In his rage against Muslims, Norway’s killer was no loner

Seumas Milne in The Guardian:

Anders-Breivik-007 It's comforting, perhaps, to dismiss Anders Behring Breivik as nothing more than a psychotic loner. That was the view of the Conservative London mayor, Boris Johnson, among others. The Norwegian mass killer's own lawyer has branded him “insane”. It has the advantage of meaning no wider conclusions need to be drawn about the social context of the atrocity.

Had he been a Muslim, as much of the western media concluded he was immediately after the terrorist bloodbath, we can be sure there would have been no such judgments – even though some jihadist attacks have undoubtedly been carried out by individuals operating alone.

In fact, however deranged the bombing and shooting might seem, studies of those identified as terrorists have shown they rarely have mental illness or psychiatric abnormalities. Maybe Breivik will turn out to be an exception. But whether his claim that there are other members of a fascistic Christian terror network still at large turns out to be genuine or not, he has clearly fostered enthusiastic links with violent far-right groups abroad, and in Britain in particular.

Those include multiple contacts with the Islamophobic English Defence League, which has repeatedly staged violent protests against Muslim communities. “You're a blessing to all in Europe,” Breivik apparently told EDL supporters in an online message, hailing “our common struggle against the Islamofascists”. Whatever Breivik has done, he hasn't done in isolation.

More here.