The terrorist as public relations expert

The terrorist as public relations expert

by Sheila Musaji

The man accused of being responsible for both the bombing and the attack on the youth camp which killed at least 91 people, is Anders Behring Breivik.  He is a Norwegian with strong right-wing political views who has posted a great deal on right wing sites.

A complete list of Brevers’ (a pseudonymn) comments on a right-wing Norwegian site called has now been put on Google translate

His writings show his admiration for the EDL, SIOE, Robert Spencer, the Jihad Watch regular poster “Fjordman” Atlas Shrugs [Pamela Geller], Bat Ye’or, Analekta [Informatics], Gates of Vienna, Geert Wilders, The Brussels Journal, The Religion of Peace, etc.  A veritable ,Who’s Who of the Islamophobia industry.

He seems to believe that he and these groups belong to something called the “Vienna School”, and in a post on 12/3/09, he said “I ran the business a few years while I studied and earned a few million so I could finance a inntektsløs politically active life. (Vienna school of thought) I now use these funds to be able to work full time to further develop / promote the Vienna Academy (Vienna school of thought) that Fjordman, Bat Yeor, Spencer + many others have already contributed so much till.  The last three years I worked full time with a cultural conservative works that will help to further develop / promote these political doctrines further.”  The SIOE is the European face of SIOA which was founded by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and said by the ADL to promote a conspiratiorial anti-Muslim agenda.  Much more on them here.

Based on his comments on this site, he seems to see himself as a Christian fundamentalist, who is opposed to multi-culturalism and immigration, and very anti-Muslim.  He suggests that he is a Mason, and that he wants to form a Norwegian EDL. 

When the news broke originally, and with only his writings on this one site to go by, it seemed puzzling as how that mindset caused him to lash out, not at the Muslim community, but at his fellow Norwegians generally.  All of this might have made sense if he had blown up a mosque, or attacked a multi-cultural or immigrant center.  At that time, I said “It will be very interesting to follow developments as more about this terrible tragedy becomes known.  The only “logical” reason that I can come up with, is that he genuinely believed that he wouldn’t be caught, and that blame would fall on Muslims.” 

We now have much more information directly from Breivik.  And, it is now clear that his anger was not only directed at Muslim immigrants in Europe, but at the politicians and political parties that he thought had enabled that immigration, and at the idea of multi-culturalism which undermined a pure European culture. 

His worldview developed over a number of years, and once developed, he began a very methodical process in which he carefully planned, not only his terrorist operation, but also how to gain the most media attention, and to control the story so that “his message” would gain the widest possible audience.  In his manifesto, he says “I’m not only a one-man army, I’m a one-man marketing agency.”  This seems to suggest that he is an individual who is very much aware of public relations, marketing and advertizing to get out a message. 

He wrote a 1,516 page manifesto.  He prepared a video that summarized his manifesto.  He had professional photographs taken of himself in various outfits (the mason, the military man, the middle class businessman, the modern “Knight Templar”, etc.) and in all of these he looks confident and calm.  He even includes this series of photographs at the end of his manifesto to make them easily available.

And, then he waited until a few days before his attack to open a twitter account, and post one message, to open a facebook page and post some of his photographs and information.  He waited until only hours before the attack to send out his manifesto and to post the video on YouTube.  Islamophobia Today has a link to the video that still works here.  I have now watched the full video since it was made available on IT, and it is basically a “martyr” video.  He claims to have sent the text of the manifesto to 8,000 people “I spent thousands of hours doing this over a duration of more than six months (from two Facebook accounts) and I, alone, managed to send the compendium to more than 8,000 dedicated nationalists this way.”  

He then carried out his well planned terrorist act, and gave himself up when the police cornered him.  He goes to court today, and has requested an open court so that he can “explain himself”.  He has confessed to both acts, but doesn’t believe this was a criminal act.  Based on all of this meticulous preparation and media savvy, it’s a good guess that he had his clothes for the court appearance packed and ready to go before the crime, and that he has even rehearsed his court appearance and has a well-prepared statement.  It seems from his writings that in his sick mind, the terrible attack itself was a strategy to get attention, so that he could then get out his “message” to the widest possible audience.

This is a terrorist who is also acting as a propogandist and public relations person.  He has prepared a full media propoganda blitz - text, photographs, everything.  He has decided what will be included in this media message, and when it will be distributed.  So far,  it seems to be working.  I haven’t seen one photograph published in a news story that did not come from his prepared stash of photos in the manifesto. 

I hope that he is denied any further opportunities to spread his message of hate.  I hope the judge keeps the court closed.  I hope that some journalist turns up a not so flattering photograph and that that is what is seen in the future.  I also hope that his extensive documentation of the process that led to his terrible act might be studied by experts, and we may gain some real insight into how such individuals are radicalized.  I also hope that he has provided within the manifesto clues that will help track down any other members of his group, if they exist anywhere other than in his fantasies.  If there really is an organization of “Knights Templar” who believe that terrorism is justifiable, then we need to locate them before any further acts like this are carried out.

As people have an opportunity to read this entire manifesto, and to study the contents, not only does Breivik provide illumination of his personal worldview, but also provides insights into some of the ideas that helped to shape that worldview.

Many have noticed that entire passages have been copied out of the manifesto of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, and Breivik simply made small changes in the wording so that it fit his focus.  For example when Kaczynski wrote about his “demon”, the leftists, Breivik changed leftists to “cultural Marxists” or “Multiculturalists” who are among his “demons”.

In an article in the New York Times, Killings in Norway Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S., Scott Shane notes that

... In the document he posted online, Anders Behring Breivik, who is accused of bombing government buildings and killing scores of young people at a Labor Party camp, showed that he had closely followed the acrimonious American debate over Islam.

His manifesto, which denounced Norwegian politicians as failing to defend the country from Islamic influence, quoted Robert Spencer, who operates the Jihad Watch Web site, 64 times, and cited other Western writers who shared his view that Muslim immigrants pose a grave danger to Western culture.

...  By contrast, he quoted the American and European counterjihad writers by name, notably Mr. Spencer, author of 10 books, including “Islam Unveiled” and “The Truth About Muhammad.”

Mr. Breivik frequently cited another blog, Atlas Shrugs, and recommended the Gates of Vienna among Web sites.

Mark Sageman a former CIA officer and consultant on terrorism, said that it would be unfair to attribute Breivik’s violence to the writers who helped shape his world view. But at the same time, he said the counterjihad writers do argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam “is the infrastructure from which al-Qaida emerged. Well, they and their writings are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.” 

Here is a PDF of the full manifesto in English.  It is titled “2083—A European Declaration of Independence”.  There are also many collections of excerpts becoming available here, here, here, here, here,  and someone has generated a “word cloud” from the manifesto that is very informative here.

In his video and in the manifesto he refers to being a Crusader, and suggests that he is part of a new group of Knights Templar.  The video contains visuals of Crusader Knights and symbols.  It is obvious that he sees himself as one of the leaders of a religious war.  He calls himself a “Justiciar Knight Commander,” a leading member of a “re-founded” Knights Templar group which he says was founded at an April 2002 meeting in London. He claims that 9 individuals attended the founding meeting, but that there are three other members who couldn’t attend - for a total of 12 members of the leadership.  This number of 12 also seems to be symbolic.  Within the manifesto he says that there are between 15 and 80 “knights” like himself, and that each is a “solo martyr cell, completely unknown to our enemies and has a minimal chance of being exposed”.  So, between 9 and 12 leaders of some sort, and 15 to 80 “knights” who are prepared to carry out such acts of terrorism.  If true, this is a major concern for law enforcement.  Symbolism seems to be very important to Breivik.  Symbolism is everywhere in his writings and video - the date of this attack July 22nd was the date in 1099 during the first Crusade, that the Kingdom of Jerusalem was established -  the 2083 year in the title of his manifesto refers to the 400th anniversary of the Battle of Vienna.

In reading the manifesto, I am struck by a similarity between this man’s seeming hope that he would be able to set off a war between Europe’s Christians and Muslims that would end in the expulsion of Muslims from Europe — and Charles Manson’s “helter-skelter” plot to start a race war in America.  Manson wanted to change society by instigating a race war — Breivik wanted to change society by instigating a religious war.  I am also struck by the similarity between Breivik’s manuscript and the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document. 


In the video he calls for conservatives to “embrace martyrdom” and says “[If] the multiculturalist elites of Europe continue to refuse to voluntarily transfer political and military power to our conservative revolutionary forces ... then [the second world war] is likely going to appear as a picnic compared to the coming carnage.”

The manuscript is full of insights into the mind of this killer.  Here are some quotes that seem particularly illuminating:

“This is the big day you have been looking forward to for so long. Countless hours and perhaps years of preparation have rewarded you with this opportunity. Equip yourself and arm up, for today you will become immortal.”    After the “operation, if you for some reason survive the operation you will be apprehended and arrested,” which will lead to the next phase—the judicial process, or propaganda phase in which “your trial offers you a stage to the world.”   

“The resistance” shouldn’t target Muslims or the extreme Left, but rather the regime.”

“Waiting for the right time to strike or create an opportunity. This can be accomplished by arranging incidents (assassinations or terror attacks on mosques during Id celebration etc) which would trigger major Muslim riots. If the riots are violent enough it can serve as a perfect occasion for the coup.”

“I have spent several years writing, researching and compiling the information and I have spent most of my hard earned funds in this process (in excess of 300 000 Euros). I do not want any compensation for it as it is a gift to you, as a fellow patriot.”

“In order to successfully penetrate the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist media censorship we are forced to employ significantly more brutal and breath taking operations which will result in casualties. In order for the attack to gain an influential effect, assassinations and the use of weapons of mass destruction must be embraced.”

“Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike.” 

“Muslims must be considered as wild animals. Do not blame the wild animals but rather the multiculturalist ... traitors who allowed these animals to enter our lands, and continue to facilitate them,” Mr. Breivik writes, adding that “traitors” includes 80% of politicians and 98% of journalists. 

“Our purpose is to seize political and military control of Western European countries and implement a cultural conservative political agenda.”

“Historically, even though the people have been in great distress and face chaos and bloodshed many people still cling to the hope of peace through appeasement (30% of men, 70% of women). They will simply refuse to contribute to deportations or any other pragmatic/rational and effective solution, something that is simply against their nature (after decades of indoctrination of pacifistic views).”

“The order is to serve as an armed Indigenous Rights Organization and as a Crusader Movement (anti-Jihad movement).”   

“[W]e should… not exceed (per 2010) aprox. 45 000 dead and 1 million wounded cultural Marxists/multiculturalists in Western Europe,” the author writes. “The time for dialogue is over. We gave peace a chance. The time for armed resistance has come.”

“Christendom is gradually being deconstructed. It is time that the Pope and his cardinals begin to resist the deliberate deconstruction of European Christendom. The process would, however, be quite challenging, but worth the effort as all Justiciar Knights who dies for their faith will be a great source of inspiration for generations to come. They will be role models. Certain, exceptionally brave and selfless, Justiciar Knights in the coming decades should even be considered as candidates for official veneration.”

“I’ve also scheduled to meet my stepmom ... she’s retired now, so she is currently not in danger of any KT attacks. Although I care for her a great deal, I wouldn’t hold it against the KT if she was executed during an attack against UDI, as she used to be a primary tool and category B traitor for the multiculturalist regime of Norway, high treason she should be familiar with.”

“However, since I manifest their worst nightmare (systematical and organized executions of multiculturalist traitors), they will probably just give me the full propaganda rape package and propagate the following accusations: pedophile, engaged in incest activities, homosexual, psycho, ADHD, thief, non-educated, inbred, maniac, insane, monster etc. I will be labeled as the biggest (Nazi-)monster ever witnessed since WW2.”

“Do not apologize, make excuses or express regret for you are acting in self-defense in a pre-emptive manner.”

“We will ensure that all category A and B traitors, the enablers of Islamization and the destroyers of our cultures, nations and societies, will be executed.”

“If you are not willing to sacrifice your own life, then I would strongly advise you to make babies and ensure that they will be willing to sacrifice theirs when the time is right,”

“The time for dialogue is over.  The time for armed resistance has come.”

Just as I was finishing this article, it was reported that the judge in Oslo kept the hearing closed so that Breivik was not able to spread his message even more widely. 


Are you stupid enough to be a blogger for the Washington Post? Take the Norway test, Philip Weiss

Breivik, Rightist Mass Murderer, ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Contributor, Richard Silverstein

Anders Behring Breivik: profile of a mass murdererA right-wing fundamentalist with a hatred for Norway’s left, multiculturalism and Muslims, Peter Beaumont

Anders Behring Breivik, a perfect product of the Axis of Islamophobia, Max Blumenthal

Christian Jihad? Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway’s in the US, Frank Schaeffer
How a clueless “terrorism expert” set media suspicion on Muslims after Oslo horror, Benjamin Doherty

Islamophobia Can Be A Useful Term, Sheila Musaji

A manifesto for a Muslim-free Europe, an Infidel-free Middle East, Imran Khan

The Manifesto: Breivik’s Crusader Fetishism, Richard Bartholomew

Media Reacts to News That Norwegian Terror Suspect Isn’t Muslim, Ujala Sehgal

Norway attacks: Utøya gunman boasted of links to UK far rightAnders Brehing Breivik took part in online discussions with members of the EDL and other anti-Islamic groups

Norway Police Warned of Rising Far-Right Extremism, Nicolas Rolander 

Norway, Islam, and the threat of the West, Ibrahim Hewitt

The Norway massacre and the nexus of Islamophobia and right-wing Zionism, Alex Kane

Norway Terror Reveals Disturbing Assumptions About Muslims, David Dayen

Norway’s Agony, and Responsible Reporting, Adnan Al Daini

The omnipotence of Al Qaeda and meaninglessness of “Terrorism”, Glenn Greenwald

The Oslo Terrorist in His Own Words: Bomber Predicted “Europe soon will burn once again”, James S. Robbins

Right-Wing Pundits Jumped To Blame Muslims And ‘Jihadists’ For Norway Attacks, Ali Gharib & Travis Waldron

Scouring the Web for Clues to a Suspected Attacker’s Motives, Robert Mackey

Terror Attack in Norway Linked to Right Wing Islamophobe, Sheila Musaji

Tragic day for Norway, shameful day for journalism, Shiva Balaghi;-shameful-day-for-journalism

When Extremism Learns to Blow things Up, Juan Cole

When terror reigns, Mahmoud Al Rashid

White Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism in Norway, Juan Cole

Why do they hate us, and who is they?, Logan Penza