locations which have been attacked, that we get up for our values.”

That however, Stoltenberg doesn’t consider that Breivik has been solely defeated.

“He’s convicted, he’s in jail. However his ideology, that’s nonetheless on the market. And due to this fact we have to proceed — I believe we by no means might be within the place the place we will say that we now have gained the combat, we will shut the chapter combating towards extremism.”

Since 2011, Norway has applied measures to guard — so far as doable — towards such assaults sooner or later, Stoltenberg stated. And, he added, Brevik — whose 21-year sentence may very well be prolonged sooner or later if he nonetheless poses a risk — has misplaced in a single key respect.

“We’ve to grasp that the aim of this assault was to vary Norway basically. And … sure, in fact, this might be a part of Norway’s historical past,” he stated. “It will likely be a part of who we’re so long as we exist. However basically, it has not modified who we’re.”

CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen contributed to this report.

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